Donegal Carpets – The Best in the World!

Ok – now I know that some will think the subject of carpets is not so interesting – however think again!

Convenience and curiosity was more of my motivation to visit the Donegal International Carpet Factory in the fishing port of Killybegs (a short bus ride or drive from Glencolmcille where I hade been staying).

Having only vaguely heard about Donegal Carpets, I didn’t know its history. WOW!  World class hand made carpets are made out of this little town for over 100 years.

P1790442P1790444The list of establishments where these carpets lay are quite impressive: Buckingham Palace, The White House, S.S.Queen Mary, The Vatican; to name a few (see image of list of places…)

We first watched a 30min video of how the carpets are first drawn and the colour pallet selected for the client to OK and proceed. Then it is transferred to huge sheets of graph paper – each carpet is specially designed for the client – using local dyed wools. A graph Is made of the design – then cut into sections for each of the women to knot and cut the wools. It is such an intricate and fascinating process – skills passed down over the decades.

fav P1790441 fav P1790440Then we had a tour of the factory and even had the opportunity to make our own knot in a ‘carpet’ and wove a weft of horse hair through the threads.

Watching how a carpet is made gave me a greater appreciation of a craft that is slowly dying.

P1790409  fav P1790446

It houses the longest hand knotted loom in the world – made from Canadian pine at 42 feet in length. A carpet made to this width would weigh in at many tonnes when finished.

P1790410  P1790415

P1790418  P1790427

P1790432  P1790426

P1790424 P1790436

A must see when you are in Donegal!!!!!



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