Harris Tweed

August 04, 2013

The beauty of Harris Tweed

At the Cotswold Tailor we have seen resurgence once more in tailoring using Harris Tweed. Harris Tweeds rugged beauty makes it both practical for tailoring into shooting suits and working jackets, but equally beautiful for tailoring into fashion jackets and tailored sports jackets.  

The vast array of colours available from swatch to swatch, but equally within each Harris Tweed cloth, is truly breath taking. It is said that inspiration for new designs comes from the surrounding landscapes, you can see why.


So what of the history of Harris Tweed?

Harris Tweed has a history which dates back centuries, originating from Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The cloth was originally used for use at home, for warmth and protection in winter for centuries, but by the early 1900's the tweed had become valuable and a tweed making industry began in the Isle of Lewis. In 1905 a Trade Mark Act was passed for Harris Tweed, this same Trade Mark of the orb and Maltese cross with Harris Tweed underneath is the same mark that is stamped on Harris Tweed today.

Harris Tweed must be made from 100% pure virgin wool, dyed, spun and finished in the Outer Hebrides and hand woven by weavers at their homes in Lewis and Harris.

The process of making Harris Tweed

All stages of tweed preparation and weaving is hand done. The bobbins are used to warp the tweed first of all. The warp being handmade to ready a tweed for the loom. After the design of the tweed has been decided on, the warp is put on a beam then the threads (700 threads for the 75cm, 1400 for the 150cm) are knotted one by one by hand. This has to be double checked for perfection of the pattern of the tweed before the weaving of the cloth begins.

Once woven, the tweed has to be finished, washed, scoured, then dried in a special machine and given a blown finished if required. In the case of Harris Tweed the cloth will then be stamped with the world famous Orb mark to certify that it is genuine.

The Cotswold Tailor Harris Tweed Products

Harris Tweeds are desirable for outer garments, as they both moisture-resistant and durable. As such we most commonly use Harris Tweed in our infamous Harris Tweed dog coats and to tailor into Harris Tweed Jackets and tailored tweed shooting suits. We use a small family run business that has been in the industry for over 20 years, we are able to offer our clients garments tailored in any one of our stocked Harris Tweeds, or for larger orders we can also offer a bespoke cloth service.