Ad Campaign – Moygashel Linen, 1949

Stand Out in Moygashel Linen

When great houses like B.H. Wragge – Paul Parnes – Davidow – Pat Premo – Kane-Weill select MOYGASHEL Irish linen to create their masterpieces, that is your assurance that MOYGASHEL must stand for the best…so when you shop for yourself, insist on MOYGASHEL…it’s color-fast…crease-resistant…pure…and imported especially for the discriminating.

I was attracted to this ad for today because of all the talk about parasols, but what I want to write about is Irish linen, and especially Moygashel.  Moygashel is not a type of linen, it is a brand name.  I’ve known vintage buyers and sellers to be confused because clothing made of Moygashel linen often has a label identifying it as such, and it is easy to conclude that Moygashel is the name of the garment maker.

As the ad tells us, Moygashel was considered to be the highest quality Irish linen.  Not only did quality garment makers choose it, the fabric was available to home dressmakers, and the coveted Moygashel label was included with a purchase.

What makes Irish linen, and  Moygashel in particular, so so wonderful?  Experts tell us it is the quality of the water in Ireland with which the fibers are processed, much in the same way that the water in Scotland is thought to play a role in the quality of their cashmere.

There is still a linen industry in Ireland, though most of the raw material, flax, is grown in northern Europe and China and imported into the country.   Moygashel still exists as well, as a division of Ulster Weavers, specializing in home furnishing linens.

10 Comments

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10 responses to “Ad Campaign – Moygashel Linen, 1949

  1. I do remember the Moygashel name from shopping as a teenager (1960’s) for yard goods in department stores here in Canada. So glad to hear that they are still in business! Surely there must be many like me who wish for the preservation or return of firms manufacturing good quality clothing and supplies for those who still wish to sew. While knitting is having a resurgence, we don’t hear as much about sewing. Hope the next generation discovers how rewarding and creative it is too!

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    • You can still find high quality fabrics, but they are increasingly expensive. Still, it’s cheaper to make than to buy clothing of comparable quality. I do think shows like Project Runway and the Great British Sewing Bee are helping to highlight sewing.

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  2. I also remember Moygashel Linen, as a kid in the 50’s….I worked part time in an upscale fabric shop in Milwaukee (Kovacks on Water St). I also remember a cheap copy of Irish Linen….called Butcher Linen. I think Butcher Linen was woven from Rayon….am I right? It looked similar, but had no natural slubs in it. I never see Butcher Linen anymore….When did Butcher Linen leave the scene? If it infact, it did leave the scene.??? I also wonder WHY it was called BUTCHER LINEN??? Do you know, Liz?

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    • Marge, I had to look this up, and you are right. Butcher linen is made of rayon. It was made to resemble the heavy linen that was used in European butchers’ aprons. It is still being made, but it is now called butcher cloth as mandated by the US Federal Trade Commission.

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  3. I have had a love-affair with Moygashel linen since the early 1960s when I first started recognizing fine brand name fabrics. I’ve written a lot about Moygashel on my blog (you probably know that!), and will continue to sew with it and unashamedly hoard pieces of it as long as I can!!

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  4. I think that’s Mrs. Exeter in the middle under the parasol.

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  5. For more on what “true” Irish linen is, here’s the guild website: http://www.irishlinen.co.uk/ Note that Baird McNutt, who supplies companies like Brooks Brothers, is selling to the public through John Hanna Ltd. http://jhannaltd.com/

    For our interest and education, a friend is sending swatches to me currently. We are learning all we can about what “good” workmanship is regarding “cloth”. It’s a strong interest for us….

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