McKernan Woollen Mills, nestled in the quaint village of Tuamgraney, is the first feature of our Meet the Members series. This beautiful family-run scarf weaving business is a brilliant place to discover on your visit through East Clare.
The story of McKernan Woollen Mills
Owned by Anke and Eugene McKernan, this Irish/German couple have been making beautiful scarves since 1985.
The couple met in their 20s in The Brazen Head, Dublin and have been together ever since. First moving to Donegal where Anke was working. They then moved to Wunstorf, Germany, where they started weaving from their bedroom.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the couple and their three children moved back to Ireland with their looms. In 1989, they moved to Tuamgraney. For the first number of years, they would fly back and forth to Germany buying scrap yarn and selling at Christmas fairs.
Having trained as handweavers, Anke and Eugene decided to focus on creating beautiful scarves. Combining their love of colour and appreciation for high-quality textiles, McKernan Woollen Mills now supplies over 300 boutiques, concept stores and museums throughout Ireland, Europe and North America.
In 1995 as their business continued to grow, they replaced their handlooms with 120-year-old cast iron shuttle Hattersley looms. Hattersley looms are quite narrow, which makes them ideal for weaving scarves. This 19th-century technology creates a woven selvedge, a superior finish and a feature reminiscent of handwoven textiles.
In 2012, McKernan Woollen Mills purchased their first knitting machine, a Stoll machine. This allows for working with structural stitch combinations, as well as lace and jacquard techniques. Since 2012, they have invested in three more knitting machines.
The couples get their inspiration from colours, textures, patterns, yarns, fashion, art, people and nature. Each of their scarves drapes well, are reversible and have perfect edges. They also appeal to the sense of touch by creating sumptuous textures.
McKernan Woollen Mills are one of Ireland's most established scarf designers and manufacturers.
Visit — a memorable experience
No visit to Tuamgraney or indeed East Clare is complete without stopping into McKernan Woollen Mills.
This family-run business captures the essence of East Clare. Attracting workers and visitors from across the world, McKernan Woollen Mills tells a wonderful story of creativity, family and community.
Enjoy an informative tour of this magnificent workshop, and watch the magic be woven into each and every scarf.
Shop — perfect for souvenirs and gifts
Admire the craftsmanship and creativity at the colourful mill shop, which stocks a range of woven and knitted accessories.
Browse the special offer and sample rails and become tempted by a beautiful bargain.
Enjoy the luxury of free gift wrapping service and direct shipping service so you can send gifts to those you love.
You can also purchase their products through their online store, which can deliver internationally.