When Julia O’Donnell started knitting socks for popes, presidents and queens, little did she realise that she had started a whole new trend.
Earlier last year Julia O’Donnell, mother of Daniel and Margo decided to knit the socks for the then Pontiff’
Speaking to the Donegal Democrat at the time Julia said, “I just decided to knit a few pairs of socks for the Pope. It would be nice to think that he had a few pairs all the way from Donegal”
However, for one family who live in Glenties at the foot of the Bluestack Mountains in Fintown that humble pair of socks has created endless opportunities.
Julia’s creations inspired the innovative Breslin family to go upmarket and produce top quality and colourful socks which led to the company securing huge orders to supply thousands of pairs of socks to America’s most prestigious chain store, J Crew. The actress with Dunfanaghy connections Merryl Streep and recent Golden Globe nominee was already a big fan of Donegal Sock’s heavy woven material but Pope Benedict’s seal of approval was that final pice of encouragement.
The Breslin family have held on to the age-old craft that their forefathers bore, and are now on the verge of exporting it to the world as well as distributing it on the national market.
With the downturn in the domestic market the company went further afield seeking out new markets and were delighted with the contact with J Crew which opened up a whole new market. Irish made craft items and tweed are currently enjoying a new lease of life and with the increasing demand the company is now in the process of acquiring new machines to meet with this success .
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