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.

P1790444The 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 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.

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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.

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

8 thoughts on “Donegal Carpets – The Best in the World!

  1. Wonderful! It’s the unexpected places like these that reawaken your travelling and curiosity spirit. I had the same experience in a prune museum! WHAT? How could that be interesting…. it was, really interesting – and the cream filled prunes at the end of the tour! Well! Great blog- thanks!


    1. A prune museum? I would go in a heartbeat – you would find out some fascinating facts – umm yes the eating at the end would top it off! hehe I’ve been reading and re reading more of your site for greater inspiration to travel further. You and Noel certainly are living a full life!!!! I’m sure you would be inspiring many. I have to admit it is a bit lonely on your own at times. Oh well, I have the flexibility to snap whatever takes my fancy at any given point. Aww thanks for reading.. xxx


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