The Harris Tweed Story

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, which strictly outlines the conditions in which the cloth can genuinely be made.

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harris tweed story
harris tweed story
harris tweed story

Why We Use Harris Tweed for Our Clothing

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, 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, after inspection by the Harris Tweed Authority, the industry's governing body. For centuries the islanders of Lewis and Harris, the Uists, Benbecula and Barra have woven cloth by hand calling it Clò Mór in the original Gaelic or 'The big cloth'.

Harris Tweed Weaver c1960 As the Industrial Revolution reached Scotland, mainland manufacturers turned to mechanisation but the Outer Hebrides retained their traditional processes. Lewis and Harris had long been known for the excellence of the weaving done there, but up to the middle of the nineteenth century, the cloth was produced mainly for home use or for local market.

Originally this handmade fabric was woven by crofters for familial use, ideal for protection against the colder climate of the North of Scotland. Surplus cloth was often traded or used as barter, eventually becoming a form of currency amongst the islanders. For example, it was not unusual for rents to be paid in blankets or lengths of cloth.

 

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