What is a “Donegal” sweater?

As a Donegalwoman, there is no such thing as a Donegal sweater.

There is, however, such a thing as Donegal tweed. Donegal tweed is woven from wool, of course. But what is interesting about this wool happens during the spinning process. The fleece is dyed after scouring (cleaning and washing), then woollen-spun with minimal or no carding to remove short fibres. During the spinning process, these short fibres fall on the mill floor. After a few days or a week, the floor is swept, and the resulting semi-felted little bobbles (‘neps’) are added to the next batch of spinning. The yarn looks like this:

The neps stick to the yarn giving little pops of colour. A sweater knitted in this yarn could be called a Donegal sweater:

Carol Feller, wearing her Killybegs cardigan, in Studio Donegal Aran Tweed in shade Green (4824). The cardigan is has a round collar and opens from throat down, and features a delicate honeycomb cable pattern at the cuffs, waist, and yoke.
Killybegs pattern by Carol Feller, in Studio Donegal Aran Tweed

Quora linky.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s