The European Commission are proposing a framework to protect the intellectual property for craft and industrial products including Donegal Tweed.
At Magee 1866, we are delighted to see the announcement from the EU Commission on the preliminary steps towards providing geographical protection for “craft and industrial products that rely on the originality and authenticity of traditional practices from their regions”. This framework will cover Donegal Tweed as well as products like Murano Glass and Porcelaine de Limoges and is similar to the protection offered to Champagne, Feta cheese and the Waterford Blaa under their “Protected Geographical indication” (PGI) status.
Patrick Temple, 5th generation family member and CEO of Magee Weaving, has been active in this campaign, starting with initial submissions to the EU a decade ago. Since then, Patrick has been working closely with other weavers in Co. Donegal, with vital support from the Design & Crafts Council Ireland and marketing and business consultant Muiris Kennedy, to champion this cause. This will be of huge benefit to weavers in Co. Donegal and to the long-term brand protection of Donegal Tweed.
“Europe has an exceptional legacy of world-renown crafts and industrial products. It is time that these producers benefit from a new intellectual property right, like food and wine producers, that will increase trust and visibility for their products, guaranteeing authenticity and reputation. Today’s initiative will contribute to the creation of skilled jobs especially for SMEs and to the development of tourism also in the more rural or economically weak areas.”EU Commissioner for Internal Markets, Thierry Breton
Donegal Tweed is an iconic part of the counties’ centuries old weaving tradition and is unique as a woven fabric due to the contrasting colourful neps/bur spun into the yarn which is then woven in a plain or twill weave, otherwise known as Salt & Pepper or Herringbone, respectfully. Rooted in the land and seascapes of Donegal, the colours were historically drawn from our surroundings and the unique Herringbone pattern is inspired by the fish caught in the Atlantic Ocean or patterns in the sand after the tide goes out. The Salt & Pepper design is inspired by the speckled landscape of the countryside.
Today, Donegal Tweed, as a vibrant, natural fibre and sustainable fabric, continues to form a principal part of our Magee 1866 collections. Our weaving mill in Donegal Town, on the banks of the River Eske, is still the beating heart of everything we do at Magee 1866. We are proud to support a tradition of weaving and manufacturing textiles in the northwest of Ireland, bringing a contemporary edge to an age-old craft.