Modern Artisans: Helen Steele, Lovern Leather Goods & Foxford Woollen Mills

Discover the NEW GENERATION of IRISH MAKERS AND DESIGNERS creating quality, modern pieces with a respect for HERITAGE AND TRADITION 


Before you make your Christmas list, discover some of Ireland’s most exciting designers and craftspeople and find out how they are using traditional techniques to make and sell their products today …

Helen Steele


Working out of a converted duck hatchery in Co Monaghan, Helen Steele’s studio is as much a piece of artwork as the clothes and prints she produces. With paint splattered walls and floors, prints and garments hanging from the ceiling and the walls, it appears almost like an exhibition space, and clearly helps Steele to get in the creative mindset. Her highly sought after clothing features hand designed prints which she creates herself and then applies to her collections of dresses, tunics and kaftans. Steele’s pieces are worn to be seen; buy one for the style maven who loves to stand out.

Lovern Leather Goods


Designer Sandra Lovern launched her leather goods brand in 2010 after setting herself the task of recreating a handbag that was passed down to her from her mother, which she wore for many years receiving countless compliments on it along the way. Based in the west of Ireland, her first creation resulted in the Galway Barrel Bag, the most popular design today. But we love the extra detail of the scalloped edges on this leather crossbody bag and we think it’s too nice to give away, so we’re adding it to our own wish list this year! It’s created from Italian vegetable tanned leather and is handcrafted in Ireland, so you know you are getting a very special, carefully created product that you’ll wear forever.

Foxford Woollen Mills


From the Moy Valley in Co Mayo comes Foxford Woollen Mills who have woven blankets, scarves and throws from as far back as 1892. A household name in Irish design, Foxford has earned a place in many homes in Ireland. Taking inspiration from the changing palettes of the Irish countryside their collection of woven goods are produced in the most striking shades that will brighten up any modern home or winter outfit. These herringbone tweed and leather gloves would make a perfect stocking filler this year.


Christmas has arrived at and to spread the festive cheer they are offering readers the chance to win some fabulous Irish-made objects. The Design Ireland Festive Giveaway includes incredible pieces from Inner Island, Tutty’s Handmade Shoes and Gilded Hound to name but a few. To be in with a chance to win a Design Ireland prize worth over €1,000 simply follow this link and enter your contact details: Competition closes December 17.

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