"Celtic Linens" has one point in common with Celtic history, and that is that the linens we import today all come from regions of Celtic dominance. That is however where the similarities seem to stop. We do know that flax, the plant from which linen is made, grows well in these regions where Celtic tribes farmed. We also know that the later Celtic people of Ireland and Scotland knitted wool and crocheted linen yarn and thread. However, we cannot find much information regarding early fabrics of this culture. We would like to hear from you if you could enlighten us.
The Celts had an early knowledge of metallurgy of bronze and iron, which gave them imposing advantages. This was considered the Iron Age of Europe, sometimes referred to as the Hallstatt Culture. Peter Berresford Ellis refers to Hallstatt Culture as one of a series of Celtic cultural expansions. From places with names of Celtic derivation and cultural artifact it is evident that the Celts dominated the ancient European world possibly as early as 1000 years BC. From Ireland in the west, Turkey and the Black Sea in the east, Belgium in the north and Spain in the south the Celts made their presence known.
Did you know that war chariots were in use by the Celts long before Romans adopted the idea? The Celts strength was climaxed by the sacking of the city of Rome in 390 BC. Roads were built throughout Europe out of wood long before the Romans paved them with stone.
However the early Celts of this time did not leave any surviving written records. All their knowledge and history was passed down by learned Druids who memorized their knowledge. There was a mythical tradition not to write about it. Knowledge was power and to keep power you kept your knowledge secret. Most of the written history on the Celts came from Greek and Roman records and these are no doubt biased.
The Celts did not create a large centralized government and thus could not mount an effective resistance to the Roman expansion. They lived in small groups that were often very independent of each other. Some joined the Roman Legions and actually became involved in Roman hierarchy. Others such as Caratacos fought the Romans fiercely until another rival Celtic leader Cartimandua, Queen of Brigantes, betrayed and handed him over to the Roman commander, Publius Ostorius Scapula. He eventually won freedom for himself and his family by giving a moving address to the Emperor and senate of Rome. He must have had a great command of the languages of the era. But he was to remain in permanent exile within the city of Rome forbidden to return to his homeland in Britain. The magnificence of Rome was not that bad when you consider the cold and wet hovels of Britain from whence he came.