The Story of “Harris Tweed”  

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The inhabitants of the Western Isles of Scotland produced cloth entirely by hand long before the industrial revolution had reached them. They had become expert weavers and their craftsmanship was well respected. Using their own wool from their specific sheep, “Harris Tweed” was one of the fabrics made by hand in their cottages during the long winter evenings to keep them warm and dry. The cloth was originally called “tweel” and not “tweed” because of the Scot name for “twill”, since it is woven into a twilled pattern. Legend has it that a London merchant in 1826 received a letter about some “tweels” but he misread the word and transcribed the order as “tweed” and the name stuck. It is generally accepted that the “Harris” name was incorporated into the fabric name when the Countess of Dunmore, whose family were the proprietors of the North Harris Estate, took an interest in the cloth circa 1840 and referred to it as “Harris Tweed”… Read More



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