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Introducing the Magee 1866 Autumn/Winter 2021 Collection – ‘Home’

The inspiration behind the Magee 1866 Autumn/Winter 2021 collection is ‘Home’ – home being Co. Donegal where we have been designing, weaving and tailoring luxurious fabrics for five generations. 

Design Director, and 5th generation family member, Charlotte Temple reflects.  

“Working on this collection in 2020, in the depths of a global pandemic, has made us appreciate where we live even more than ever. The various lockdowns, in a way, forced a new familiarity with our immediate surroundings and offered a new opportunity to observe and engage with the landscape. Details one would gloss over in the hustle and bustle of regular life came into sharp focus, the bright red autumn berry peeping through the hedgerows, the changing colour of bracken on the hills – summer greens to a burnt rust, the reflection of the sun on the sea in the early morning light.” 

“These are the same landscapes that have inspired our tweeds for decades. This collection embraces our own natural fibre fabrics, designed and woven at our mill in Donegal Town. We have delved into our archives and reinvigorated the classics. Herringbones – an age-old pattern inspired by fish bones and Salt & Pepper, a simple yet intricate pattern rich with colourful flecks – the true Donegal Tweed.” 

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. 

The Men’s outerwear stands out as an exclusive selection of Donegal Tweed overcoats, classic wool city coats and quilted jackets, one of the highlights being the new Brosna coat, an oversized tweed belted overcoat in a statement plaid check. In a continuation of the commitment to developing Irish wool for use in their textiles – with wool sourced from Irish sheep and spun and woven in Donegal –  the latest addition to the Magee 1866 X Irish Wool collection is the Irish Wool Erne, a short, contemporary Donegal Tweed overcoat in a rich red, green, grey and navy check. 

   

A new addition to the range of knitwear is a luxurious cotton cashmere blend in four styles and four timeless colours. Lightweight and soft, these pieces pair beautifully with one of the Donegal Tweed jackets or Gilets in the collection. The Pettigo ribbed crew neck, a two-tone contemporary style, makes a statement.  

Casual styles like the Corlea grandfather collar shirt in the Liberty of London print “Ernest’s Adventure” sit alongside Handwoven Donegal Tweed jackets and our signature, sophisticated suits with a focus on fit and comfort. 

 

Two new styles join the women’s outerwear collection- “The Josie” is a contemporary short Donegal Tweed coat in a warm red herringbone, a bright and easy to wear number for your winter wardrobe.  

In a continuation of the commitment to developing Irish wool for use in our textiles – with wool sourced from Irish sheep and spun and woven in Donegal –  the second new style is the “Irish Wool Jessica”, a classic swing coat in a timeless red plaid, the perfect style for winter race meets or days outdoors. Classic styles like the Emma, Linsfort and Grace, a long, hacking style coat, return in new tweeds, designed and woven in Donegal. 

This season, preppy short tweed jackets and printed shirts are complemented by a beautiful knitwear collection featuring luxurious cashmere blends and chunky Donegal handknits. Cashmere/merino knits, made in Scotland, offer cloud-like softness in three different styles – crewneck, funnel neck and a casual Fair Isle. Light enough to style under a Donegal Tweed Jacket, these luxurious, versatile pieces are designed to seamlessly integrate into your wardrobe and keep you cozy on long country walks. 

Shop in store or online from August.

Irish sheep are synonymous with our landscape, but are not known for their soft wool. At Magee 1866 we are part of a wider movement to develop Irish Wool for use in fine textiles and have been working closely with our yarn supplier, Donegal Yarns, on an exciting journey to introduce Irish Wool into our collections. 

This all began in 2016 with Patrick Temple, CEO of Magee Weaving, having a conversation with Chris Weiner of Donegal Yarns. It was the 150th anniversary of the company, and Patrick had been reviewing the extensive weaving archives and noted that in the past, Irish wool had a strong presence in our collections.  

With that, the idea was born to work together to encourage Irish farmers to breed sheep for their wool.  

Wool as a natural fibre has been used in textiles for centuries. Magee was founded on handwoven tweed in the 1800’s. This hardwearing, coarse fabric was handwoven across Donegal by part-time fishermen and farmers as the perfect fabric for dissipating the damp and cold weather, so often found in North-west Ireland, a far cry from the luxurious cloths being produced today.  

Our ethos as a company has always been slow fashion and to use natural fibres, with the global drive towards a more sustainable future this has never been more relevant. Wool encompasses this aim perfectly – it is natural, biodegradable, recyclable and renewable. 

Due to our climate, wool from Irish sheep traditionally has a rougher handle (the fibres are shorter) than their southern hemisphere counterparts and is more often used in carpeting than in clothing, but unfortunately the demand in recent years for this product has been steadily declining.  

In Ireland sheep are bred for their milk and meat. There are over 2.5 million sheep here and their wool is currently classified as ‘waste’ with little to no value. Over the last year spinners, weavers and designers are looking to new ways to use this natural product and re-classify its use in order to give it value and properly develop the end use.  

Today, we are working closely with farmers and Donegal Yarns to source finer wool from Irish sheep to re-ignite positivity around this fantastic and ‘local’ raw material. The wool is sourced from across Ireland and spun in Kilcar, ready to be designed and woven into luxurious fabrics at our mill in Donegal Town. 

For Spring Summer 2021 the Emma Coat is our first piece to showcase Irish Wool. This contemporary, oversized coat with patch pockets is available in two soft, misty colours. Our design team have drawn inspiration from our natural surroundings in Donegal for this unique fabric – blue-grey skies, the sea, rocks and lichen. Launching in Spring (more associated with lighter-weight fabrics) we wanted to create colours and a piece that would work all year round in a wool – a soft grey & cream and blue & grey.  

We have been weaving for 5 generations, like us, Irish Wool is not here today and gone tomorrow. We are in this for the long haul, and look forward to making Irish Wool a part of our future across our collections.  

Shop Magee 1866 X Irish Wool.

We are excited to announce the introduction of Irish Wool in our collections. A project very close to our hearts and something that has been in the pipeline for some time.  

At Magee 1866 we are part of the wider movement towards a more sustainable future and we are committed to developing and using Irish Wool in our collections. We are working with Donegal Yarns, a local yarn supplier beside us in Kilcar, on sourcing wool from Irish farms across the country.

The raw wool is then spun by Donegal Yarns into fine yarn and designed and woven into luxury cloth at our Mill in Donegal Town. 

Our commitment doesn’t end there, Patrick Temple, CEO of Magee Weaving, and fifth generation family member, has also teamed up with sheep farmer James Lorinyenko to develop fine Irish Wool on the family farm at Rathforker, just outside Donegal Town with fields overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 

For Spring Summer 2021 the Emma Coat is our first piece to showcase Irish Wool. A contemporary, oversized coat with patch pockets. Available in two soft, misty colours – inspired by Donegal skies, the sea, stone walls and lichen. A blue & grey and grey & cream Donegal tweed. We hope you will love these pieces as much as we do.  

Irish Wool is not here today and gone tomorrow, we are in for the long haul and this movement will evolve season after season through our collections. Keep an eye out for more in our AW21 collection. 

Shop Magee 1866 X Irish Wool.

 While we have all been spending a lot more time at home over the last year, we have been working  behind the scenes on our Interiors Collection, which is made in Ireland.  

Our beautiful range of throws, accessories and fabrics are designed and woven in our mill in Donegal Town and will add the perfect Spring refresh to your interiors.  Drawing on the land and seascapes that surround us in Donegal, our experienced in-house design team work closely together, carefully selecting appropriate yarns and colours for each piece.  

Throws  

The two latest additions are our Brigid’s Cross and Wigwam Throws.  

The Brigid’s Cross Throw – The intricate design of this 100% wool throw is inspired by the iconic  Saint Brigid’s Cross.  Synonymous with the beginning of Spring, this well-known symbol in Irish heritage is presented here in a rich textured weave combining luxurious shades of blue, grey and unexpected flecks of colour inspired by the Donegal coast. Also available in a rich brown combination, a reflection of the rugged landscapes of the north-west.   

Wigwam Throw – Bright, fresh colours for spring. Our energising range of Wigwam Throws make a statement. The eye-catching geometric design in 100% lambswool creates a rich texture, highlighting the vibrant tones and enhancing the colourful Donegal flecks. With nearly every colour of the rainbow represented, you will find a throw to compliment your interior scheme.   

Cushions  

One of the easiest ways to refresh your interiors is with accessories. Our selection of tweed cushions, available in lambswool or a lush cashmere lambswool blend, come in neutral earth tones. The classic and delicate herringbone Donegal tweed is woven at our mill and the cushions are filled with a luxurious duck down filling.   

Furnishing Fabrics   

Our collection of tweed by the metre offers endless opportunity for upholstery, drapery or soft furnishings.  From our core range of signature Donegal Tweeds to special, limited edition collections, these furnishing specific fabrics are designed to last, and provide a sustainable option perfect for commercial or domestic projects.   

Shop our Home Interiors collection.

We’re all looking a bit closer to home for our getaways this year, and we might be bias, but Donegal really does have it all. Voted ‘Coolest Place on the Planet’ by National Geographic in 2017, whether you’re looking for adventurous outdoor pursuits, a bit of luxury or breathtaking scenery, there is something here for you.

Here are some of our family’s top tips for things to see and do on a three-day staycation in Donegal.

Stay

Base yourself at the Lough Eske Castle Hotel, this 5-star award winning hotel and spa is nestled at the foot of the Blue Stack Mountains just five miles from Donegal Town. From Cedars Restaurant you can take in sweeping views of the castle gardens and surrounding woodland while enjoying simple, exquisitely fresh ingredients prepared to perfection.

Day 1

After you get settled at the hotel, take the short, 10-minute drive into Donegal Town – a lively spot all year round. The epic Donegal Castle, built in 1474 sits on the banks of the River Eske and was the stronghold of the O’Donnell clan, one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland. Pop over the bridge and you’ll find the start of the Donegal Bank Trail, a pleasant scenic stroll along the river that takes you out to Donegal Bay and back.

The Diamond is the main hub of Donegal Town, surrounded by café’s and restaurants and our Magee of Donegal shop, which stands on the site of the original drapers shop, founded in 1866. Here we specialise in Magee men’s and women’s wear and accessories – designed and made in Ireland. Other brands include – Barbour, Dubarry, Seasalt and luxury Irish made gifts including Newbridge Silver. Call ahead to arrange a weaving demonstration in our heritage room or take a break at the Weaver’s Loft café where we focus on a seasonal menu and home baking.

Day 2

Time to explore the Wild Atlantic Way. Just up the coast is Mountcharles Pier, stop for a coffee at the small café there, and have a splash in the ocean if you feel up for it. After enjoying the views across the bay, head to Salthill Gardens, built within old stone walls, this contemporary garden is bursting with flowers, shrubs and vegetables. Wander the paths, peer through rod iron garden gates, and feel as if you’ve stepped into the pages of The Secret Garden. (Open 1 May to 30 September 2020).

Continuing along the coast you will find Killybegs, Ireland’s largest fishing port. Just in time for lunch, The Seafood Shack  will not disappoint. Famous for their seafood chowder (winner of Ireland’s Best Chowder at the 9th All Ireland Chowder Cook Off in Kinsale in 2019) the rest of their offering is delicious too, freshly prepared local seafood all to be enjoyed al fresco accompanied by views of the sea and busy fishing boats.

Onward to Sliabh Liag , the highest sea cliffs in Europe. Stretching to over 600m above sea level, the views are unmissable. Drive to the top of the cliffs, or park and enjoy the hike.

Take the loop back through the winding Glengesh Pass to the heritage town of Ardara, a must for fans of traditional Irish music and also a town steeped in the wool trade. A busy market town, in the late 19th century our founder John Magee would visit the market in Ardara to buy and sell handwoven tweeds. On your return, treat yourself to a delicious dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant at Harvey’s Point Hotel on Lough Eske. Their seven-course tasting dinner is the perfect way to enjoy the best of Irish produce.

Day 3

Head north to Glenveagh National Park, the second largest national park in Ireland covering 170 square kilometres of hillside above Glenveagh Castle on the shore of Lough Veagh. The park hosts a variety of walking trails to suit everyone from the novice to experienced hiker. The fresh air and stunning views are guaranteed to blow away all your cobwebs. If hiking isn’t your thing, cycling and fishing are also on offer as well as a relaxed stroll through the castle’s walled Victorian gardens.

We hope you enjoy your trip through our home county and the landscapes that have inspired our talented weavers and designers for more than 150 years.


The colour pink can be romantic and beautiful but also bright and vivacious. Its adaptability is just one of the reasons we love to incorporate pink into our cloths and collections.

This season we celebrate the full spectrum of the colour – from the hot and brave pinks with riotous colour bursts reminiscent of the joyful Holi Festival of Colour (and the addictive Candy Crush game), to the relaxed and delicate blush tones that evoke a tranquil vibe powerfully rooted in the authenticity and assurance of nature.  

The Subtle Pink Twist

The Grace coat has returned with a luxury multicoloured twist. The exaggerated cotton, wool and silk blend sharkskin weave, features dusky pinks, aqua and sea blues and off-white chunky yarns, interwoven with contemporary gold and silver lurex for a little bit of dazzle!

The Hot Pink

Our hot pink Lily Donegal Tweed jacket provides a luxurious burst of colour to any outfit. The lightweight tweed, designed and woven at our mill by our skilled weavers, is dappled with flecks of teal and purple. The jacket’s princess seams, peak lapel and a cut-away front give it a flattering, feminine appearance without sacrificing on comfort.

Floral Pinks

Soft pastel colours of violet, ochre and aqua are contrasted against a soft pink base in a wonderfully ornate Liberty Kew garden’s floral print on our Tracy tailored fit shirt. Designed and drawn in the Liberty of London Fabrics studio in a fine line style, this print offers a dreamy and delicate interpretation of Kew Gardens’ tropical flora. Liberty of London Tana Lawn Cotton’s distinctive hand-feel and translucent softness make it a versatile favourite.

Picks for Him

A summery blend of cotton, silk and linen perfectly showcase the dusky pink check in this classic fit Liffey jacket. Designed and woven in Ireland, this opulent fabric blend is light and airy. Styled with a crisp white Irish linen shirt and chinos, this jacket is an ideal way to introduce some colour into your summer wardrobe.

If you’re still a little shy of colour, a great way to dip your toe in, is with knitwear. Styled under jackets or over shirts, a pop of pink, like our Carn Cotton ¼ Zip Jumper, elevates an outfit while keeping you comfortable and warm.

Pink in our Home and Accessory Collections

Another reason we love pink is because it reminds us of home. This time of year, the roses in Salthill’s garden (Mum’s) are in full bloom and provide endless inspiration for our accessory collection.

Pale pink checks and herringbones in the softest blends of wool, cashmere and alpaca, woven in Donegal by us bring a touch of luxury to your interiors.

Pink and White Large Herringbone Pashmina, White, Grey and Pink Patchwork Throw, Pale Pink Herringbone Donegal Tweed Cushion

Colour is at the heart of what we do at Magee 1866, in the 1960’s our mill started to focus on more colourful fabrics, moving away from the functional, hardwearing tweeds which sometimes lacked colour into more design lead cloths, inspired by our surrounding land and seascape. The ‘true Donegal tweed’ is a salt and pepper which is speckled with bright colours – gorse yellows, sea blues, sky greys, mossy greens, fuchsia pinks and leafy reds and oranges.

Blue is one of my favourite colours and a seasonal classic – summer or winter and a colour that works across men’s, women’s and home accessories. We take much of our inspiration from nature and in Donegal we are surrounded by blues – the sea, the sky (albeit often grey!), flowers and our landscape. The mountains near Donegal town are aptly named the Bluestack mountains.

Murvagh beach with the Bluestack mountains in the distance.

We use blue across many pieces from the more formal to casual. It is an easy colour to wear and has such an amazing colour palette from classic navies to mid-denim to pale blues. I love this herringbone mid-blue Emma coat – with a soft creamy white contrast.

Blue is a beautiful colour to incorporate into your home, on its own in varying shades or mixed with oats, greys or creams.

One of my favourite accessories – our Donegal tweed teddy bears – this one is made in a beautiful blue salt & pepper tweed.

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