One of the oldest fabrics in the world, the tradition and history of weaving linen in Ireland goes back hundreds of years.
It is made from the flax plant, which is a really versatile crop that’s cultivated for yarn and food (flax is where linseed comes from).
Linen is a sustainable, natural material, known for its cool, fresh properties. A staple for the summer season. It’s easy to dress up or down, taking you from workdays and warm-weather weddings to casual weekend adventures.
At our mill in Donegal, we design and weave linen namely for tailored garments – suits and blazers and for our range of fabrics by the metre. Suitable for use in apparel and home furnishing projects, this season’s Limited Edition collection features a muted pallet of soft, light colours in glen checks and herringbone weaves.
For shirting, we look to our friends Baird McNutt, another long-established mill in the north of Ireland. A timeless hopsack linen is used in our women’s Ella tunics and beautifully tailored men’s shirts. These are truly investment pieces designed and made to last.
Summer is officially here, and it’s a good time to take a look at some of our favourite things to do in Donegal, our home.
Take a Dip
We are spoiled in Donegal with fantastic beaches, over 100 of them in fact. They’re so good, Donegal features not once but twice in Condé Nast Traveller’s list of the top beaches in Ireland. Donegal also boasts the joint highest number of Blue Flag Beaches in Ireland for the 2021 season at 14.
Whether you’re interested in swimming, surfing, stand up paddle boarding, or if you’re a book under a parasol type, there is a beach for you!
Among our favourites is Murvagh Beach, just south of Donegal town. Stretching for nearly 2km, and backed with sand dunes, there’s plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy.
At the mouth of Lough Swilly, Portsalon beach is sheltered from the North Atlantic, making it the perfect spot for a swim.
We can’t leave out Mountcharles Pier, our local beach where the Temple family grew up and spent many happy summer days as children. Chairman Lynn Temple swims in the ocean all year round with his Labrador Riley. We recommend warming up post-swim in Salthill Cabin with a hot cuppa and take a walk around the petting farm, complete with Donegal’s very own lamas!
The pier is also where the family boat sets sail from. A traditional, wooden Galway Hooker, Sandpiper has even played host to a couple of Magee 1866 photoshoots.
Take a Stroll
Be it exploring the 1,000 kilometers of coastline or climbing the ‘hills of Donegal’, there are always plenty of walks to discover.
Ireland’s highest sea cliffs, Sliabh Liag is located along the Wild Atlantic Way and offers breathtaking panoramic views across Donegal Bay. With multiple walking trails to choose from and a wealth of history and culture to explore, a trip to Sliabh Liag is well worth it.
For a day out, Glenveagh National Park has it all. The rugged mountain landscape is contrasted by the beautiful walled gardens of Glenveagh Castle, nestled beside Lough Beagh at the centre of the park. Enjoy the network of trails for walking or cycling as well as the breathtaking scenery, waterfalls, flora and fauna.
If you are looking for some hills to tackle, head out to Lough Eske, the gateway into the Bluestack Mountains. CEO Rosy, often nips out after work with a map and trail runners for an escape into the unspoiled wilderness of this area. Look out for the odd grouse or cool off with a swim in the magical Lough Belshade.
Take a Bite
Our location on the North West of Ireland means we’re famous for our fish, with Killybegs being Ireland’s premier sea port. Try out the Killybegs Seafood Shack and enjoy fresh fish and chips sitting on the harbour wall. Or take a drive out to Mullinasole and check in to the Salmon Inn for delicious seafood with views over the bay.
Take it Easy
We love a wander around Donegal Town on a summer’s afternoon, exploring the architecture of Donegal Castle and walking along the banks of the River Eske.
There is no place quite like it when the sun shines on The Diamond – the main hub of the town, surrounded by cafés, bars, restaurants and our Magee of Donegal store which has stood on the same site since first opened as a draper’s store by John Magee in the 1800’s.
A true destination shopping experience, at Magee of Donegal we showcase our Magee 1866 men’s and women’s collections alongside our accessories and home interiors collections – designed and made in Ireland.
Our Made to Measure area offers an oasis of calm while you select the perfect combination of luxury fabrics and trims for your own tailor-made pieces. For tired shoppers, The Weaver’s Loft Bistro* focuses on a seasonal menu and home baking and is the perfect stopover.
If you want to be in with a chance to win a holiday in Donegal, we have partnered with Harvey’s Point Hotel for an exclusive giveaway.
We are offering one lucky winner a Magee 1866 Summer look to the value of €600 and a midweek stay at the magnificent Harvey’s Point Hotel consisting of 2 nights B&B as well as an evening meal for two on the night of your choice.
To enter head over to our Facebook or Instagram profiles and follow the instructions on the post.
Giveaway closes at 11.59pm GMT on Wednesday, 30 June 2021.
* Currently closed in line with Government restrictions.
Another long-established brand, founded in the 19th Century like us, Liberty of London have brought unique design and beautiful fabrics to the world since 1875.
We love working with the iconic Liberty of London and have been incorporating their original prints into our collections since the late 1990’s.
Luxury fabrics are at the heart of what we do at Magee 1866 with our own tweeds and linens, which we design and weave at our mill in Donegal, so it makes sense that we would look to Liberty of London to collaborate.
This season, Liberty of London prints complement the collection with watercolour and hand-painted florals, providing pops of unexpected summer colour in Liberty’s signature Tana Lawn™ cotton. A masterpiece of fabric technology, this fine cotton has a distinctive hand-feel and translucent, silk-like softness.
Highlights include the Hannah shirt in ‘Felda’, a dreamy watercolour print of meadow flowers, available in a delicate blue or soft pink.
Equally suited to the beach or weekend wear, the casual Ella Tunic brings summer vibrancy with the colourful prints ‘Oleander’– a tropical pink and green floral – and ‘Jungle Trip’ – a layered tangle of flowers and foliage in blues and yellows.
After a long break, due to restrictions in response to the pandemic, our three stores are now back open and to say we are excited is an understatement!
As a 5th generation family business, our customers are so important to us, over the years we have built up strong relationships and we are delighted to be able to reconnect again face-to-face.
We are very proud of our stores and teams who deliver a very special Magee 1866 experience, if you haven’t visited before, let us introduce you.
MAGEE OF DONEGAL
The Magee of Donegal store has stood on the same site on The Diamond in Donegal town since first opened as a draper’s store by John Magee in the 1800’s.
At that time business owners lived over their premises with their family and staff, one census records 12 residents including the Magee family, two milliners, four apprentices and John Magee’s draper’s assistant and cousin – Robert Temple, who went on to buy the business in 1900 and whose family are still at the helm today – Lynn, Charlotte, Paddy and Rosy.
Magee was founded on handwoven tweed and our weaving mill located just across the river from the shop on the banks of the River Eske, is still the beating heart of everything we do.
A true destination shopping experience, at Magee of Donegal we showcase our Magee 1866 men’s and women’s collections alongside our accessories and home interiors collections – designed and made in Ireland. Our Made to Measure area offers an oasis of calm while you select the perfect combination of luxury fabrics and trims for your own tailor-made pieces.
We also showcase various complementary brands across men’s, women’s and gifts. While closed we were busy working behind the scenes, updating the store and adding new brands and spaces for customers to explore. The biggest update was moving our gifts to the ground floor, giving more room to our special selection of Irish brands.
The Weaver’s Loft Bistro* focuses on a seasonal menu and home baking and is the perfect stopover for tired shoppers. * Currently closed in line with Government restrictions.
MAGEE 1866 AT ARNOTTS
Our first store outside of Donegal, Magee 1866 at Arnotts opened in 1997 and specialises in our men’s collection – originally, we focused on suits and jackets but now over half the space is dedicated to our casual collection.
We have been specialising in exquisite tailoring for over 150 years, our Made to Measure experts are passionate about tailoring and are on hand to help you find the perfect fit. Book an appointment here.
Over two floors, you enter the world of Magee 1866. The space is designed to reflect the Magee 1866 lifestyle – casual styles sit side by side with tailoring across both our men’s and women’s collections. True to our Donegal Tweed roots, an old swatch book from our mill is proudly on display.
South Anne Street also offers our extensive selection of accessories and home interiors along with our Made to Measure service, making it a one stop shop for quality Irish design in the heart of Dublin city centre.
The site of many launches, fashion shows and events over the past number of years, we look forward to gatherings again in not-too-distant future.
The health and well-being of our customers and our teams remains a priority. The current government guidelines around the wearing of masks and social distancing applies in all our stores.
If you have any enquiries our customer service team will be happy to help, simply get in touch via our social media or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To make an appointment for our Made to Measure service, please book online or enquire in store.
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.
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.
Green is the colour perhaps most synonymous with Ireland – our fields and hedgerows, leafy green trees and mossy banks. It’s these unique landscapes that inspire our designers when creating our fabrics and collections.
To mark St. Patrick’s Day, we’ve collected some of our favourite green pieces.
Handwoven Salt & Pepper Donegal Tweed Jacket
A true Donegal Tweed, the salt & pepper weave is rich in colourful flecks, inspired by the flora and fauna found in the Northwest of Ireland. Handwoven in Donegal, this timeless green jacket is part of a long history of handweaving in Ireland, the foundation of our fifth-generation family business and a traditional and skilled craft we are proud to support.
The colour green is really versatile, you only need to look at a bunch of flowers to see that there is barely a shade it doesn’t compliment! Our Lunnaigh Lambswool V-Neck Jumper will integrate seamlessly into your wardrobe.
These books are Made in Ireland with tweed designed and woven at our mill, this capsule collection of tweed notebooks speak to Ireland’s long literary tradition. Who knows, a future great novel or poem might be being penned in one as we speak!
The vibrant green of this Wigwam Throw, designed and woven at our mill on the banks of the River Eske, brings this intricate geometric pattern to life. Dappled with colourful Donegal flecks, this throw will add a touch of spring to your interiors.
It’s been a tough year for everyone. Lockdowns, separated from the ones we love and the dreaded homeschooling!
This Mother’s Day, more than ever, you should take the chance to spoil your mum. We spoke to some of the Magee 1866 team about how they are going to celebrate this year.
Charlotte – Design Director
“As a mum of three young kids, Mother’s Day is usually marked by cuddles and cards in bed – their weekend clock can be pretty early so I am not sure a lie-in is on the agenda! My kids love art and I have some very special cards and pictures from the last few years. Mother’s Day to me means spring, so we try to spend some time outdoors, usually that would include a visit to my parents but this year we’ll FaceTime instead. My ideal Mother’s Day gift would be our Grey Donegal Tweed Lily Jacket, it’s the perfect style for this time of year and looks great paired with skinny jeans and white trainers for an off-duty Sunday.”
Sorcha – Digital Marketing
“I won’t get to see my mum this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make a fuss. My mum loves to accessories, so I’ve picked one of our gorgeous new Glen Check wide scarves, designed and woven here in Donegal. The neutral grey shade is really versatile and with the Irish weather the way it is I’m confident she will get many opportunities to wear it.”
Daniel – Ecommerce Manager
“With two young boys at home, the greatest gift I could give my wife is the day off! Me and the boys will head out for the afternoon and leave my wife to relax and catch up on her favourite Netflix shows. Our Wigwam throws are ideal for tucking up in on the couch, the boys can buy the chocolates.
Don’t forget – Mother’s Day is Sunday, 14th March 2021. Explore our gift guide here.
Like most things, this Valentine’s Day is going to be a little different, BUT if you are lucky enough to be with your love this year, there are still lots of ways to mark the day and we have some ideas…
A Romantic Walk
Although it’s technically spring, you shouldn’t ditch the layers just yet. Before you head out for a nice romantic walk (withing the restrictions, of course), pop on our Glenveigh Quilted Jacket or wrap up in a warm lambswool pashmina, designed and woven at our mill in Donegal.
Dress for Dinner
OK so you can’t go out, but that doesn’t stop you from dressing for dinner. Go all out in your finest tweed suit, light a candle and break out the table linens. Whether you’re ordering in or cooking from scratch, this will certainly make an impact.
Low-key Picnic for Two
Bring the outdoors in with a picnic (or brave your garden all wrapped up!). Take a throw – our colourful Wigwam Collection, designed and woven in Donegal is a good choice – and a couple of luxurious, duck-down filled tweed cushions, and you have the makings of a charming picnic for two.
Take up Poetry
There is no better time in the year to profess your love than Valentine’s Day, and no better medium to do it than poetry. Our Donegal Tweed Notebooks are made in Ireland and are the perfect vehicle for you to present the fruits of your creative labour.
We’ve gathered together our top Winter Sale picks, pieces that are made to last and timeless design that you to will return to season after season.
As a fifth-generation family business with over 150 years’ experience in designing, weaving and tailoring, we have always been about ‘slow fashion’ and creating styles that will stand the test of time. Each piece in the Magee 1866 collection has been designed and made with longevity in mind.
Explore our top picks for men, women and home.
Maroon Handwoven Jacket
A Donegal Tweed jacket is a wardrobe workhorse, a versatile and truly unique garment, it can be easily dressed up or down. This indulgent merlot herringbone tweed, with lavender, olive, rust, cobalt & mustard flecks is designed and handwoven in Donegal. Now 20% off.
Whether you chose crew neck, V-neck or ¼ zip, a cotton jumper is a staple all year round. Layer over shirts or under jackets, (a crew neck works really well on its own or with a t-shirt). Our beautiful quality knits will integrate seamlessly into your casual wardrobe. Now 20% off.
Navy Micro Design 3-Piece Tailored Fit Mix & Match Suit
A timeless navy suit, perfect for both the office and more formal occasions. This contemporary style features a subtle micro design and is part of our three-piece Mix & Match suit offering. Now 20% off.
Our social diaries may be a little on the quiet side these days but the events will happen again and you should be prepared. Our dress collar formal shirts come in Classic or Tailored Fit and single or double cuff. Now 30% off.
Part of our ‘Casual Luxe’ collection, the Clogher t-shirt is available in grey, navy or stripes. Made from luxuriously soft cotton in a relaxed fit with curved hem, these are basics at their best. Now 20% off.
A firm favourite in the Magee 1866 Women’s Collection, this lambswool jacket in navy Salt & Pepper Donegal Tweed, with its slightly slanted pockets, princess seams, peak lapel and cut-away front, give it a tailored, waisted appearance without sacrificing on comfort. Style over a dress or jeans for a put together look. Now 20% off.
Treat yourself to luxury. Our Clooney Cardigan Coat is a standout piece from our winter collection. This truly special and timeless cashmere wool blend in pewter and vanilla houndstooth is the epitome of indulgence. Featuring a deep shawl collar, waist belt and hand-warmer pockets, this style is perfect for cocooning in on winter days. Now 20% off.
A classic wardrobe staple, the cashmere-blend Beatrice cardigan is available in black, navy or plum. The slim-fitting silhouette features a round neck and 3/4 length sleeves and looks great styled alone or over a shirt. Now 50% off.
Every wardrobe needs a pashmina. In Ireland, we wear ours no matter what the season. Woven in a beautifully soft cashmere-lambswool blend at our mill in Donegal, this is a piece you will reach for time and time again. Now 20% off.
Update your interiors for the new year. Our range of Donegal Tweed cushions are designed and woven at our mill in Donegal in patterns and colours inspired by the land seascapes that surround us, and filled with a luxurious duck-down filling. Now 20% off.