Monday, 22 September 2014

Hebridean Tweed

I was intrigued , off to the Isle of Harris and I hadn't twigged that the "Harris Tweed" offcuts I had been using in my heart garlands originated from there.


 It wasn't until someone said to me "look out for the weavers" that it set something off in my tiny brain. 

Ah Ah , must find the weavers on the Isle of Harris.......and so i did , sort of. I hunted and asked around , but the majority of the Harris Tweed made on the hebridean islands is not actually made on the Isle of Harris but The Isle of Lewis. So what does that entail ? how many ferries did I have to catch to get on to another hebridean island , well none , both Harris and Lewis are joined together to form one larger island. So all it took was a drive around the west coast of Harris , past all the beautiful stunning beaches , up to Lewis.

 Carloway is the home of one of the weavers who has a number of weaving looms set up in his shed. When you walk into his little empire straight away he rushes over to give you his demonstration of how he weaves his Harris Tweed. 

He had one of his looms set up with this glorious pattern

but he showed me how he weaves on this loom.

I won't go in to the detail of what he does , but it involves peddles that he uses like on a piano and shuttles that are full of yarn that go back and forth between the warp or is it weft) . 

and the whole thing is programmed using these strips , which determine which shuttles (these contain the coloured yarns) go through at what time. A bit like the puch card and paper tapes that were used to program computers back in the 70's.

I think the bit that really excited me was that these Hattersley looms came from Keighley, West Yorkshire , about 12 miles away from my home town of Halifax. I was so proud .....

authentic harris tweed

Please read the official harris tweed blog for more interesting information on this great woolly product , hand made on the most beautiful of our british isles.

 You will see harris tweed products spring in to life in my shop over the coming months. Hope you like them.

Quick View of Woolly Goodies available on my web site

Quick View of Woolly Goodies available on my web site
Click on photo above to see detail / to purchase