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Irish carpet company moves into rugs

Killybegs, Ireland — The century-old Donegal Carpets Ltd., which has carpeted Buckingham Palace and The Vatican, for the first time has signed a licensing agreement to have its hand-knotted rug designs available to a broader consumer market.

Northfield Carpets International LLC will introduce a collection of area rugs ranging in size from 5' x 8' to 10' x 14' featuring Donegal carpet designs in January at The National Oriental Rug Show in Atlanta. The designs were formerly custom-made only in Killybegs, County Donegal, Ireland.

Initially, Northfield Carpets will market the "Legacy Collection" in five sizes. It will include nearly a dozen historical designs, taken from patterns in the Donegal archives dating back to 1898.

One example is the Armagh rug, which was originally created for Armagh Cathedral in Ireland and features a trellis bordered by flowers and leaves in reds and greens. Downing is a floral design in reds, blues and greens, originally commissioned for the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street in London. And Ardmore, made for the Chicago Athletic Club, was inspired by a drawing from a page in the Book of Kells.

"In our effort to preserve the historic Donegal name, we have decided to offer Donegal designs at a more affordable price," said Michael McDaid, general manager, Donegal Carpets. "We think this will allow a much broader audience to appreciate the skills that made Donegal so famous."

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