First of all, I hope you’re all keeping safe and well as these days at home continue. And yes you heard me right-today is National Tweed Day in the USA! Until recently, I didn’t know such a day existed. Apparently there are two reasons to celebrate on National Tweed Day. The first is the most obvious one; to celebrate the iconic and much loved tweed fabric which is hugely popular at The Irish Store.
The second reason is decidedly more controversial. It involves a certain notorious American business man named William “Boss” Tweed who was born on April 3 1823. He was one of the most wealthy politicians of his time and also one of the most corrupt! He ended his days in jail in 1878 while incarcerated for stealing millions of dollars of public money. So I think we’ll stick with celebrating this gorgeous fabric!
A Short History of Irish Tweed
Tweed originated in Scotland. They named the woolen woven cloth “tweel”- Scots for “twill”. The story goes that a London merchant received some goods from a Scottish firm. He misread “tweel” as “tweed” and advertised the goods as such. The name stuck!
In Ireland, the weaving of woolen fabrics goes back centuries but it was the county of Donegal and Donegal Tweed that put Irish tweed firmly on the map. It started as a cottage industry with the spinning, weaving and dyeing of wool from local sheep in people’s homes.
The colors of Donegal Tweed reflect the natural landscape; hues of purple, green, brown and gold. Originally the dyes would be made from the moss, lichens, wildflowers and berries of the surrounding area.
Gone are the days of tweeds being seen as stuffy and conservative. Today, tweed is much sought after by numerous high profile designers and makes regular appearances on the international catwalk. Here at The Irish Store, we just love tweed in all its forms. Here’s my top picks.
Lulu’s Top Irish Tweed Picks
1. Hourihan Donegal Tweed Cape
So first up it’s our best-selling simply stunning Donegal tweed Irish cape. The pure wool woven tweed fabric is a rich earthy green and calls to mind the hues and tones of the rugged Donegal landscape. The classic design never dates and there’s an attached scarf that converts into a snug and cozy hood. A true investment piece that will keep you warm stylish for many seasons to come.
2. Irish Tweed Patchwork Cap
Our customers favorite 5-star rated Irish flat cap comes from the looms of the renowned Mucros Weavers of County Kerry. Each cap is woven using a host of different tweed patches so no two caps are the same. The perfect Irish gift for him.
3. The Emily Tweed Bag
So staying with the wonderful Mucros Weavers and this gorgeous offering from their looms! The Emily Tweed Bag combines age old traditional craft with on-trend design to create the ultimate Irish hand bag! Pefect for everyday use and available in a classic gray or purple herringbone or a vibrant check.
4. Magee Tweed Blazer
The name Magee has been synonymous with the finest Donegal Tweeds for over 150 years. This stunning men’s blazer is tailored beautifully in a striking blue tweed with a gorgeous camel and gray over check. Classic Irish style for any discerning wardrobe.
5. Tweed Belted Wool Cape
My last pick is by no means the least! This stunning belted cape comes from the legend that is Hourihan of Dublin-designers of the finest Irish capes and shawls for over half a century. Made from a luxurious black and white wool tweed, it buttons up to a stylish high neck and is beautifully finished with traditional blanket stitching.
Stay safe and well everyone. See you on Monday for further travels on my Virtual Tour of Ireland.
Slán go fóill!