Claddagh Ring Blog - Donegal Tweed

June 20, 2016



A VISIT TO DONEGAL
TWEED CAPS AND WAISTCOATS

County Donegal is a county in Ireland. Part of the Border Region and is in the province of Ulster. It is a largely Irish-speaking region bordering the Atlantic Ocean in northwestern Ireland. It is outstandingly beautiful with its rugged coastline and mountains.
Donegal Handwoven Tweed is still made by hand. Its a craft passed down through families for generations. Spinning and weaving are an essential part of Irish culture. It has been produced in Northern counties of Ireland for many generations and from 1890 to the mid 1900's, the tweed industry was the principal source of living for almost every family in Donegal. The landscape of Northern Ireland has inspired the weavers for hundreds of years. Yellow gorse flowers, Orange rock lichen, Red fuchsias, Purple blackberries and Black turf are used in traditional dyeing of the cloth. This gives Donegal Tweed its distinctive flecks. According to Colm Sweeney of the Ardara Heritage Centre, "When you buy a yard of Donegal tweed, it's not a yard, it's a lot of Irish history you're buying".
Most Donegal Tweed today, comes from the Magee, Molloy & McNutt factory power looms which yield 600 or more yards a day, but there are still about 25 local craftsmen working at home, turning out the all-wool, handwoven fabric that is held in high esteem throughout the world. Fashion designers Armani, Ralph Lauren and Henry White use Magee 'Donegals'and the company has its own upscale John Magee Collection label.
It is always a good idea to buy the hand-made article. The natural oils in the wool are not removed and it retains its remarkable resistance to water.
Thinking for a moment of the hard-working weavers over the generations. Before the Industrial Revolution weaving was a manual craft and wool was the principal stable. Then ' Craft Weavers' became a fashional pastime. Power loom weavers are mostly used now.
Wire Weaving? It is a technique used by jewellers around the world. Not to be confused with wire wrapping. Wires are generally drawn out to extremely fine strands and consist of a wide range of precious metals such as Gold, Silver and Copper. Then created into beautiful precious artistic creations of unique jewellery.
So if you cannot come to visit our amazing county just now, why not visit our on-line jewelly store. While unfortunately we do not weave that famous Donegal Tweed we can assure you of our unique hand made Irish jewellery.


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