A proud Donegal woman has just become the youngest qualified Hattersley weaver in Ireland.

Taleigha Boyle (19) started her new job last Monday with the world-famous Magee of Donegal

The creative young Ardara woman only recently finished Irelands’s first ever certified weaving course  with the Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB).

The full-time Donegal Weaving traineeship was developed by Donegal ETB and is certified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

Taleigha hard at work this week with Magee of Donegal.

It was developed by the ETB following a consideration to support the preservation of Donegal weaving as an indigenous craft which existed for centuries, taking on its modern form after the famine with the founding of Magee Clothing in 1866.

The average age of a Donegal weaver today is around 75 years which means that both the power loom and handweaving industries face a succession risk, according to the ETB.

Skills that are unique to weaving such as loom tuning, warping and finishing are quite niche and, without future weavers being trained, are at risk of extinction. 

This course develops the skills and craftsmanship of a Donegal weaver, ensuring a continuity of skills for these industries.

Graduate, Mary O’Doherty. Pic: Studio Donegal.

Another graduate, Mary O’Doherty, has just joined the Studio Donegal team as a weaver at their Kilcar facility.

No doubt, the future of the famous Donegal weaving tradition will be secure thanks to Taleigha, Mary and their fellow six graduates.

If you’re a potential future weaver but need a qualification, apply now for the last remaining places of the next course starting in a few weeks in Kilcar.

To apply, and for further information, click here.