There’s a decided nip in the air these days which is driving me to winterise my wardrobe. The boots are back on, and I’ve ferreted out my trusty brown & cream window-pane check Harris tweed suit from the darker recesses of the cupboard.
Harris tweed, justly dubbed the champagne of fabrics, happens to be celebrating 100 years of its anti-counterfeit Orb trademark this year*. It has the distinction of being the only fabric in the world governed by its own Act of Parliament: the Harris Tweed Act 1993, stipulating that it must be handwoven on the island of Harris at the home of the weaver. In fact, it’s the only handwoven fabric produced in commercial quantities. This explains why it retails at a hefty £75 a metre.
Expensive it may be, but it’ll probably outlive you. My Harris tweed suit came from Jigsaw about 15 years ago and has remained completely impervious to the elements, moths etc.
If you have a need for tweed, why not enjoy this footage of Glasgow’s first Tweed Ride which took place on 7th August? Don’t they look stylish?
Or, how about a map for the tweedophile in your life? Admittedly it’s of an area some distance from Harris. And the name ‘tweed’ doesn’t actually derive from the River Tweed at all, being an unfortunate nineteenth century misreading (allegedly by a London cloth merchant) of ‘tweel’, the Scottish for twill. Ah well. Close enough for rock ‘n’ roll.
* for fellow nit-pickers, the orb trademark was granted in 1909, registered in 1910 and started being stamped on cloth in 1911.