Harris Tweed

The beauty of Harris Tweed begins long before the weaver creates the cloth!

It all begins with the yarn. Scottish wool, dyed and then skilfully blended, creating the colour palette of the Outer Hebrides. The fleece is then spun in to yarn at the mill. A long process of blending the coloured fibres, carding, twisting and then...the final spin!

The Weaver decides on the design, the colour, the draft and begins making the warp. For an independent, single width weaver, this will probably mean warping by hand on wooden stakes. Or if they are very lucky a warping mill! This takes time, concentration and strength! Pulling yarn from maybe twenty four bobbins on a creel and passing them around the wooden stakes, which can be over three metres apart is no mean feat. The warp could be anything from twenty to over fifty metres long!

After the warp is made and removed from the warping stakes by forming it in to a chain of yarn, the warp is then ready to be wound under tension on to the back beam of the loom, from there it is tied to the previous warp ends.

 

One little job left to do...winding the pirns! Only then can weaving begin! 

The Harris Tweed Orb

The one very special attribute that Harris Tweed possesses that no other textile in the world has, is an Act of Parliament governing its production.

In 1993, an Act of Parliament brought in to being the Harris Tweed Authority, this replaced the Harris Tweed Association which began life in 1909. Its role, to be Guardians of the Orb. Every metre of Harris Tweed is inspected in accordance with the Act of 1993.

Harris Tweed cloth must be "Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool, dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides".

Once the Harris Tweed Authority Inspectors are satisfied that the cloth has been produced in accordance with the Act of Parliament it is then stamped with the Orb, at the mill.

This safeguards the quality and reputation of Harris Tweed and guarantees that your purchase of Harris Tweed is genuine and has been created within the Act of Parliament.

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