Harris tweed or Clo Mhor as it is called in Gaelic literally meaning ‘Big cloth’ is produced exclusively in the Western Isles off Scotland. It is made out of pure new wool and was originally made domestically by the local crofters from their own sheep. It was hand carded, hand spun and woven by a handloom process with surplus cloth often being traded and bartered to the point it became a currency among the islanders. Many weavers still weave on the Islands and can be found all over Harris and Lewis still weaving in the traditional way.
What I love about Harris Tweed is its strong connection with the landscape and environment in which it is made. The colours are taken from surrounding nature with dyes being made from local lichens, berries and plants. The threads were traditionally washed in urine and then placed in boiling tubs of dye and washed in soft peaty water.
Harris tweed is the only commercially produced textile to be protected by an act in Parliament - The Harris Tweed Act of 1993.