Meet the Maker: Eddie Doherty, Handwoven Tweed
Eddie Doherty is a weaver operating his business, Eddie Doherty Handwoven Tweed, in Co. Donegal. He learned to weave by hand at the age of 16. Now, 60 years and two long stints with large Irish fabric companies later, he uses Donegal wool to handweave pure wool blankets and tweed at his home in Ardara. Eddie’s work is available to view and purchase at handwoventweed.com.
What's a typical day in the studio like for you?
I could be warping one day and weaving the following day, I sort out colours and threads and new samples. We do a lot of blankets and throws, I’ll sit at the loom every week. Warping, weaving and webbing, you get into the rhythm of it. We keep at the same things all the time - the popular sellers. Some colours I’ve been doing since the early 60s that are still popular, others are new season colours as they come in - you keep an eye on trends too.
What do you like most about your work?
Well I’ve been working at this since 1956 and still don’t want to stop so I like all parts of it! I look forward to it. Anything involving thread I love doing it, and I like sorting out colours and threads. I like doing new things too; straight-forward things. I enjoy working with different colours and thread, we have our own colours, we buy a lot of colours from Kilcarra Yarns. You just take it as it comes, and work at what needs to be done, as long as the thread is good, and not breaking up when you’re working with it.
What advice would you give someone who is considering this craft career?
I would recommend it to any young person who would want to start. The only thing is that it’s piece work, you have to keep working at it. You have to work hard, get to the end of the piece on the loom or else you won’t get paid.