Thursday, June 27, 2013

Harris Tweed Making a Comeback

Harris Tweed is making a resurgence.

What is Harris Tweed?  Wikipedia says
Harris Tweed is a cloth that has been handwoven by islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides. 
Harris Tweed is protected by the Harris Tweed Act of Parliament 1993,[1] which strictly outlines the conditions in which the cloth can genuinely be made. 
Authentic Harris Tweed is issued with the Harris Tweed Orb Mark, the United Kingdom's oldest registered trademark,[2] after inspection by the Harris Tweed Authority, the industry's governing body.
There is a link to a BBC video that was of great interest to me because 20 fiber enthusiasts (including moi) will be there in just two weeks to visit at least one weaver's shop, that of Donald John Mackay.

Go HERE to see the video (no embedding, with just a short commercial prior to the video). This is a picture of weaver Donald Mackay at work, NOT a live link:

and another picture on the island of Harris, with Mr. Mackay's weaving shed in the background: so picturesque!

Joyce James, the tour guide for our trip to the Scottish Isles, says about this video:
 It was good to see weaver, Donald John Mackay, at his loom in his weaving shed overlooking Luskentyre Beach. We'll be visiting Donald John next month as part of the 2013 Scottish Skeins tour. Travellers from past tours have thoroughly this stop. In fact, it's been difficult to get them to leave his shed and little shop.
Despite tough economic times, the Harris tweed industry is proving as resilient as the cloth which takes its name.

It has been making a big impact in global fashion, and recently took home two prizes from the UK Fashion and Textiles Awards.


  1. How VERY interesting! You are going to have so much fun!
    SUCH beautiful tartans! I'm so glad it's making a comeback!

  2. These traditional wool fabrics are amazing! I have just bought some tweed from the Shetlands to make a couple of skirts come the autumn - it's light and warm and although the colours are muted there's something alive about them and the way they reflect the colours of the land, sea and sky that surround where they were made. Make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase for purchases! And enjoy every minute of your trip! E x

  3. This is so cool! I think I've heard about this fabric before but I'm not a fashion guru. I'm so green about your future trip. It's going to be awesome and one heck of an experience.

  4. I just wrote a piece about Harris tweed, well the traditional dyeing of it anyway, for a Hong Kong fashion magazine!

    Have the most wonderful time in Scotland Nancy:)

  5. Very interesting! Have a blessed day dear Nancy, HUGS!

  6. I love tweed ... when the Autumn magazines come out and I see all the models in their tweeds, I long to live in a tweed-y climate out in the countryside! I hope you have a fabulous trip!


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