Harris Tweed: An artisan, luxury cloth.
Each season, Cordings work with Mills throughout the United Kingdom, and Ireland to create our new tweed ranges, and each season, without fail, we will include at least two Harris Tweed cloths.
What makes Harris so distinctive?
Harris Tweed is the only fabric produced in commercial quantities that is hand woven anywhere in the world, and this alone makes its character unique. Solely made in the Outer Hebrides, the wool used in Harris Tweed comes from Cheviot and Black Faced sheep, and has a distinct resilient handle. Unusually the wool is dyed before being spun, blending a multitude of colours into the yarn to get the correct hue. The resulting cloth has an immense depth and complexity totally unlike any other tweed. With hundreds of distinctive patterns developed over the centuries, the choice is limitless, and selecting just a few designs can be a slow process. Soft, tactile, breathable, warm, colourful, sustainable, adaptable…the old image of coarse, scratchy, dour tweed simply does not exist these days. While still retaining its heritage of practicality and longevity, the Harris Tweed of today extols all the qualities and virtues of a truly luxury 21st century fabric.
The crofters who make the cloth generally weave on looms in their own homes, once made, the cloth is collected by the mills to be finished, and then either sent back to the weaver or sold as part of the mills range.
The Harris Tweed Authority was established in 1993 “to promote and maintain the authenticity, standard and reputation of Harris Tweed; for preventing the sale as Harris Tweed of material which does not fall within the definition…” It works tirelessly to protect the use of the name, and ensure that the weavers meet the high standards required. Each piece is individually inspected and stamped by hand with the distinctive orb trademark.
Lorna Macaulay, Chief Executive of Harris explains:
“We have seen Harris Tweed become, and more importantly, remain on-trend. Practically every brand and designer has included Harris Tweed pieces in their collections or creations and we hope this will not change. It is considered timeless, a classic, that essential item of any wardrobe that remains in style whatever the fashion forecasts may predict. It is an artisan, luxury product, full of beauty and heritage.”
We couldn’t agree more.