The passing of an Act of Parliament in 1993 brought into being the Harris Tweed Authority, a new statutory body replacing the original Harris Tweed Association set up in 1909. The fundamental role of the organisation was to undertake responsibility for promoting and maintaining the authenticity, standard and reputation of the world famous Harris Tweed cloth.
The Authority oversees the production and inspection of the cloth from start to finish and only when satisfied that the article is genuinely deserving of our historic Orb will we brand the cloth with the mark.
The mark of the Orb, pressed onto every length of cloth and seen on the traditional label affixed to finished items, guarantees the highest quality tweed, dyed, spun and handwoven by islanders of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland in their homes to the laws outlined in the Harris Tweed Act of Parliament.
The definition of Harris Tweed contained in the Harris Tweed Act of 1993 clearly defines Harris Tweed as follows:
“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.”
The Act ensures that all cloth certified with the Harris Tweed Orb symbol complies with this definition and is genuine Harris Tweed, the world’s only commercially produced handwoven tweed.
The legislation and organisation allows the safeguarding of the Harris Tweed name, quality and reputation of Harris Tweed ensuring that every metre of the world famous cloth conforms to the same exacting standards and gives legal powers to address imitation and counterfeiting of the cloth worldwide.