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A Tweed Tale

A Tweed Tale
By Sophie 10 months ago 434 Views No comments



1. Tweed is a rough, natural-fibre textile with a soft, open, flexible texture. Tweed is made from wool and is usually woven with a plain weave, twill or herringbone structure.



2. Colour effects in the yarn can be created by dying the wool before it is spun.


Dying wool at the Hebrides Harris Tweed Company


3. The word 'Tweed' derives from the Scots word 'tweel' or 'twill' which is a type of weave common to the cloth. The material would be woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern. Another story over how Tweed got it's name, suggests that it happened by chance. Around 1831, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm, Wm. Watson & Sons, Dangerfield Mills about some "tweels". The merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the River Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders textile area. The goods were subsequently advertised as Tweed and the name has remained since.



4. Tweed is an icon of traditional Irish and British country clothing, desirable for outdoor wear, due to the material being moisture-resistant and durable. During the 2000s and 2010s, it was not uncommon for members of long-established British and American land-owning families to wear high quality heirloom tweed inherited from their grandparents, some of which pre-dated the Second World War.


5. Tweed has historically been used in musical instruments. Some vintage Upright Pianos have a tweed cloth backing to protect the internal mechanism. Occasionally, Scottish bagpipes were covered in tweed as an alternative to tartan wool.


Tweed is also sometimes found covering vintage or retro guitar amplifiers, such as the Fender tweed and Fender Tweed Deluxe. This was widely used by country music and rock and roll artists of the 1950s and 60s.



6. Tweed is a popular choice for costumes used in fiction movies. Tweed was worn by many fictional characters from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, including the detective Sherlock Holmes, Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett both wore keeper's tweed deerstalkers and Inverness Capes, but more recent portrayals of Sherlock have abandoned the hat.



Create your own Sherlok Holmes look with one of our Harris Tweed Inverness Capes

For mens: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/products/harris-tweed-in...

For Ladies: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/products/harris-tweed-in...


To finish the look, why not add a tweed ghillie hat or deerstalker?

For the Ghillie Hat: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/products/all-wool-ghilli...

For the Deerstalker: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/products/all-wool-deerst...



7. There are three main types of tweed.

- Harris Tweed: The world's only commercially produced handwoven tweed, defined in the Harris Tweed Act of 1993 as cloth which is "Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides".

- Donegal Tweed: A handwoven tweed manufactured in County Donegal, Ireland. Donegal has for centuries been producing tweed from local materials. Sheep thrive in the hills and bogs of Donegal, and indigenous plants such as blackberries, fuchsia, gorse (whins), and moss provide dyes.

- Silk tweed: A fabric made of raw silk with flecks of colour typical of woollen tweeds.



To take a look at our range of Tweed products, take a look here: https://www.scotweb.co.uk/multisearch?multi_search...