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 Irelandand 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.”
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.
Introducing the Magee 1866 Spring/Summer 2022 Collection – COAST
Inspired by over 1,000 kilometres of Donegal coastline, where we have been designing, weaving and tailoring luxurious fabrics for five generations.
“Spring Summer 2022 was designed with hope in mind following the long months of a pandemic that has turned the world upside-down. While working on the collection we had taken time to watch spring slowly appearing following a winter of uncertainties. The idea of a fresh start and new life are the core elements in our colourful and optimistic collection for SS22.
We have looked at how we have adapted over the last couple of years, especially what we are wearing. The emphasis on casual wear has accelerated and we have embraced this more relaxed, comfortable approach in this collection with Irish linen shirts and drawstring trousers, luxury cashmere jumpers, sweats and colourful cotton polos and t-shirts.
However, we are looking forward to dressing up again! Our tailored collection includes classic lightweight tweeds and summer weight jackets, but with a focus on unstructured silk and linen blend jackets styled with lightweight cotton chinos and printed shirts.”
Classic patterns sit beside bold and oversized checks in this collection with the colour pallet inspired by the sea and land. Sea blues, mossy greens, earthy oats, peaty browns are accented by the colours of local flora like gorse, fuchsia, blackberry, moss and montbretia that were historically used to create the colourful speckles synonymous with Donegal Tweeds. “
-Design Director, and 5th generation family member, Charlotte Temple reflects on the design process.
Cheerful, bright colours of raspberry pink, sunset orange, naval and sea blues are contrasted in this collection with timeless, neutral shades of natural linen oat, sky grey, olive and forest greens. While the fabrics focus on natural fibres – silk, cotton, cashmere, linen, merino and lambswool, much of which is designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, Ireland.
A new addition to the range of knitwear is a luxurious cotton cashmere blend in four styles This season sees a host of new additions to the women’s collection. The Aoife is a preppy, short unstructured jacket in a micro houndstooth silk and cotton blend tweed and is complemented by a beautiful range of luxurious lightweight cashmere knitwear.
The Rebecca shirt dress is a standout piece, available in three colours ranging from calming pale blue Irish linen to a vibrant Liberty of London print. The Liberty of London pieces don’t end there, the new Patty top will add a burst of colour to your wardrobe and the easy to wear Tessa tunic will become your go-to top for trips to the beach. Women’s collection favourites like the Emma and Grace coats return in fresh, new lightweight tweeds, designed and woven at our mill.
Ireland’s unpredictable weather is taken into account in the Men’s collection, the timeless Glenveigh quilted jacket is joined by a new style, the Dingle, a 4-pocket showerproof unstructured jacket, available in two colours.
Familiar tailored styles like the Liffey Jacket are reimagined in a summery mix of linen and silk blends, woven in house, with a new addition, the Adare, a soft unstructured jacket that offers a comfortable, put together look. Making a triumphant return to the men’s collection after a long absence, men’s shorts, in cotton chino or linen, are accompanied by a selection of t-shirts, polos and the softest cotton sweatshirts.
Natural fibre fabrics are central to our collections and this season is no exception with Irish Linen making up a large part of Spring Summer for both men and women.
The ultimate versatile fabric, linen is synonymous with summer and perfect whether you’re relaxing on the beach or working in the city. Crafted in Irish Linen, woven and finished at the Magee weaving mill in Donegal, highlights include the Rowan overshirt for men, the Mourne boyfriend fit jacket for women, drawstring trousers for both and for the ultimate in summer chic, the Finn suit in a dark inky blue linen, perfect for a special occasion.
This collection is designed to maximise your summer and as always, each quality piece is made with longevity in mind.
An unabashed excuse to celebrate love, Valentine’s Day sets a romantic tone to the start of spring and is the perfect opportunity to spoil the one you love.
Tokens of love and devotion, explore our top picks for Valentine’s gifts for your special someone.
The Outdoorsy Type
The daily walkers, weekend wanderers and enthusiastic gardeners, if they’re outside more than in, keep them cosy with a100% lambswool scarf, designed and woven at our mill in Donegal.
The Indoorsy Type
For the fans of movie nights and boxset binging, evenings in are elevated with our selection of Donegal Tweed cushions, filled with luxurious duck-down. Pair with the Irish Wool Oversized Houndstooth Throw for the ultimate in comfort. Designed and woven at our mill in Donegal using wool sourced and spun on the island of Ireland, this is a truly sustainable home accessory.
The Deep Thinker
If they are always doodling or making lists, the Donegal Tweed notebook is the perfect choice. Made in Ireland using tweeds designed at our mill, these unlined notebooks are available in a selection of colours and sizes, depending on the project.
The Lover of Luxury
Crafted at our mill in a super soft cashmere and wool blend, thepashmina is the most versatile accessory. Lightweight, yet warm, this is a piece they will reach for over and over again, no matter the season.
For the person passionate about their surroundings and curating a calming space, our selection of candles and diffusers are made in Ireland using the highest quality essential oils, in the most indulgent scents.
The Ardent Fan
They won’t miss a match, if they can help it, or they’re always found at the finish line. Make sure they look the part with a classicDonegal Tweed cap. Choose from two styles – the flat cap or baker cap – in a range of tweeds, designed and woven at our mill.
If you are planning a wedding this year, book an appointment for our Made to Measure service in one of our three stores. Our tailoring experts are on hand to help you create the perfect look for your big day. Gift Vouchers also available.
Of course, love is all you need, but a gift from Magee 1866 is welcome too! Visit our Valentine’s Gift Guide for more inspiration.
One of country music’s best-known performers, Nathan Carter, made time in his busy schedule, between releasing new material and touring, for a recent photoshoot styled in Magee 1866.
Channelling 007 in our timeless dinner suit, this is Nathan as you’ve never seen him before! Styled to reflect his jet set lifestyle with a 100% cotton dress shirt in white, this look offers inspiration for black tie weddings or formal events (vintage sports car optional…).
Warm winter layering – Nathan wears one of our best-selling styles, the Corrib Coat. A classic, raglan sleeve overcoat in a traditional herringbone Donegal Tweed, woven at our mill. The Corrib is designed to be worn over a suit or casual jumper and chinos, as seen here. A true winter staple which will stand the test of time.
The sustainable choice, the Irish Wool Erne is the first men’s style in our Magee 1866 X Irish Wool collection.This short, contemporary check Donegal Tweed overcoat in rich, seasonally appropriatecolours of red, green, grey and navy looks great styled over jeans and knitwear, as seen here on Nathan.
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.
Maybe you would like to send a homegrown gift to friends abroad. Our Made in Ireland guide showcases our collection of scarves, pashminas and throws proudly designed and woven at our mill in Donegal, as well as pieces in collaboration with other Irish makers and mills, such as our hand poured candles and men’s linen shirts.
For that friend you want to thank, our guide to stocking fillers has you covered with lots of Donegal tweed accessories. And if you are just not sure, you can’t go wrong with a Magee 1866 voucher.
No matter what you choose, you can be assured that each piece has been designed and made with longevity in mind. A gift to treasure that will be enjoyed for years to come.
Explore ideas for her, for him and of course perhaps something for yourself.
Growing up with the family business, taking two very different paths, and finding themselves drawn back home to workalongside their father and brother at the helm of Magee 1866, we caught up with Charlotte and Rosy Temple on sustainability, slow fashion and siblings.
As the fourth and fifth-generations behind Magee, since being founded by John Magee over 150 years ago, the business is literally in the family’s DNA with Charlotte as Design Director, Rosy as CEO of Magee Clothing & Retail, brother Patrick as CEO of Magee Weaving and their father Lynn Temple as Chairman.
Everyone brings their individual talents to the table “Dad had never put any pressure on either myself or my two siblings to join Magee 1866, we all went off in different directions and in time all then felt the atavistic pull to come back! For me it took working in different environments to truly appreciate how fortunate I was to have a family business and one with an exciting future.” says Rosy.
Although their mother Elizabeth has never worked in the business, “she is a solid sounding board for us all and has been for years” noted Charlotte. Both sisters praise the family home as a haven, with Elizabeth’s Salthill Gardens – a walled-in acre of secret paths and little follies, vegetables, trees, shrubs and flowers – the backdrop to many photoshoots, and a source of inspiration over the years.
Charlotte and Rosy have very different personalities but share a similar appreciation for the outdoors. “We have grown up in in the wilds of Donegal with the Atlantic Ocean and the Bluestack mountains on our doorstep – many happy hours spent swimming, sailing, running, riding, cycling and rowing to name just a few of our activities. Our home is surrounded by woodland providing endless adventures for us as children. Mum and Dad always encouraged a deep respect for where we grew up – surrounded by the sea and a magical landscape and to tread with care. We now really appreciate how lucky we are and how much we need to do to protect our natural environment. Sustainability is very much part of our family values and what we do at Magee 1866.”
“We have always been about ‘slow fashion’, the finest of natural fibre yarns like wool and linen, which are biodegradable and renewable, are used to produce our sustainable fabrics and garments.” explains Rosy. “We want to create styles that will endure for years, pieces that will always have a home in your wardrobe.” adds Charlotte. “We’re particularly proud of our newly launched 1866 CLASSICS collection. This collection has been refined over the years and is made up of staples that are inspired by our heritage, designed for everyday and with longevity in mind.”
On Charlotte’s visions for the future – “when I first started at Magee, we specialised in good quality men’s suits and jackets. Today, while we have some way to go, we are starting to capture the essence of an Irish family lifestyle brand across our home, men and women collections. The focus is luxury fabrics (many which are still woven by us in Donegal) and design, steeped in our heritage with contemporary styling.”
Acknowledging the unprecedented year have found ourselves in, Rosy states that “It has been an incredibly challenging and difficult few months with the situation surrounding COVID-19 and not to mention the uncertainties of Brexit. While we are still very much in the middle of both these external and uncontrollable factors, we have a very clear vision for our future and look forward to the next 150 years!”
What’s your favourite Magee piece in your wardrobe?
What new arrivals are you most looking forward to this season?
Rosy: The Donegal tweed salt & pepper Georgie gilet.
Charlotte: The Clooney coat – in a soft grey and white cashmere houndstooth.
What’s a piece of advice that you’ve carried with you and who is it from?
Rosy: Mum has always told each of us since we were little to ‘be true to yourself’ and ‘to follow your own path’. Sometimes this might mean going against the grain, I’ve had a fairly un-conventional career from working at Christie’s Auction House to a food start up to cycling solo in Patagonia but it’s always worth daring to explore and to return all the better for the experience gained. And as siblings now working together, we all respect our very ‘individual’ characters!
Charlotte: Rosy has always been black and white and takes emotion out of a situation. I have a lot to learn in this area, I am very like Dad in that I can get pretty passionate about getting my point of view across. I am trying to take a ‘calm’ leaf out of Rosy’s book with mixed results!
What excites you about the future? / What are you passionate about?
Rosy: I’m so glad to see that amidst the real challenges of Covid-19, sustainability is becoming an urgent conversation. I am hopeful that conversations will translate to much needed action around improving how we treat the planet. At Magee, we are set on building on our heritage of slow fashion and to make sure we leave a brand fit for the next generation.
Charlotte: For the last few months we have been firefighting with COVID-19 but I am lucky now to be fully immersed in the creative and direction of the brand, which is a welcome distraction. I am really excited about our collections evolving into something that we as a family love to wear and use and cannot wait to share this.
Cheeky last question – What’s it really like working with your siblings?
Charlotte: We try to keep emotion to a minimum with business but it creeps in on occasion! However siblings are always there – day or night to talk through both the good and bad, this is very reassuring and invaluable for me, especially on the more challenging issues we might face.
Introducing 1866 CLASSICS, a curated collection of quintessential Magee 1866 styles.
This core collection highlights our star pieces, pieces we have perfected and really can’t improve on. Each piece has been designed and made with longevity in mind.
A smart navy wool suit, crisp white cotton twill shirt, a Donegal tweed cap, a handwoven tweed jacket and long Donegal tweed coats for men; preppy hacking style tweed jackets, Donegal tweed coats and luxurious scarves and pashminas for women. Timeless design that’s impactful season after season.
As a fifth-generation family business, with over 150 years’ experience in designing, weaving and tailoring, we have refined this collection over the years. Inspired by our heritage, these staples are designed for everyday – classic shapes, premium quality, functional and uncompromising in aesthetics. These are styles that will endure for years, pieces that will always have a home in your wardrobe.
We have always been about ‘slow fashion’, it’s in our DNA. The finest of natural fibre yarns like wool and linen, which are biodegradable and renewable, are used to produce our sustainable fabrics and garments.
The collection will evolve, colours and even some new styles may be included, but at its core, this is a collection of pieces that are to be worn, treasured and in fashion next season and beyond.