Since the early days of dreaming about what Breac.House could be and what our guests would experience, one of our key ambitions was to surround ourselves with the work of as many local Donegal and Irish makers as possible. Our vision was to create a contemporary, bespoke setting within which our guests would experience a new form of modern Irish hospitality.
Over the coming weeks , we will be profiling some of the amazing makers and producers we have worked with on special collaborations. It is a real joy to work with so many talented and passionate Irish makers, producers, growers and suppliers. Every season we aim to add new collaborations to further connect our guests to this special place and its people. We started last week with our beautiful bespoke ink drawings by Superfolk. This week we move even closer to home and to the wondrous fabric that is linen.
Textures and natural fabrics are a very important part of the experience at Breac.House. From speckled Donegal tweed to the beautiful linen napkins used in the rooms, we love to celebrate heritage materials and makers. We have a particular fondness for the sheer luxury and comfort that pure linen brings - a fabric that with a little love and care will last a lifetime.
Looking from Breac.House across Sheephaven Bay we can see the seaside village of Downings. This is where McNutt of Donegal have been producing some of the world's finest weaves for generations. Every collection is designed in-house by a dedicated team of talented designers who remain constantly inspired by the rugged coastline and nature's playground that surrounds them.
William McNutt joined the family business in the 1980’s and took over the mill with his brother in 1992. As well as a beautiful range of woollen products, McNutts continue to work with beautiful Irish linen and in recent years have collaborated with young designers to create a contemporary range of Irish linen products. Through their #Whylinen social media campaign, they have shown that not only is linen a versatile fabric but also that it represents a sustainable and fashionable alternative to plastic and cotton.
Garments made of linen were valued throughout the last centuries for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot and humid weather. Linen is one of the oldest textiles in the world with discoveries dating back to 8000 BC. Irish linen, particularly from the province of Ulster in which we are located, has become world renowned for its exceptional quality.
As we considered all of the elements of our outdoor wood fired sauna experience, the choice of McNutts to design and create our 100% linen Irish sauna towel was obvious. The beauty and durability of linen is well known – in fact its get better with age, washing and use. Inspired by the colours which guests can see from the wood-fired sauna window, the linen towels are a combination of the stone grey of Muckish mountain and the bright yellow of the beautiful gorse flowers which are in abundance during Spring in this region.
The choice of materials and colours also reflects the desire to connect the contemporary wood-fired sauna with the traditional ancient Celtic sweat-houses which were used by our ancestors. These sweat-houses were huts built from local stone, with a grass-roof and window for ventilation. We have given the Celtic sweathouse a contemporary take but remained true to its origins by only using traditional materials of stone, wood and grass in its construction and only using wood, fire and water to replicate the ancient healing experience. The linen towels by McNutt of Donegal also communicate this nod to our ancestors by using ancient local materials in the colours of fire, stone and water in which to envelop guests after their sweat house experience.
We were delighted that when Breac.House was featured in the publication The Makers Bible "Human Space" publication last year, MCNUTT was featured among the makers we have worked with. To find out more about MCNUTT and to see the full range of their products in linen and wool, see https://www.mcnuttofdonegal.co...