In a continuation of our commitment to developing Irish wool for use in our textiles, we are proud to present the latest additions to the Magee 1866 X Irish Wool collection.
At Magee 1866, we are part of a wider movement to develop and use Irish Wool in our textiles. We have been working with Donegal Yarns, a local yarn supplier just up the road in Kilcar on sourcing wool from Irish farms across the country.
Patrick Temple, CEO of Magee Weaving has also teamed up with sheep farmer James Lorinko to develop fine Irish Wool on the family farm at Rathforker, just outside Donegal Town and with fields overlooking the Atlantic.
The wool is then spun by Donegal Yarns and designed and woven into fabric at our Mill in Donegal Town. The tweed is washed in the peaty waters of the River Eske resulting in a beautifully soft finish.
This season sees three new styles in Irish Wool.
The Irish Wool Jessicais a classic swing coat in a bold, oversized charcoal, red and white check, the perfect style for winter race meets or days outdoors.
The Irish Wool Millyis an unlined, unstructured blazer style jacket in a charcoal and red houndstooth Donegal Tweed. This easy to wear piece will quickly become your new go-to jacket.
The first men’s piece to launch in the Magee 1866 X Irish Wool Collection is the Erne. A bestselling style, this short, contemporary Donegal Tweed overcoat is woven in a rich red, green, grey and navy check and is perfect for layering over suits and jackets. Coming soon…
This September sees the return of our annual ‘Heritage Month’, a showcase of our rich history and over 150 years’ experience designing, weaving and tailoring luxurious fabrics, clothing and accessories in Donegal.
Throughout the month we will explore the history and heritage of Magee 1866 through the celebration of ‘Wool’. What are the processes, what makes it so special, and why, after 150 years is it still so relevant for our brand?
We wouldn’t be where we are without wool. This natural, sustainable, nearly magical fibre was our foundation in 1866 and is at the core of our business today.
In the 19th century, founder John Magee would visit monthly tweed markets across south-west Donegal, trading directly with the weavers. These coarse fabrics were hand woven in the homes of fishermen and farmers, usually in the winter when agriculture was at its quietest. Farming and weaving have always gone hand in hand, the yarns were usually spun in the same home as they were woven. Sustainability as we know it now was a way of life back then. This hardwearing fabric was used across Ireland to dissipate the damp and cold climate for those working on the land. Wool is a natural ‘wicking’ fabric – i.e., it absorbs moisture and carries it away from the body.
Now, over 150 years on, wool is still central to our collections. The process from sheep to garment involves many steps, but these fundamentally haven’t changed since John Magee’s days. Sustainable fabric and high-quality, long-lasting products define our DNA. 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 northwest of Ireland, bringing a contemporary edge to an age-old craft.
However, wool fleeces are seen as a bi-product of the Irish farming industry, (sheep are breed for milk and meat), resulting in very poor price for farmers. 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 reintroduce Irish Wool into our collections. Working closely with farmers across Ireland and Donegal Yarns to source finer wool from Irish sheep to re-ignite positivity around this fantastic and ‘local’ raw material.
From the origins of the company in the 1800s, based on handwoven tweed originating in Donegal, to our latest initiative, Magee 1866 X Irish Wool, over the course of the month we will explore wool as a material, its applications within our collections and the craft, skill and expertise that goes into creating luxurious products with wool. We will delve into the archives and celebrate wool.
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.
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.