Harris Tweed® can only be woven in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, it is part of the heritage of the region and the cloth is protected by the Harris Tweed Authority.
It is crafted by hand by generations of skilled weavers and it is the only fabric produced in commercial quantities by truly traditional methods.
Hundreds of distinctive patterns have been developed over centuries, each one unique and beautiful and its beauty reflects the colours of the region’s scenery.
Unusually, the wool is dyed before being spun, allowing a multitude of colours to be blended into the yarn, creating a cloth of great depth and complexity.
“The use of Harris Tweed cloth is endless. It is shipped to fashion houses, independent designers, multi-national companies, small clothing labels, and famous tailors, to provide a foil for their creative endeavours, all over the world..”– Harris Tweed Autority Archives
1o unique things to know about harris tweed
- Its story began in 1846.
- The Cloth is protected by its own parliament. The Harris Tweed act (1933)
- Handmade in the home of skilled crofters.
- Made of 100% new wool.
- Its beauty reflects the colors of the Scottish Outer Hebrides scenery.
- Wearable all year round through all the season as is warm in winter and cool in summer
- It is one of the fabrics with major longevity. It resists water weather and tear.
- Fashionable through time. It never gets out of style.
- Luxurious. Gets better with age.
- It is exported to over 50 countries.
The word’ best designers, fashion houses and artist have embrace Harris Tweed.
From the weavers to the mills
At the heart of the Harris Tweed industry is the relationship between the weavers and the mills.
The Harris Tweed weaver is an artisan, the master of the loom in the same way a musician is of their instrument. Each loom has its own sound and idiosyncrasies and only the weaver will know how to get the best from it. It can take a long time to ready the loom for weaving a new cloth. Once weaving, they may create as many as four meters of tweed per hour, watching constantly for flaws as they go.
However, the weaver is only part of the story. Without the skill of the millworkers, there would be no yarn to weave. Dozens of specialised jobs take place in the mill sheds. There are professional wool dyers and blenders, yarn spinners and warpers, cloth finishers and stampers and many more roles in between.
From croft to catwalk, the men and women of the islands take great pride in their work, the results of which can be seen in every piece of the Big Cloth that leaves their shores.
Just look closely to reveal the true nature of Harris Tweed. There is an extensive catalog of designs to delve into: from an array of plain twills, traditional herringbones to more complex plaids as well as fresh, unconventional, contemporary patterns. Harris Tweed Producers continue with clients to explore possibilities for each new season.
Tactile, soft, breathable, warm, colourful, sustainable and adaptable: the old image of coarse, scratchy, dour tweed simply does not exist these days. Harris Tweed retains its heritage of practicality and longevity whilst extolling all the qualities and virtues of a truly luxury fabri
Happy Tweeding!Paula and Bibi