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Donegal Rugs

At Emma Mellor we stock a Collection that includes - Irish rug designs - William Morris - Art Nouveau as well as Arts and Crafts Rugs.

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Donegal Carpet from Emma Mellor

Donegal Rug from Emma Mellor

History

Although making carpets in Donegal is an ancient tradition, the company Donegal Carpets is but 100 odd years old and was founded in 1898 by Scottish textile manufacturer Alexander Morton. Before establishing Donegal Carpets, Morton had first established a carpet crafting house on the west coast of Ireland and put to practice the techniques of the Donegal people who had been working with wool for generations. The first example of a Donegal carpet with Celtic designs was that carried out for the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for their offices at the Cork Exhibition in 1902. There is another earlier example, a small Celtic-ornamented altar carpet, a Morton's gift to the St Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny County, Donegal, which was opened in June 1901. The altar carpet was designed by Signor Oreste Amici, a Roman painter, who carried out the Celtic ornamental painting in the St Columba Chapel in 1900. The Mortons sold the company to a consortium called Donegal Carpets Ltd. in 1957. There were four manufacturing houses at one time in County Donegal but three of the four facilities closed during The Great Depression and in 1987 the last facility closed. Local Donegal people petitioned the government to help re-open them in 1997 and in 1999 they were making carpets again for places such as Áras an Uachtaráin, Dublin Castle and the University of Notre Dame.

 Donegal Rug

Donegal Rug from Emma Mellor

Todays beautiful pieces are produced in the same fashion as the famous Donegal rugs from Ireland in Iran by master Persian weavers. Characterised by a classical Persian design of palmettes and cloudband vinescrolls which float gracefully across the ground. A similar pattern of palmette vines repeats throughout the border of this piece. 

Hand spun wool is used with natural dyes derived from flowers and berries, as well as walnut husks and pomegranate rind, madder root and indigo. The rug is then lovingly washed and finished. The end result is a rug with a real depth and movement of colour. 

Donegal Rug from Emma Mellor

Each piece we have is completely unique and individually made.

We only make hand knotted rugs: no shortcuts and no hand tufting. Quality and good design is incredibly important in creating beautiful yet sustainable products that will last for years to come. 
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