Where To Buy Harris Tweed
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All our cloth is stamped by the Harris Tweed Authority and to ensure there is no confusion all items made using Harris Tweed are marked with this orb image harris tweed logo We hope that you will enjoy shopping with us.
Harris Tweed Isle of Harris is a family-run business that specialises in the world-famous cloth known as Harris Tweed. The family has a rich heritage of weavers that go back generations and are proud to be able to continue the family legacy combining our rich time-honoured craft with modern, contemporary influences. Initially, the family business was weaving and selling tweed lengths, we are now able to offer a large range of Harris Tweed products such as jackets, handbags, purses, soft furnishings, and many other accessories.
Arguably the most famous fabric to come out of the British Isles, a Harris Tweed garment is always a good investment. Spun, woven and dyed on the isles of Harris and Lewis, the tweed reflects the hardy nature of the sheep it is shawn from.
Harris Tweed (Scottish Gaelic: Clò Mór or Clò Hearach) is a tweed cloth that is 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. This definition, quality standards and protection of the Harris Tweed name are enshrined in the Harris Tweed Act 1993.
The original name of tweed fabric was "tweel", the Scots word for twill, as the fabric was woven in a twill weave rather than a plain (or tabby) weave. A number of theories exist as to how and why "tweel" became corrupted into "tweed"; in one, a London merchant in the 1830s, upon receiving a letter from a Hawick firm inquiring after "tweels", misinterpreted the spelling as a trade name taken from the River Tweed, which flows through the Scottish Borders. Subsequently, the goods were advertised as "tweed", the name used ever since.
When Alexander Murray, 6th Earl of Dunmore, inherited the North Harris Estate from his father in 1836, production of tweed in Outer Hebrides was still entirely manual. Wool was washed in soft, peaty water before being dyed using dyestuffs derived from local plants and lichens. It was then processed and spun, before being hand woven by the crofters in their cottages.
Traditional island tweed was characterised by the flecks of colour achieved through the use of natural dyes, including the lichen known as "crottle" (Parmelia saxatilis and Parmelia omphalodes), which gave the fabric deep red or purple-brown and rusty orange colours respectively. The use of these lichens also resulted in a distinctive scent that made older Harris Tweed fabrics easily identifiable.
Upon the death of the 6th Earl of Dunmore in 1843, responsibility for his estate on the Isle of Harris passed to his wife, Lady Catherine Herbert. Lady Catherine noticed the marketing potential and high quality of the tweed cloth produced locally by two sisters from the village of Strond. Known as the Paisley Sisters after the town where they had trained, the fabric woven by them was of a remarkably higher quality than that produced by untrained crofters. In 1846, the Countess commissioned the sisters to weave lengths of tweed with the Murray family tartan. She sent the finished fabric to be made up into jackets for the gamekeepers and ghillies on her estate. Being hardwearing and water resistant, the new clothing was highly suited to life on the Dunmores' estate. Her ideas were complemented by the work of "Fanny" Beckett. She organised the weavers and created training an quality control and promoted Harris Tweed as a sustainable and local industry.
Legal protection of the name of Harris Tweed by a trade mark and an established standard definition became essential. Groups of merchants in both Lewis and Harris applied to the Board of Trade for a registered trade mark. When this trade mark, the Orb, was eventually granted, the board insisted that it should be granted