Our new series focuses on the Frequently Asked Questions we receive here at the offices of the Harris Tweed Authority. Every day our experienced team tackles questions about all aspects of the Big Cloth. Read on to perhaps learn something new and discover more links to different aspects of our Harris Tweed® story.
FAQ #1: “Is Harris Tweed® itchy against the skin?”
The ‘finishing’ of Harris Tweed® fabric has greatly developed over the century, and the reputation of being ‘scratchy’ or ‘itchy’ isn’t one that comes with today’s Harris Tweed® fabric.
The cloth was still finished by hand (called ‘waulking’) in the 1920s, but gradually wholesalers wanted a smoother and more consistent feel to the fabric and this developed greatly over the decades.
By the 1990s, even more modernisation took place in terms of finishing the cloth. Meeting the demand for a wider, even softer, light-weight cloth while still holding onto the reputable quality of the fabric was one of the big changes made around then. This was significantly carried out by 1993 with the development of various parts of the production process, including the introduction of the double-width handloom to the weavers.
To read more about the history of Harris Tweed® fabric, visit https://www.harristweed.org/our-history/
The featured Harris Tweed® design is handwoven for the mill, Harris Tweed Hebrides
For all Harris Tweed® producers, see link below.
Photograph of Harris Tweed® fabric | encompass