So, you didn’t think I could travel to Harris and Lewis without mentioning tweed?


Tweed is woven through the landscape of these islands and its important traditions are still very much alive. I spent several days in tweed heaven. Just imagine the sensory overload of this fabric-filled warehouse in Tarbet. Tweed as far as the eye could see! It was such a delight to spend some time here, amidst an incredible range of hues and designs — individual skill and creativity is apparent in every very different bolt of this glorious handwoven fabric.


It was a privilege to see Katie Campbell weaving at Plocrapol.


In Stornoway, I was very interested to find the work of many young artisans at the New Harris Tweed co-operative, and also enjoyed the exhibition of this beautiful quilt, made by residents of a local care home, at An Lanntair.


I am currently thinking and reading a lot about Harris tweed. And I don’t know if you saw the first part of the BBC4 documentary which aired the other evening? If not, it is available to watch on the iplayer. It is quite gripping stuff.


I acquired some tweed, of course, and I am looking forward to some tweedy sewing and thinking this weekend. More soon.

22 thoughts on “tweed

  1. Hi and thanks for posting a photo of the Harris House Quilt on your site. I worked on this quilt with an amazing community of women with a huge variety of skills and backgrounds — ages ranging from 18 to 84 years, The one thing we had in common was Harris Tweed. Many of the women have weaving histories that span several generations. The quilt pattern is traditional Amish and the quilting was done in typical Amish fashion that is to say lots of “news” and traditions were shared at the weekly quilting sessions. I highly encourage community quilting projects especially when they include people that have a life time to share. Again, thank to all for the lovely comments on the Harris House Quilt


  2. Next time you go – get out to Luskentyre Tweed co. and say Hello to Donald John MacKay who just happens to be my cousin. Even though I am 3,000 miles away in Canada, I stlll remember my grandma’s loom and the many wonderful summers in Harris.


  3. When it was mandatory school wear, I formally detested my Harris tweed overcoat (it had to be ordered from Harrods, don’t cha know? – mine was a hand-me-down). However much I disliked the garment, it did keep me toasty warm and, if I still had it, ‘twould likely still be serviceable. Wonderful fabric!


  4. I am a tweedy fanatic! I have dreams of visiting these parts to see for myself how it’s all done. I also just saw that Selvedge is featuring scottish tweeds in the next issue (which hasn’t made it to my bookstore yet) and it’s very exciting.


  5. Oh how lucky you are! I have had a tweed obssession for sooo long. I am dreaming of curtains in a library for winter (switching to linen in summer – I did say this was a dream). Can’t wait to see what you create with your new treasures!


  6. oooh – I love the tweedy quilt and it sounds like a marvelous trip. I will watch the BBC 4 doc with relish. So nice to see you the other day and am delighted that your little head in the amazing hat is featuring below!


  7. I love tweed on fabric or yarn! I guess you got some for yourself, so I can’t wait to see what you sew with it!

    What a lovely vacation you’ve had!


  8. Ooh lovely tweed. I’ve been thinking about getting a bit of tweed in myself for autumn skirts after seeing some lovely stuff over at *U*-Handblog (who also recommended the BBC4 documentary).


  9. Phew, I’m glad to hear the new cooperative seems to be going well. I’ve never really been a tweedy person but randomly watching the tweed programme the other night did make me sad that it could die out.


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