This September we will celebrate our rich history of weaving with ‘Heritage Month’- a showcase of our 150 years’ experience in designing, weaving and tailoring luxurious fabrics and clothing in Donegal.
Throughout the month, we will delve into our archives, exploring the history and heritage of Magee.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and #Magee1866Heritage to learn more about the history of this fifth-generation family business.
Magee was founded on handwoven tweed over 150 years ago when John Magee first established a small drapers shop in Donegal, Ireland. This hardwearing, course 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.
In 1900, Robert Temple – John Magee’s cousin and apprentice – bought the business and today the third and fourth generations of the Temple family are still at the helm – Lynn, Charlotte, Paddy and Rosy.
Handweaving is a skill that has been passed down through the generations. It is suggested that the art of weaving dates back to the Palaeolithic era, although there is little evidence to support this, however woven linen cloth has been found dating back to the Neolithic period.
While there may be a few thousand years in the debate as to when weaving was first developed, we know for a fact it is a reassuringly ancient skill and craft.
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 location in County Donegal offers endless and ever-changing inspiration for our design team. From the rugged coastline to peaty bogs, to open skies and rolling hills, the Irish landscape offers a deep well of colour and pattern to draw from.
We are always looking for ways to envelop our heritage in new and exciting ways through contemporary design.
Natural fibres like wool, cashmere, flax and alpaca are central to our collections. These natural fibres are renewable and biodegradable, coming from all-natural sources for a rich, soft feeling that can’t be imitated. Our design philosophy has always promoted the concept of 'slow fashion' through timeless collections, where pieces are designed to be worn time and time again. Sustainable fabric and high quality, long lasting products define our DNA.