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In Defence of Donegal Tweed

by countess November 18, 2013

Donegal Tweed, you either love it or you hate it. I’m in the first camp. I love all those little nepps that look like they’re clinging onto the yarn for dear life. I love how rustic it looks and how it reminds me of beautiful Celtic landscapes.

Those that hate it, well they really hate. I’ve been told that the nepps look like the bits that come off your knitting when you shave off the pills, that it looks unfinished, that people want to pull off all the nepps to make the yarn look smooth…

True Donegal Tweed comes from Ireland, a place called Donegal to be exact. The vast majority of Donegal Tweed that is for the hand dyed market is spun in Peru, so maybe I should start calling it Faux-Tweed. Whether it is real deal Donegal Tweed or to put it politely, Donegal-Inspired Tweed, I absolutely love it.

Let me show you. Take this yarn. I’ve dyed it and sadly you can’t get this colourway anymore because it was an OOAK and it got snapped up pretty quick. But check out all of those gorgeous little neutral viscose nepps. Aren’t they just splendid?

sayItAintSoOOAKTweedDK5Those nepps that look so delicate hovering on the yarn, well you can’t pick those off. I mean you might be able to pick off a couple but those nepps have roots which are spun into the yarn. Those nepps are there to stay.  Let’s have a look at a swatch:

Donegal Tweed Swatch

I love to dye this yarn because the base colour is light beige so the dye lands on there and looks even deeper. The acid dye won’t dye the nepps though so they get to remain in their neutral glory. The next photograph is for all of those who say that Donegal Tweed doesn’t produce a smooth fabric.


It looks pretty smooth to me. It might not be quite as smooth as a non-neppy yarn but it’s still very smooth regardless as those nepps with their big roots knit into the fabric and are reasonably flat.



Have I convinced you?

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