Renowned for pure merino wool, mohair loop yarns and cottons and linens rooted in midcentury design, Mourne Texiles has a cult following. The Northern Ireland-based workshop was established by master weaver Gerd Hay-Edie in the 1950s and produced fabrics for Robin Day and Terence Conran, among other leading designers, throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Under the leadership of Hay-Edie’s daughter Karen and grandson Mario Sierra, the company continues to produce exquisite yarns – and their chic e-shop means it is attracting new fans.
Warping machines, bobbin winders and traditional wooden shuttle-looms produce very specific selvedge edges, and while many of the techniques have been in use for centuries, the pieces have a decidedly modern sensibility. All the site’s woven throws and assorted accessories come in a muted colour palette, and none are more beautiful than the blankets (second picture) that range from natural white to silver-grey tweed. The handwoven silky mohair versions (£300) were originally produced for Liberty in the 1960s, while the thick, tactile Donegal yarns for Mended Tweeds (£420) were made famous by Irish fashion designer Sybil Connolly in 1956.
Black-and-white Tweed Emphasize down cushions (£125) and Mourne Check variations (£125) in granite, bilberry and gorse use a linen/cotton/wool fabric made using Kentish looms. Smaller sizes (£105, first picture) are custom-dyed in unusual hues such as tollymore (a rich green) and robin (umber).
Items for the table – minimalist placemats (£85) and matching check coasters (£24) – were originally created by designer Robin Day for Hille in 1951, but feel fresh. Ditto graphic made-to-order Milano rugs (price on request) and children’s blankets (£96) in chic colours such as porridge, sherbet blue and rich raspberry.
Such heritage designs and unusual colours make for a stylish shopping experience.