10 Facts About Harris Tweed

September 25, 2017

 

What’s not to love about autumn?

 

The nights are drawing in, we have a fire in the inglenook and a drop of Harris Gin in our glasses! Plus, we have rediscovered our cosy cashmere throws and our favourite tweed jackets . . .

 

Tweed has been around for hundreds of years, and there are many reasons why this beautiful, traditional fabric is enjoying a big resurgence. For many of our clients, it is the fabric of choice for their bespoke jackets and overcoats.

 

If you are thinking of investing in a true British Classic, here are some interesting facts that you may not know about tweed:

 

  1. Tweed is a tightly woven, hard wearing woollen cloth typically produced in Scotland. Every tweed is unique due to the mix of yarns which are dyed before being spun allowing the weaver to blend many colours into the cloth.
     

  2. Tweed comes in many colours, not just green and brown, typically of mixed flecked colours, which can include pinks, blues, oranges and reds.
     

  3. Tweed is great for all weathers – cold, rain, snow… whatever the weather throws at you, it will keep you warm and cosy, plus it is breathable when the temperature rises.
     

  4. Tweed was worn by pioneers, mountaineers and explorers long before the days of Gore-Tex and North Face clothing.
     

  5. In 1924 Coco Chanel discovered the joys of tweed when borrowing sporting clothes from her beau, the Duke of Westminster and subsequently had tweed woven specially to make her iconic ladies suits.
     

  6. Many sporting estates have their own design tweed, including the iconic Balmoral Tweed.
     

  7. Plus fours are not trousers chopped off halfway, but designed for ease of movement as the wearer crawls and crouches in the heather whilst stalking.
     

  8. Harris tweed can only be made by weavers working on the islands of Harris & Lewis in the Outer Hebrides – there are currently around 200 weavers producing Harris Tweed in their weaving sheds.
     

  9. Donald John Mackay MBE can weave 27 yards of tweed in a day and was asked by Nike to make 10,000 yards for their tweed trainers, weavers from across Harris and Lewis were enlisted to deliver the order in 3 months.
     

  10. A bespoke tweed jacket will last many years – one of the best investments you can make.

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