This unique tour will take you the 20 minute journey from Killybegs through the rugged landscape to Ardara (Ard an Ratha, meaning “height of the fort”) which is a small town at the heart of the Donegal tweed and woollen industry. There you will see and experience the tradition of tweed and wool making, from the original sheeps fleece to spinning the wool to making and weaving the thread into the wonderful woollen items and tweed you see today.
In Donegal, hand-weaving is a skill that has been passed down for centuries through many generations. In the old days, many families lived by hand-spinning and hand-weaving cloth in their homes. The crofter’s wife made brews of moss and lichen into which to dip and dye the pure new wool from the household sheep. Her husband would then weave the unique family product into cloth to be sold at the tweed or woollen market or worn by the family.
Built on the solid foundations of a rich heritage spanning five generations, the Molloy family have been in the textile business since James Molloy began weaving in the 19th Century.
Cost: €25 pp
“Only a generation ago, Donegal Tweed embodied the integration between the sheep, the plants (used in the dyeing process) and the human population of its place of production – a kind of symbiosis existed.” Judith Hoad, Noted Donegal author and environmentalist.
Molloy’s have helped keep that symbiosis alive.