The divided Isle of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides archipelago off northwest Scotland is wild, windy and world famous. It is, together with North and South Uist, Benbecula and Barra, the legally designated home of Harris Tweed.
Until recently, the Clò Mór (Gaelic for ‘Big Cloth’) was in danger of extinction. The number of artisans manually weaving it at home had severely declined as had the number of mills spinning, dyeing and finishing the virgin wool to their unique colour recipes. In 1993, ‘The Harris Tweed Act’ was passed by Britain’s Parliament and the Harris Tweed Association was charged with inspecting each finished piece and verifying its authenticity by manually stamping it with the ‘Orb’ trade mark.
Despite these attempts to protect the islands’ principal export, the cloth had fallen out of fashion. It was heavy, coarse, hard wearing and practically indestructible; qualities that were at odds with a consumer appetite for increasingly silky, lightweight, superfine grades of merino wool and luxury fibres.
However, a movement towards more ‘authentic’, ‘heritage’ fabrics started to take hold. Suddenly, the cloth found its way into designer collections, adding shoes, bags and accessories to its product portfolio. No longer your grandfather’s jacket-of-choice, Harris Tweed was rebooted for a new generation.
Demand has increased significantly in recent seasons, making this the perfect time to refresh our Harris Tweed collection. Updated patterns bursting with colour and contemporary styling for today’s fashion-forward consumer are included in our new assortment, as well as the perennials of the Harris Tweed lexicon. In 2009, Harris Tweed celebrated the 100th anniversary of its trade mark. Here’s to the next 100 years.See The collection