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Magee Tweed

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We had a chat with some of the Magee 1866 team about what they would like to find wrapped up under their tree this Christmas. 

Charlotte | Creative Director  

Wish list – Fern Throw

“Cosying up on the sofa with the kids under one of the new brightly coloured throws to watch a Christmas film (‘A Boy Called Christmas’ is our favourite) is my idea of bliss. If my children are reading this (or husband!) this is what I would love for Christmas.”  


Daniel | Ecommerce Manager  

Wish list – Sheelin Jacket

“I love the new Sheelin jacket in the Blackwatch check. It’s warm and comfortable but smart enough to pair with jeans for a Christmas night out with friends.” 


Kieran | Assistant Manager – Magee of Donegal  

Wish list – Achill Polo Jumper

“You can never have too much knitwear. I love the Achill polo jumper, it’s a nice casual alternative to a shirt under a Donegal Tweed jacket or just on its own. Lightweight and super soft thanks to the cashmere, yet warm and cosy. A great layering piece.”


Sorcha | Digital Marketing Manager  

Wish list – Nessa Coat

“One of my favourite things to do on Christmas morning is to go out for a walk with family and plan the day ahead. Weather in the Northwest can be unpredictable to say the least, so the Nessa coat would be perfect! The quilting and longer length mean I can pop it on over a jumper and jeans and wrap up well in one of my Magee 1866 scarves. Ideal!” 


Rosy | CEO – Magee Clothing  

Wish list – Clodagh Jacket

“Christmas is a really busy time, travelling around to catch up with family and friends with lots of different events. I would love to find the Clodagh shirt jacket (the herringbone one in a luxury baby alpaca blend) under the tree, it’s so versatile and will go with so many different looks – both smart and casual.“ 

This year, we are offering 20% off online and in store* as part of our Black Friday event. 

We always encourage considered shopping, and investing in quality pieces, so want you to use this opportunity to find something you will enjoy for years to come. 

Donegal Tweed Jackets & Blazers 

Crafted in tweed, designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, our selection of Donegal Tweed blazers for men and women are designed to stand the test of time. We pay special attention to the fit and comfort of each garment. The fabric is luxuriously soft, washed in the peaty waters of the River Eske. Fabrics are colourful – country inspired greens and browns crossed with blue and burgundy checks, classic Salt & Pepper urban blacks and greys with a hint of seasonal red and a range of timeless blues – from navy to contemporary micro checks. 

Cashmere Blend Knits 

Organic cotton and cashmere are blended for a touch of luxury in this selection of lightweight knits. The high-quality, natural fibres make these pieces ideal for layering, making them go-to styles you will reach time and time again. Styles for men includes 1970’s inspired turtlenecks, polo necks (a great alternative to a shirt) and for women classic crew and V-necks. Colours include black, honey yellow, spice red, navy, moss green and grey.  

The Rebecca Shirt Dress 

A classic shape, the belted Rebecca shirt dress looks just as chic with leather boots in winter as it does with trainers in spring. A style you can wear all year round in two striking Liberty of London prints and a lush striped Irish Linen, designed, woven, and finished at our mill. 

Irish Linen Shirt 

Renewable and biodegradable, linen comes from an all-natural source, offering a rich, soft feeling that cannot be imitated by synthetic fibres. It is also truly sustainable – requiring less water and land to grow than cotton, for example, and it can be processed without chemicals. 

The relaxed look of linen and its natural breathable properties make it the perfect choice for pieces we wear close to our skin like shirts. We love to style a linen shirt under a Donegal Tweed jacket or gilet for a put together look   

Home Interior Throws 

Designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, our talented designers look to the local land and seascapes for inspiration when creating our range of throws. Crafted using the finest natural fibres, these cosy throws make a great gift for friends, or for yourself!  

*Excludes Outlet 

Our carefully curated gift guides have something for everyone this Christmas. Bringing together a luxurious selection of ideas from across our collections, you can be assured that each piece has been designed and made with longevity in mind and will be enjoyed and treasured for years to come. 

As a 5th generation Irish family business, we are acutely aware of the importance of spending time with family and stressing about gifting should be the last thing on your mind. Our collections focus on slow fashion and high-quality pieces that will stand the test of time.

For Her 

Contemporary tweeds, designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, are paired with timeless styles in the women’s range of jackets and coats. These are show stopping pieces that will bring a smile to anyone’s face on Christmas morning. 

Lightweight and luxuriously soft, our new range of organic cotton and cashmere blend jumpers are available in two styles – the Imogen and Eve – and a range of festive hues. For fans of colour, look no further than our selection of Liberty of London print shirts and tunics in a deliciously soft cotton. 

For Him

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. New styles the Clifden turtleneck and Port fisherman rib cardigan both pay homage to Ireland’s long standing fishing traditions and join a range of knitwear focusing on natural fibres including lambswool and organic cotton and cashmere blends.  

There is always space in his wardrobe for a beautifully made shirt, from Irish Linen to super soft flannel and traditional checks, you will find something to suit his style. These styles pair perfectly with our signature Donegal Tweed jackets, choose from tailored or classic fit and for someone extra special, explore the pieces in handwoven tweed. 

Made in Ireland

Our weaving mill in Donegal Town, on the banks of the river Eske, is still the beating heart of everything we do at Magee. 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. Our exclusive range of scarves, pashminas, and home interior throws are designed and made in Ireland in a range of colours and patterns inspired by the land and seascapes of Donegal. 

Stocking Fillers 

Look to our Donegal Tweed accessories for fantastic stocking fillers, from notebooks to teddy bears to the classic tweed cap, available in two styles – the flat cap and baker. Fill their home with luxurious scents with a selection of candles and diffusers, made in Ireland. And if you are just not sure, you can’t go wrong with a gift voucher.   

Complimentary gift wrapping availble.

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. 

WOMEN’S

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.

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 black and cream check.  

Constantly developing new and interesting styles in our own fabrics, the Clodagh 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. 

MEN’S

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.  

WOMEN’S

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. 

MEN’S

  

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.

Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to hear about new arrivals.

The European Commission are proposing a framework to protect the intellectual property for craft and industrial products including Donegal Tweed. 

At Magee 1866, we are delighted to see the announcement from the EU Commission on the preliminary steps towards providing geographical protection for “craft and industrial products that rely on the originality and authenticity of traditional practices from their regions”. This framework will cover Donegal Tweed as well as products like Murano Glass and Porcelaine de Limoges and is similar to the protection offered to Champagne, Feta cheese and the Waterford Blaa under their “Protected Geographical indication” (PGI) status. 

Patrick Temple, 5th generation family member and CEO of Magee Weaving, has been active in this campaign, starting with initial submissions to the EU a decade ago. Since then, Patrick has been working closely with other weavers in Co. Donegal, with vital support from the Design & Crafts Council Ireland and marketing and business consultant Muiris Kennedy, to champion this cause. This will be of huge benefit to weavers in Co. Donegal and to the long-term brand protection of Donegal Tweed. 

“Europe has an exceptional legacy of world-renown crafts and industrial products. It is time that these producers benefit from a new intellectual property right, like food and wine producers, that will increase trust and visibility for their products, guaranteeing authenticity and reputation. Today’s initiative will contribute to the creation of skilled jobs especially for SMEs and to the development of tourism also in the more rural or economically weak areas.” 

EU Commissioner for Internal Markets, Thierry Breton 

 
Donegal Tweed is an iconic part of the counties’ centuries old weaving tradition and is unique as a woven fabric due to the contrasting colourful neps/bur spun into the yarn which is then woven in a plain or twill weave, otherwise known as Salt & Pepper or Herringbone, respectfully. Rooted in the land and seascapes of Donegal, the colours were historically drawn from our surroundings and the unique Herringbone pattern is inspired by the fish caught in the Atlantic Ocean or patterns in the sand after the tide goes out. The Salt & Pepper design is inspired by the speckled landscape of the countryside. 

Today, Donegal Tweed, as a vibrant, natural fibre and sustainable fabric, continues to form a principal part of our Magee 1866 collections. Our weaving mill in Donegal Town, on the banks of the River Eske, is still the beating heart of everything we do at Magee 1866. We are proud to support a tradition of weaving and manufacturing textiles in the northwest of Ireland, bringing a contemporary edge to an age-old craft. 

Mother’s Day is on Sunday the 27th of March, a special day to celebrate our mums and show them what they mean to us. 

One could make a case that we should be honouring our parents 365 days a year, there are no breaks from this most important role, but on this day, we make an extra effort for all the wonderful mothers out there. Maybe that’s with a handwritten card, breakfast in bed, cooking Sunday lunch, time together or time to herself!  

There are plenty of ways to let the mum in your life know how much you appreciate her. 

Our exclusive Mother’s Day gift sets see our lambswool scarves, designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, paired with one of our luxury candles, handmade in Ireland for Magee 1866 in a natural wax blend and scented with the highest quality essential oils for a long lasting, luxury fragrance. Choose from calming lavender, fresh summer herbs or invigorating citrus. 

Or, explore our selection of accessories, home interiors and knitwear to find the perfect gift to show her how much you love her. 

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.  

Women’s Collection

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. 

 

Men’s Collection

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.  

Irish Linen

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.  

Shop in store or online from February.

Photography: Suzy McCanny  

Videography: Ciarán Carty  

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