Harris Tweed

Harris_tweed11-201107

Or the colours of the Scottish Highlands in a jacket.

This posting is a result of a TV programme which featured a short piece on the history of Harris Tweed. BBC’s very good Coast programme demonstrated how the local wool was originally – in the 19th century – dyed with natural plants including lichens. I was amazed to discover that the yarn is still hand-woven by residents of Harris, Lewis, Uist and Barra in their own homes – each design reflecting the colours of the local landscape of where it is woven. The six minute piece can be viewed at bbc.co.uk/programmes/b012f9yj (between 39.20 mins and 45 mins) via BBC’s I-player although I understand it’s not accessible for viewers outside the UK. However a 5 minute video from the Guardian online is available and is very interesting and informative, and which shows the weavers at work.

I managed to borrow a Harris Tweed jacket for the purposes of highlighting the variety of landscape colours used (thanks Midge). Viewed from a few feet away, this jacket looks like a brown and green check but upon closer inspection, an array of colours can be seen: purples, blues, creams, coppery-brown.

Further information on the history of Harris Tweed can be found at harristweed.org

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20 thoughts on “Harris Tweed

    • Thank you Ted! It’s fascinating isn’t it? I love that Harris Tweed are intending to put a code number on each jacket in order that the buyer can discover info about the actual weaver who worked on it! Wonderful.

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  1. A real treasure! These are the crafts that are vital to keep alive – when all the modern factories crumble – as they most surely will – these people know how to clothe themselves! Thumbs up to you and the BBC for promoting this craft:-)

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  2. Naturally – I like this! I have some Harris Tweed that my mum brought back from her visit there a few years ago now – still waiting for the right pattern to make up into something that compliments the tweed! I also like the “Coast” program… more specifically Neil Oliver’s voice πŸ˜‰

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    • Thanks Lu! It’s beautiful material and I like it even more now I know more about it. The Coast programme is interesting, and I agree with you about Mr Oliver – his voice is like hot chocolate although Mr Crane is very good too πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you! I guess it was a bit of a quirky shot and posting – it’s amazing seeing all the little details on things. Thanks very much for stopping by and commenting!

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