Did You Know? 7 Surprising Facts About Tweed...
One of the joys of curating vintage & antique clothing is that it is a never-ending education. And because clothes are such an intimate representation of society through history, I truly feel I get to learn something new every day. Today I'd like to share a few interesting facts I discovered while I was researching one of my favourite vintage gems currently online: a fabulous, genuine vintage Harris Tweed jacket! Ready?
1. Man or Island? The name 'Harris' does not refer to a person: it derives from the island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, where genuine tweed is (to this day) hand-woven by local crofters.
2. Sherlock was a Fan: did you know that Arthur Conan Doyle chose Tweed for Sherlock Holmes' iconic deerstalker hat and cape? The man had taste.
3. Haute Tweed: Coco Chanel loved Tweed to the point that she commissioned a Scottish factory to produce the early prototype for her (later produced in France) iconic suit jackets.
4. Truly Handmade: genuine Tweed is woven on treadle-powered looms and crafted by hand, completely without the aid of automation or electricity! Weaver’s skills take years to master and every step of the Harris Tweed process, including wool dyeing, is in the hands of skilled islanders.
5. Laying down the Law: the Harris Tweed Act 1993 strictly outlines its quality criteria and production conditions. Every 50 metres of Harris Tweed are checked by an inspector from the Harris Tweed Authority before assigned the Orb Mark. If you see the mark, you'll know your piece is genuine - just like in this gorgeous vintage Harris Tweed jacket, now in the shop!
6. Twilling: the process of 'twilling' (it's a thing!) involves the weaving of a diagonal line through the fabric to produce a sturdy yet light cloth that is also water-resistant and has great insulating properties - ideal to withstand any winter!
7. Sustainable (Before It Was Cool): low-impact handwoven production methods, small batches and a legal requirement to rely on natural raw materials make Harris Tweed a fully sustainable option...all the more so when vintage!
Plus I'd like to add a n.8...Tweed is not just for men! :) To me there's nothing sexier than 'stealing' an item of menswear and styling it with a twist - the results can be irresistibly sexy!