Tandem Design

Foxford Woollen Mills

Retail & Commercial

Foxford Woollen Mills

Brand Experience & Mill Tour

Foxford Woollen Mills in County Mayo is one of Ireland’s oldest working mills and has been in continual production since 1892.

First established in the late 19th century, Foxford Woollen Mills has gained a enviable reputation as a champion of both weaving tradition and contemporary craft design.

During Year 1 of our 3-year Interpretation Strategy, we developed a visitor welcome area and tour experience. We also provided concepts and cost options for further developments in Year 2 and 3.

We reinvigorated the existing guided tour into a more focussed brand experience that conveys the skills and experience of the designers and weavers at Foxford. The artisanal quality of the Mill's Irish-made products is highlighted and sources of inspiration are explored.

A warm welcome is given at the tour's first stop, the orientation space; a specially designed bright and colourful area, isolated from the main retail space. Here, visitors are introduced to the Foxford brand by a tour guide who takes them through techniques of weaving as well as the Mill's ethos, heritage and products.

A highly visual and hands-on zone, visitors are encouraged to touch and feel tactile interventions that help distinguish finishing techniques and effects.

A multi-use AV screen is integrated into the presentation wall and is used to show aspects of the Mill's work not always accessible on the guided tour.

The visitor is taken on a journey through the heritage and tradition of Foxford, whilst promoting its future as a modern Irish lifestyle brand.

It was important that the design of the interpretation functions well for visitors and customers within both a busy retail space and often noisy working mill. Furthermore, to suit an evolving business interpretation was designed to allow for updates to Foxford’s product lines.

The factory is at the heart of the Foxford experience and it was important that the visitor journey concentrates on the craft of the weaver. Lecterns in the weaving shed help the tour guide interpret the complex processes and machines on view while a finishing process plinth makes the materials and processes more tangible to the visitor.

In this way the process of weaving is revealed to the visitors and provides them with hands-on experience of the raw materials – such as wool and yarn – used by the weavers to create the final products.

The reception and arrival point contains a rest area for visitors. We created an artful backdrop within this space, using Foxford throws and scarves to ensure product visibility throughout.