We are all about making our wardrobe work for us, and now more than ever we are looking to add select pieces that can be pulled out time and time again. As a brand we are working on our collections to enable you to do just that – mix and match, season after season.
For Spring Summer 2023 the Mourne navy-blue Irish linen blazer and matching Tina drawstring trousers are the perfect starting point – two wardrobe staples that can be styled in lots of ways. We are huge fans of linen, and this beautiful, natural fabric is designed and woven in our mill in Donegal.
Here, we have styled it three ways:
Night out glamour – just add heels and statement jewellery and you’re good to go.
Founded, like us, in the 19th century, Liberty Fabrics are titans of textile design.
Shortly after opening on Regent Street London in 1875, Arthur Liberty became renowned for his silks. By the 1890s Liberty Fabrics was a byword for the very best of avant-garde textile design. Today, every bolt of Liberty fabric is the product of a bespoke production process: hand drawn or painted by the in-house design team in London, Soho. Transformed onto fabric at Liberty’s own Italian printing mill, near Lake Como. Liberty Fabrics are created by skilled technicians who oversee the production of over 300 different designs every year.
We love working with Liberty Fabrics and have been incorporating their original patterns into our collections since the late 1990s. Known for small floral, abstract, and paisley prints in vibrant colours, the Liberty Fabric archive houses over 45,000 designs. These delicate and playful patterns are the perfect complement to the Donegal Tweeds of our men’s and women’s collections.
Luxury fabrics are at the heart of what we do with our own tweeds and linens, which we design and weave at our mill in Donegal, Liberty’s signature Tana Lawn® cotton is an ideal companion to these. A famous masterpiece of fabric technology, Tana Lawn® is fine, cool and durable with a silk-like feel.
New in knitwear, expertly crafted in Scotland for Magee 1866.
There is a long history and heritage of knitting and textiles in Scotland. As with the Irish Aran jumper, Scotland has its own traditional styles, most famously the Fair Isle, named after the remote island, halfway between Shetland and Orkney to the north of Scotland.
Originally handknit, the intricate patterns of Fair Isle knits were passed down through generations. The vibrant colours came from natural dyes, similar to those traditionally used to create the colourful neps of Donegal Tweeds – indigo and madder gave blues and reds, with lichens, berries and flowers producing a rainbow of shades.
Industrialisation paved the way for mass production of finer, more delicate knits and so began Scotland’s legacy for producing the highest quality cashmere and lambswool knitwear.
Fair Isle styles, the Jura and Clyde are full of charm, the two-tone colourways give a contemporary slant to the traditional design.
Knit in the round with a seamless construction for extra comfort, our Made in Scotland pieces are crafted in all-natural fibres and offer a rich, soft feeling that cannot be imitated.
The Lomand and Toryare perfect for layering, the rich bases are scattered throughout with colourful flecks in contrasting shades, adding the tonal texture synonymous with Donegal Tweeds.
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Our versatile range of knitwear focuses on natural fibres. From lofty lambswool to rich blends of organic cotton and cashmere, these are styles to keep you warm this season and beyond.
Naturally insulating, our styles in 100% lambswool make great layering pieces. Style over a cotton shirt and under a Donegal Tweed jacket for put-together, comfortable look.
Wool is also a resilient, natural product and has the potential for a long and useful life. With care and attention, you can safeguard your knitwear and it will last for season after season.
In our knitwear care guide, you will discover everything you need to know to look after your knits from how to freshen up between wears, to spot cleaning, de-pilling, washing, reshaping, folding and storing.
We are proud to champion sustainability as a fundamental part of our ethos which has evolved over the last 150 years. Our weaving mill predominantly uses biodegradable and renewable natural fibres like wool and linen, and our sustainable message is continued through our increased use of organic cotton.
Cotton is one of the most widely grown crops in the world. Organic cotton employs methods that have a lower impact on the environment – it is non-GMO, (genetically modified organism), non-toxic and its production reduces the risk to local biodiversity.
The organic cotton used in our rich, cashmere blend knitwear is grown in compliance with BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) Better Cotton Principles and Criteria, these include promoting water stewardship, soil health and the concept of decent work.
Our design philosophy has always promoted the sustainable concept of ‘slow fashion’ through timeless collections, where our pieces are designed and made to last. We are continually striving to improve our sourcing, products and ways of working for a better world. Looking to organic cotton is just a small part of this ongoing process.
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.
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.
Constantly developing new and interesting styles in our own fabrics, theClodagh 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.
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.
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.
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.
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In fashion, we are always looking to the future, collections are planned and prepared months in advance, with multiple teams involved. All of this hard work comes to fruition on photoshoot days and it is when the next stage of a collection’s journey begins…
“Seeing designs go from sketches and swatches to real, wearable garments is always a thrill. On a photoshoot you get the opportunity to style and play and have fun with the collection, it’s certainly one of my favourite parts of the job!”
Design Director, Charlotte Temple.
We have lots of exciting styles coming this Autumn Winter, it’s a collection we’re really proud of. Based on our roots and designed to showcase the best of what we do, taking our unique fabrics and creating timeless pieces. We can’t wait to share it with you, in the meantime, here’s a brief behind the scenes look at our recent shoot. A dreamy location and fantastic team, it doesn’t get much better.
Models: Paul Kerr and Phoebe Tan of Morgan the Agency