New in knitwear, expertly crafted in Scotland for Magee 1866.
There is a long history and heritage of knitting and textiles in Scotland. As with the Irish Aran jumper, Scotland has its own traditional styles, most famously the Fair Isle, named after the remote island, halfway between Shetland and Orkney to the north of Scotland.
Originally handknit, the intricate patterns of Fair Isle knits were passed down through generations. The vibrant colours came from natural dyes, similar to those traditionally used to create the colourful neps of Donegal Tweeds – indigo and madder gave blues and reds, with lichens, berries and flowers producing a rainbow of shades.
Industrialisation paved the way for mass production of finer, more delicate knits and so began Scotland’s legacy for producing the highest quality cashmere and lambswool knitwear.
Fair Isle styles, the Jura and Clyde are full of charm, the two-tone colourways give a contemporary slant to the traditional design.
Knit in the round with a seamless construction for extra comfort, our Made in Scotland pieces are crafted in all-natural fibres and offer a rich, soft feeling that cannot be imitated.
The Lomand and Toryare perfect for layering, the rich bases are scattered throughout with colourful flecks in contrasting shades, adding the tonal texture synonymous with Donegal Tweeds.
We are so excited to share our new baby blanketswith you, these are something we have been wanting to do for a long time and they were worth the wait.
Designed and woven at our mill in Donegal in 100% lambswool, these luxuriously soft blankets are available in seven gentle tones. The intricate diamond herringbone pattern highlights the colour throughout.
An heirloom piece to cherish for years to come, our baby blankets make the perfect gift for a new arrival.
Our Winter 2022 outerwear showcases the best of what we do, taking our unique fabrics, designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, and creating timeless pieces.
These versatile and adaptable pieces are designed to be styled multiple ways and to integrate well into your existing winter wardrobe. We dipped into our weaving archives and revived some exciting patterns, adding a contemporary slant.
The women’s outerwear centres on design but also function. New to the collection, the Nessa quilted coat is a future wardrobe staple. A relaxed fit finishing mid-thigh, this is the style to wear while on the school runs or shopping at the weekend. Another new style, the Cara is a more put together take on the parka coat, a sophisticated silhouette featuring a wide, oversized collar, deep patch pockets in a wool blackwatch check, designed and woven in Donegal and coated with Teflon for protection against the elements.
Constantly developing new and interesting styles in our own fabrics, theClodagh overshirt is a triumph. Simple, unstructured, and utterly stylish, the Clodagh is presented in a modern blue check with pops of silver lurex and a luxurious baby alpaca and lambswool blend herringbone, a cloth which pays full homage to our heritage.
The men’s outerwear offering is enhanced this season by two new casual styles. Ideal for seasonal transitions, the Sheelin quilted jacket is a short lightweight style available in two showerproof styles – faux suede and a luxurious Blackwatch wool check, designed and woven in Donegal, coated with Teflon. Heavily influenced by Chairman, and 4th generation family member, Lynn Temple’s love of the outdoors, the Melvin is a chunky shirt jacket in tweed, lined with a lofty fleece. A wardrobe workhorse, this style, in two rich winter checks, looks just as good in the great outdoors as it does on a city break.
Joining classic coat styles like the Erne and Corrib coats in signature Donegal Tweeds, the Moross duffle coat is a heavier weight style for colder months. The ultimate winter coat in a navy and charcoal Glen check tweed, the Moross features all the details synonymous with a duffle coat, this cosy style is a timeless investment piece.
Complete the look with our selection of scarves and pashminas, designed and woven at our mill in Donegal using the finest natural fibres.
Every year in September we take time to celebrate our rich heritage and as a 5th generation family business first established in the 1800s, we have lots in the archives to reflect on. This year, we will be focusing on design and what has changed in over 150 years.
In the 19th century, founder John Magee, a wholesale cloth merchant, would visit monthly tweed markets across South-West Donegal, trading directly with the weavers. The then hardwearing, coarse fabric was handwoven across Donegal in the homes of part-time fishermen and farmers as the perfect fabric for dissipating the damp and cold weather, so often found in the North-West of Ireland, a far cry from the luxurious cloths being produced today.
Traditionally, there have always been two ‘true’ Donegal tweed patterns – Salt & Pepper and Herringbone (said to be inspired by fishbones), but that didn’t mean it was always the same, there was lots of opportunity to add colour and personality with the signature neps, the defining characteristic of Donegal Tweeds. The yarn was dyed with natural dyes made from lichen, flowers, berries, and other plants which reflected the natural beauty of the Donegal landscape, and these colourful flecks were created during the yarn spinning process.
Robert Temple, John Magee’s apprentice and cousin took over the business in the early 1900s and made some revolutionary changes. Robert brought the handweavers in-house, opening a tweed factory where the design and quality could be more closely controlled, ensuring consistency across repeat fabrics. This move is seen by many as having saved handwoven Donegal Tweed from extinction.
Moving forward to the middle of the century, and the next generation, we were still focused primarily on handweaving and handknitting, but fashions were changing. We started tailoring in the 1940’s with a focus on men’s jackets and suiting. Magee 1866 stood out from the many others producing dull, grey ‘de-mob’ suiting at the time with our unique and colourful fabrics.
The Magee thronproof suit
We were then established in international fashion in the 1960s due to the relationship between Col. Bob Harris (brother-In-law of Howard Temple) and the Irish designers Sybil Connolly and Irene Gilbert. They began to use Donegal Tweed, which had previously been seen as a ‘functional, hard-wearing fabric,’ in their collections which appealed especially to the US market. This launched Donegal Tweed on the global fashion scene, and it has grown from there.
Irene Gilbert designs in Magee Tweed. Photographer unknown.
Vintage Magee 1866 ads
As continental competition grew in the 70s and 80s, our weaving mill shifted gears and we became a more fashion orientated business. Power looms were introduced, allowing us to develop lighter, softer, more luxurious cloths in more intricate designs, paving the way for the introduction of our first women’s collections in the 1990s.
The classic salt & pepper and herringbone designs are still very much part of our collections today, and we are always looking at ways to adapt these timeless designs into modern pieces.
Our weaving mill in Donegal Town, on the banks of the River Eske, is still the beating heart of everything we do at Magee and we are proud to support a tradition of weaving and manufacturing textiles in the North-West of Ireland, bringing a contemporary edge to an age-old craft.
The design process
There is much to consider when preparing a collection. Our designers in the mill work closely with our clothing designers, looking to our rich heritage, extensive archive, and the inspirational landscape of Donegal, this is balanced with new trends and the needs of our many customers. They plan what we would like to convey through the collection deciding on core fabrics to develop and the stories we wish to tell with each cloth, design and finished product.
Mood boards are worked on – snippets from magazines, old photos, colours swatches, archive fabrics and yarns are collated. Then the technical aspect starts -the detailed fabric design and colour balance, the fit and styling details on a garment. Sampling starts both through our mill and with our garment suppliers. The mill tends to work over twelve months ahead of the next season, while our clothing collection are six to nine months ahead.
Magee 1866 Autumn Winter 2022 Collection
Since we started in the 1800s our focus has always been on slow fashion and natural fibre fabrics – wool, lambswool, alpaca, cashmere, and linen.
Our fabric and clothing collections have certainly evolved over the years, the 1940s embraced the thorn proof suit, moving into the 70s/80s and bold checks took over. Today, we work towards creating lifestyle collections for both men and women – taking elements of the past and working them into a variety of products. The casual movement is global, and we are now making our incredible fabrics into unstructured, light, and beautiful crafted pieces. In the early 2000s we launched our throw and scarf collection; these luxurious products are extra special as they are 100% Irish made.
In the beginning, our fabric was used locally and then sold into the UK, today, thousands of metres, designed and woven in Donegal, are used by international fashion brands, and shipped all over the world. With all this innovation, we are proud of the fact that we are also still handweaving in Donegal.
We are passionate about the preservation of the heritage of weaving and design in Donegal. Trends evolve, but Donegal Tweed is timeless.
Follow our journey throughout the month on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and #Magee1866Heritage and sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear about new arrivals.
Autumn Winter 2022 is designed to showcase the best of what we do, taking our unique fabrics and creating timeless pieces.
“We look to the past to inform our future, our ethos as a company has always been one of ‘slow fashion’, with high quality, natural fibre fabrics our focus. This season we dipped into our archives and revived some exciting patterns, adding a contemporary slant.
Continuing on from our Spring Summer collection there is an emphasis on the more casual, comfortable pieces including fleece lined shirt jackets, Scottish knitwear, drawstring trousers, quilted jackets and of course, new styles in Donegal Tweeds.
However, there is a time for dressing up and we love to dress up! Highlights in our men’s luxury tailored collection include Donegal Tweed suit and a blackwatch dinner jacket.
We continue to draw inspiration from our surrounding land and seascapes. Each piece is carefully executed from concept to design to make, ensuring that these products stand the test of time and can be worn in conjunction with past and future collections. These are pieces to buy now and keep forever. “
-Design Director, and 5th generation family member, Charlotte Temple.
The collection is divided into colour stories, key base colours of blue, green, brown and grey are highlighted with seasonal pops of orange, yellow, plum and oat. We designed the versatile and adaptable pallet to be styled multiple ways and to integrate well into your existing winter wardrobe. As always, the fabric collection embraces natural fibres – wool, cotton, cashmere, linen and merino, much of which is designed and woven at our own mill in Donegal.
The focus of the women’s outerwear range is timeless design but also function, with two notable new additions.
The Nessa quilted coat is a wardrobe staple, a relaxed fit finishing mid-thigh, this is the style to wear while running weekend errands over jeans, a luxurious piece of knitwear and trainers.
The Cara is a more put together take on the parka coat, a sophisticated silhouette featuring a wide, oversized collar, deep patch pockets in a wool blackwatch check, coated with Teflon for protection against the elements and a navy cotton twill.
These new styles join favourites such as the Jessica tweed coat in a bold twill and the popular Josie short coat, introduced last year, in a classic check.
Lightweight and luxuriously soft, this season sees the introduction of a range of organic cotton and cashmere blend jumpers. Available in two styles – the Imogen and Eve – and a selection of capsule wardrobe-worthy colours. These styles are designed to pair perfectly with our Donegal Tweed jackets such as the Milly or Mourne.
We are always developing new ways to incorporate our own fabrics in more casual styles, this season the Clodagh overshirt is a resounding success. Unstructured, simple with clean lines and patch pockets, this style is available in a modern blue check with pops of silver lurex and a luxurious baby alpaca and lambswool blend herringbone, a cloth which pays full homage to our heritage, Herringbone being one of the ‘true’ Donegal Tweed patterns. Here it is enlivened with colourful neps of gorse yellow, sky blue, burnt orange, moss green, lavender, and ruby red, offering endless opportunities for coordination.
Alongside our classic coat styles in signature Donegal Tweeds, the men’s outerwear range is enhanced this season by two new casual styles. Ideal for seasonal transitions, the Sheelin quilted jacket is a short lightweight style available in two showerproof styles – faux suede and luxurious blackwatch wool check with Teflon.
Heavily influenced by Chairman, and 4th generation family member, Lynn Temple’s love of the outdoors, the Melvin is a chunky shirt jacket in tweed, lined with a lofty fleece. A wardrobe workhorse, this style, in two rich winter checks, looks just as good in the great outdoors as it does on a city break.
A heavier weight style for when the temperatures begin to dip, the Moross duffle coat is the ultimate winter coat in a navy and charcoal glencheck tweed. Featuring all the details synonymous with a duffle coat, this cosy style is a timeless investment piece.
One of the key characteristics of Donegal Tweed is the colourful neps you find in the threads, originally made using natural-plant dyes found in the surrounding landscape, this season we have brought this ‘Donegal fleck’ through to our knitwear. The Clifden turtleneck and Port fisherman rib cardigan both pay homage to Ireland’s long standing fishing traditions available in a seasonal mulberry red speckled with yellow and blue and timeless oat grey with navy and ochre flecks. The range of knitwear is designed to pair with the selection of chinos, cords and flannel shirts for a winter layering look.
Forever styles, designed to last. Shop in store or online from August.
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At Magee 1866, we have been specialising in exquisite tailoring since the 1940’s. Our Made to Measure service combines our expert tailoring with our love of luxury fabrics.
Tailoring Then & Now
A 5th generation Irish family business, Magee 1866 was founded on handwoven tweed over 150 years ago. The company started by sending fabric bunches to tailors throughout the UK and Ireland. In the mid-1940s Howard Temple (2nd generation) saw an increasing demand for ready-to-wear with a decline in the tailoring trade and started to manufacture tailored garments.
Already known for our colourful Donegal Tweeds, moving to the finished garment was a natural progression. Our unique fabrics stood out from the industrial grey suiting that was the main product on the market. Magee 1866 thornproof suits and Donegal Tweed jackets stood the test of time and put us on the map for tailoring. The thornproof suit cost about 15 guineas, or £6 at the time.
Building on this extensive history, tailoring is still at the heart of our business. Alongside this, and in line with how we dress today, we have expanded our offering and developed casual lifestyle collections. However, a beautifully tailored suit or jacket is still an essential piece for every wardrobe.
Attention to detail – internally and externally – is key, with each component designed and made with care. Every piece plays a part. The elements you don’t see inside the garment are so important to how the jacket or trouser fits on the body and the linings, buttons, melton, piping, stitching, embroidery and of course, the main body fabric, bring the style together.
The Made to Measure collection also offers a wide selection of design options – for example single or double-breasted jacket or waistcoat, the number and style of pockets and buttons, lapel width and design, single or double vent as well as side adjusters and hem details on trousers.
Fabrics include our beautiful Donegal Tweeds – timeless Herringbones and Salt & Peppers, speckled with flecks of colour; classic pure new wool suiting in pinstripes, plains, checks and micro-designs; travel suiting with stretch and Irish Linens.
Our design philosophy has always promoted the concept of ‘slow fashion’ through timeless collections, where pieces are designed to be worn time and time again. Sustainable fabric and high-quality, long-lasting products define our DNA.
Our in store tailoring experts will take you through five short steps to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, be it for a wedding, special occasion, business suit or indeed a smart blazer.
1. The Fit
Get the perfect fit. Your suit is made from scratch to your measurements, based on two tailoring blocks – classic or tailored. Our in store tailoring experts will work off the best block for you and make the necessary adjustments to ensure you have a perfectly fitting garment.
2. The Cloth
Select your fabric. Choose from dozens of fabrics, many of which are designed and woven at our mill in Donegal.
3. The Details
Select the finer details. Choose from our extensive collection of linings, buttons, threads, collars, meltons and piping. Select from a variety of styling details. This is the stage where you can really make your mark.
4. Finishing Touches
Personalise it. Add the finishing touches to your suit or jacket with personalised embroidery.
Ready to wear. Your order will take six weeks to arrive from the date of order and can be collected from our stores or delivered direct to your door.
Make an Appointment
Our Made to Measure service is available from Magee of Donegal, Magee of South Anne Street and Magee at Arnotts (Dublin). In addition, the service is available across selected stockists in the UK and Ireland.
Natural fibre fabrics are central to our collections and this season is no exception with Irish Linen making up a large part of Spring Summer for both men and women. The ultimate versatile fabric, linen is synonymous with summer and perfect whether you’re relaxing on the beach or working in the city.
“Linen is one of the oldest fabrics in the world and the history of weaving linen in Ireland goes back hundreds of years. It has many sustainable values as it uses considerably less water than cotton, for example, and will grow on poor land. Flax, the crop it is made from, is really versatile too because it is cultivated for yarn and food (this is where linseed comes from). We have been designing, weaving and finishing Irish Linen at our mill in Donegal since 1975, its cool, fresh properties make it perfect for our spring summer collections and it complements our Donegal Tweeds perfectly.”
Patrick Temple, CEO Magee Weaving, 5th Generation Family Member and President of the Irish Linen Guild
We have been designing, weaving and tailoring luxurious fabrics and clothing in Donegal for five generations and over 150 years. This season we looked to the beaches, cliffs and piers that are dotted along the 1,000km of coastline of our home county for inspiration when designing the Spring Summer 2022 collection – ‘COAST’. The nautical theme is reflected in the choice of colours, naval and sea blues are contrasted in this collection with timeless, neutral shades of natural linen, greys and oat.
Renewable and biodegradable, linen comes from an all-natural source, offering a rich, soft feeling that cannot be imitated by manmade fibres. It is also truly sustainable – requiring less water and land to grow than cotton, for example and it can be processed without chemicals.
Alongside the pieces crafted in Irish Linen, designed, woven and finished at the our weaving mill in Donegal, this collection also features styles in Irish Linen from Baird McNutt, another long-established mill who design in the harbour village of Downings in County Donegal and weave in their historic mill in County Antrim.
The Rebecca dress is a real showstopper, mid length in a nautical oat-grey with a chalky green and pale blue stripe, this shirt dress can be styled just as well with white trainers as it does with heeled sandals for a day out.
Highlights in Irish Linen for men include the new Dingle four pocket jacket an unlined and unstructured style, perfect for layering when the sun goes down. Wardrobe staples the Kilbeg shirt and Straid drawstring trousers are available in a range of versatile colours and when styled with the coordinating Finn jacket in dark inky blue linen, make an ideal look for a special occasion.
Linen can be divisive due to its tendency to crease, but for us this is one of its charms, a unique characteristic that we should embrace. The relaxed look of linen and its natural cooling properties make it the ideal choice for pieces we wear close to our skin like shirts and tops.
This collection is designed to maximise your summer and as always with Magee 1866, expect colours and textures that will transport you to a sandy shore, looking out at the wild Atlantic Ocean.
New to our Women’s Collection, the Rebecca dress is a standout piece this season.
Our fresh take on the timeless shirt dress, the mid-length Rebecca features a button through front, pockets and fabric belt and offers a classic silhouette with beautiful movement.
This versatile summer style is available in two Irish Linens, designed, woven and finished at our mill in Donegal, and a vibrant Liberty of London print.
These are colours and textures inspired by the coastline of Donegal, designed to transport you to a sandy shore on a summer’s day, looking out at the wild Atlantic Ocean.
“I have been working through our weaving archives and planning different, more casual ways to use our luxurious fabrics. I love linen, it is so versatile and comfortable, yes it creases a little, but it is one of the characteristics of this natural and sustainable fabric and that’s ok – it has that lived in and loved look!
I don’t wear dresses very often and wanted to create a piece that I would wear – something that works from Spring through to early Autumn. I love the shape; it drapes beautifully and features a self-fabric belt (or mix it up with one of our stunning English bridle leather belts)and pockets. I am very excited about the Rebecca, of the three gorgeous fabrics, the delicate blue herringbone is my favourite. I hope you love this dress as much as we do!”
Charlotte Temple, Design Director Magee 1866
Natural fibre fabrics are central to our collections and this season is no exception with Irish Linen making up a large part of Spring Summer. The ultimate versatile fabric, linen is synonymous with summer and perfect whether you’re relaxing at the beach or working in the city.
Designed, woven and finished at our mill, the calming blue shade and classic herringbone pattern make this a sophisticated addition to your warm weather wardrobe.
The oat-grey base of this 100% Irish Linen is striped with shades of chalky green and pale blue giving a nautical feel to this relaxed style.
A statement piece, the Rebecca makes summer dressing a breeze, simply style with trainers or heels, whatever suits the mood.
Evocative of summer sunsets, the dreamy Liberty of London print ‘Cloud Nine’ is a soft cloud pattern in delicate watercolour shades of pink and blue with hints of gold.
The print, coupled with the distinctive hand-feel and translucent softness of Liberty of London’s Tana Lawn Cotton make this dress a comfortable and feminine style.
Introducing the Magee 1866 Spring/Summer 2022 Collection – COAST
Inspired by over 1,000 kilometres of Donegal coastline, where we have been designing, weaving and tailoring luxurious fabrics for five generations.
“Spring Summer 2022 was designed with hope in mind following the long months of a pandemic that has turned the world upside-down. While working on the collection we had taken time to watch spring slowly appearing following a winter of uncertainties. The idea of a fresh start and new life are the core elements in our colourful and optimistic collection for SS22.
We have looked at how we have adapted over the last couple of years, especially what we are wearing. The emphasis on casual wear has accelerated and we have embraced this more relaxed, comfortable approach in this collection with Irish linen shirts and drawstring trousers, luxury cashmere jumpers, sweats and colourful cotton polos and t-shirts.
However, we are looking forward to dressing up again! Our tailored collection includes classic lightweight tweeds and summer weight jackets, but with a focus on unstructured silk and linen blend jackets styled with lightweight cotton chinos and printed shirts.”
Classic patterns sit beside bold and oversized checks in this collection with the colour pallet inspired by the sea and land. Sea blues, mossy greens, earthy oats, peaty browns are accented by the colours of local flora like gorse, fuchsia, blackberry, moss and montbretia that were historically used to create the colourful speckles synonymous with Donegal Tweeds. “
-Design Director, and 5th generation family member, Charlotte Temple reflects on the design process.
Cheerful, bright colours of raspberry pink, sunset orange, naval and sea blues are contrasted in this collection with timeless, neutral shades of natural linen oat, sky grey, olive and forest greens. While the fabrics focus on natural fibres – silk, cotton, cashmere, linen, merino and lambswool, much of which is designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, Ireland.
A new addition to the range of knitwear is a luxurious cotton cashmere blend in four styles This season sees a host of new additions to the women’s collection. The Aoife is a preppy, short unstructured jacket in a micro houndstooth silk and cotton blend tweed and is complemented by a beautiful range of luxurious lightweight cashmere knitwear.
The Rebecca shirt dress is a standout piece, available in three colours ranging from calming pale blue Irish linen to a vibrant Liberty of London print. The Liberty of London pieces don’t end there, the new Patty top will add a burst of colour to your wardrobe and the easy to wear Tessa tunic will become your go-to top for trips to the beach. Women’s collection favourites like the Emma and Grace coats return in fresh, new lightweight tweeds, designed and woven at our mill.
Ireland’s unpredictable weather is taken into account in the Men’s collection, the timeless Glenveigh quilted jacket is joined by a new style, the Dingle, a 4-pocket showerproof unstructured jacket, available in two colours.
Familiar tailored styles like the Liffey Jacket are reimagined in a summery mix of linen and silk blends, woven in house, with a new addition, the Adare, a soft unstructured jacket that offers a comfortable, put together look. Making a triumphant return to the men’s collection after a long absence, men’s shorts, in cotton chino or linen, are accompanied by a selection of t-shirts, polos and the softest cotton sweatshirts.
Natural fibre fabrics are central to our collections and this season is no exception with Irish Linen making up a large part of Spring Summer for both men and women.
The ultimate versatile fabric, linen is synonymous with summer and perfect whether you’re relaxing on the beach or working in the city. Crafted in Irish Linen, woven and finished at the Magee weaving mill in Donegal, highlights include the Rowan overshirt for men, the Mourne boyfriend fit jacket for women, drawstring trousers for both and for the ultimate in summer chic, the Finn suit in a dark inky blue linen, perfect for a special occasion.
This collection is designed to maximise your summer and as always, each quality piece is made with longevity in mind.
A really exciting addition to our Home Interiors Collection, just in time for Christmas gifting, Irish Wool throws have arrived.
A truly sustainable choice crafted in 100% Irish wool, this launch represents a milestone as the first home interiors pieces in the Magee 1866 X Irish Wool collection.
At Magee 1866, we are committed to developing and using Irish Wool in our textiles. Over the past number of years, we have been working closely with Donegal Yarns, a local yarn supplier just up the road in Kilcar, and farmers to source finer wool from Irish sheep to re-ignite positivity around this fantastic and ‘local’ raw material.
The wool is then spun by Donegal Yarns, ready to be woven into fabric at our mill in Donegal Town where we have been weaving for five generations and over 150 years.
Designed, woven and finished at our mill in a contemporary oversized houndstooth pattern, the Irish Wool throw is available in two colours and finished with thick tasselled fringing. The perfect piece to showcase this unique fabric.
This is a truly sustainable home accessory that is made with longevity in mind.