What is Harris Tweed

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Harris Tweed is a handmade fabric cloth woven by crofters in their homes. Fabric is a flexible laminar structure resulting from the union of yarns or fibers coherently by interlacing them or joining them by joining their other means. It is a particular type of fabric known as Tweed that has different patterns and colors.

This fabric is peculiar to the native people of Scotland, but it has become popular nowadays and known to the fashion industry. The fabric is of the highest quality, with unique and stunning patterns. This fabric known as Harris Tweed got its name from where it’s made- an island in Scotland named Harris island.

History of Harris Tweed

Harris Tweed is a brand of fabric created in the 18th century ago among the Islanders of Harris. This cloth was known for its fabric quality to protect the people against cold as the northern part of Scotland was known for its harsh climate condition. Tweed was known as tweel in Scottish because the cloth was woven in a twill pattern before turning to Tweed. Some believe the word Tweed is a misread word.

The countess of Dunmore, Lady Catherine, promoted the Tweed and made it known to the outside world. It all started with the Paisley sisters; she recognized two sisters’ talents in 1843; they were gifted in weaving fabric. She employed them to weave for his household. Harris Tweed was created through her. 

Back then, when there was no currency, and often things were purchased by exchanging with other things known as trade by barter because of its quality, the cloth was used as a means of exchange. Mechanized weaving methods were developed in the industrial revolution era, and it was moved from manual to mechanical.

Harris Tweed has its own act of parliament of 1993, which made it the first—manufactured fabric tweed that has an act of parliament. An act was made in the Wool Act parliament to regulate the manufacture and the trade of cloth by means of Statutes that are constantly renewed to give a tremendous commercial boost to the textile activity of the city.

Harris Tweed is woven in a weaver’s shed on the isle of Harris. The weaving industry develops gradually in the city along the isle of Harris. It specializes in the techniques to improve production and is dedicated to softening and beautifying the cloth. The fabrics reach many European countries through the network of their commercial establishments. Due to the initiated commercial development and recognized expertise in the manufacture of fabrics, Harris Tweed enjoys a flourishing and quiet period. These fabrics are woven from yarns. 

Coming from the Isle of Harris in Scotland, this material was carefully selected and mechanically transformed into the so-called “tweed” that made it possible to produce, mixed with virgin wool, carded fabrics of all kinds at competitive prices. Since the sixties, machinery and technologies have been resolutely renewed; the use of regenerated raw materials is directed towards higher quality materials that come from recycling new pieces of clothing.

 Harris Tweed is so unique and what makes Harris Tweed so very special is that any cloth that is officially Harris Tweed is woven in a weaver’s shed on the island and carries the iconic orb logo of authenticity. Every product with the logo is handmade, such as a suit, hat, scarf, bag, etc.

In the 21st century, the positive effects and quality of the cloth began to be felt all over the world, the decisive fact of which was affirmed when, in the middle of the century, the process of regeneration of the scraps of tailoring fabrics, fabrics and clothes began to be used.

harris tweed jacket, waistcoat and flat cap
Our Harris Tweed Blazer & Waistcoat with Gloves and a Flat Cap
harris tweed blazer jacket
Harris Tweed Blazer - White Sand

How it's made

Harris Tweed is made on an island known as the Isle of Harris in Scotland. The fabric is woven, braided. The natural fibers most used to make fabric are linen, wool, cotton, and silk. The most widely used synthetic is polyester, but Harris Tweed is made with fine wool from Scotland. The wool is dyed after sorting it out, combed, and spun. The dyed wools are weighed and blended to give the desired unique color. The fabric is non-allergenic and biodegradable. The fibers are then transformed into yarn (spun), wound into cones, then placed next to the loom to weave the cloth. 

Spinning

 To obtain the spinning, the fibers of the material are twisted together manually or using a spindle. This twisting produces chains of short strands that together form a single body. The force with which they are twisted determines the characteristics of the fabric that is obtained. With a bit of twist, a fabric with a smooth surface is achieved. High twist produces tough, wear-resistant fabrics. Synthetic fibers are made into yarn in the same way as natural fibers. 

The Loom

To weave fabric, a loom and rolls of thread are required with those colors that you want to incorporate into the fabric. The loom is a wooden frame, which allows fixing a set of parallel threads arranged vertically (along), defined as the fabric’s warp. To begin the actual weaving, horizontal threads are intertwined (across the width), called: fabric weft. The number of threads per square centimeter used in the manufacturing process determines the type and weight of the fabric.

Harris Tweed is woven on a treadle loom at an islander’s home and not at a mill, unlike other fabrics though the warp and weft yarns are from the mill. The Tweed is taken back to the mill after weaving to remove any imperfections that occurred during the weaving and make it perfect. After the Tweed is made perfect, it will be sealed with an orb on the fabric.

What makes Harris Tweed an up-market fabric?

Harris Tweed is a handwoven fabric cloth by crofters in their home in Scotland; though there have been some mechanical changes in the process, however, it is still made using traditional methods. It is known for its highest quality and stylish appearance.

Harris Tweed is unique and different from other fabric cloths. It shows many colors similar to the Scotland landscape as a result of dyes from plants. These colors’ true beauty can be seen with a magnifying loupe. You will see a yarn of cloth displaying multiple beautiful colors.

How to Wear

Fabrics are a fundamental element in fashion since they are part of the fall, the color, and the texture of each garment. One of our favorites products is Harris Tweed which gives a classy and impressive look. In addition, it never goes out of style and can be part of any style. You will know the best way to wear Harris Tweed and become a fashion guru with these tips. 

# 1. Wear with Black 

The most popular Tweed is the Harris Tweed. Balancing the natural colors with black will allow you to create an infinity of looks and the texture looks even more impressive with black leather. Wear it with a completely black outfit to look balanced.

# 2. Contrast the Colors 

To give prominence to the Tweed, you need to contrast it with a light and neutral color. The most indicated is white since it highlights black to perfection.

 # 3. Take a Chance

Harris Tweed is ideal for those who are not afraid to be innovative or daring. Investing in eye-catching tweed garments will instantly make you stand out. It can be with applications, embroidery, and even bicolor garments.

# 4. Neon Colors 

If you want to steal the eyes wherever you go, combine that tweed garment with a neon color that will not let you go unnoticed. 

# 5. Play With Shoes 

Garments made of this material go with practically everything. Experimenting with shoes will make you look versatile, and you can show off the same garment in different outfits, looking very different every day.

# 6. Mark Your Silhouette 

Highlighting your figure is essential, especially when wearing an outfit in a single color, such as black. You can do it with the help of a leather belt.

We know some people wonder if there’s a day you can’t wear tweed jackets or when you can wear them. Tweed jackets can be worn anytime, any day of the year, whether for a casual or formal outing.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this blog post, and we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Have you ever bought Harris Tweed before? What do you think of it? If not, we encourage everyone to give it a try! You can contact us with any questions or feedback – we’d love to help answer any queries that might be on your mind.

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