9 Fascinating facts about Harris Tweed

October 06, 2018

During the research and sampling for our new Harris Tweed Handbags,
we've discovered some fascinating facts about the unique fabric that is Harris Tweed...

  1. The barren, rocky island of Harris lies across the waters from Scotland, beyond the Isle of Skye.

    Isle of Harris, Scotland

  2. One hundred and fifty years ago the islanders created a unique cloth, a tweed entirely woven by hand that was to become world famous, known today as Harris Tweed. 

    Isle of Harris, Scotland

    Harris Tweed Fabric

  3. Originally the wool was washed in peat water and coloured with dyes made from moss and local plants.

    Isle of Harris Scotland

  4. The yarn was woven on an early type of handloom, manually operated with a shuttle.

    Harris Tweed Loom

  5. In 1909 the 'Harris Tweed Authority' was formed to ensure the tweed could not be imitated. They devised the now famous 'Orb' trademark which appears on every single Harris Tweed item, to prove it's made from genuine Harris Tweed.

    Harris Tweed Authority Orb Trademark

  6. Harris Tweed is the only fabric in the world protected by an act of Parliament. This states that it must be made with 100% pure virgin wool, dyed spun and finished in the Outer Hebrides and woven by hand by the Islanders in their homes on the Islands of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra.

    Harris Tweed Handbags

    Harris Tweed Label

  7. The Harrris Tweed Authority monitor all fabric on a daily basis. Every 50 mts of fabric is inspected and approved before being stamped by hand with the orb trademark.

    Harris Tweed Authority Orb Trademark


  8. In our mechanised and mass-produced world, no other fabric can call itself Harris Tweed.

    Harris Tweed Loom

  9. During our sampling process, we were highly impressed with the quality of this fabric, it stitches beautifully and moulds to the shape of our handbags, unlike any other fabric. If you examine the threads closely you can see an occasional delightful fleck of nature here and there, that must have been caught up in the sheep's wool. There is a slight aroma to the tweed, a charming mix of wool and sea salt, you can almost breathe in the scent of the islands!

    Check out our New Harris Tweed Handbag Colllection here...

    The Harris Tweed Handbag Collection, made in Yorkshire by Umpie Handbags



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