Thursday, 23 January 2014

Discovering Harris Tweed. Part 1

A while ago, I made myself this "Oversized fashionista Bag", following a pattern of Lisa Lam's "Bag Making Bible".

I guided you through the making of it here, here and here.
The outer fabric is Harris Tweed.
This was my first encounter with this gorgeous fabric.
Since then, I ordered some more Harris Tweed and started making small accessories for my shop.

These are my new , luxury , coin purses: with Harris Tweed as outer fabric and Liberty Tana Lawn for the lining.
Some of them have already been sold , but I will soon offer them in my shop.
Reading through some background information, I became fascinated by the history and process of Harris Tweed production.
So, I thought of sharing this with you.
Harris Tweed is a fabric hand-woven by the islanders in the Outer Hebrides on the Scottish Isles of Harris, Lewis, Uist, and Barra,
using local wool and vegetable dyes.
In the early 1900's, groups of Merchants on these Isles applied for a registered trademark to protect the name of Harris Tweed legally.
This trademark was called : "The Orb"
The original definition attached to the Orb Trade Mark stated that:
‘Harris Tweed meant a tweed, hand-spun, hand-woven and dyed by the crofters and cottars in the Outer Hebrides.’

The Harris Tweed Association was formed to protect both the use of the Orb Trade Mark and to protect the use of the name ‘Harris Tweed’ from imitations .
 In 1934 a revised legal definition of Harris Tweed trademark was achieved. It allowed the use of local mill-spun yarn and confined all processes of production to the islands.

Here is an interesting link if you want to know more about the turbulent history of the Harris Tweed production. 
In my next post I will guide you through the actual process of Harris Tweed production starting with 100% new wool.
Warm regards


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