FAQ 5: “Is urine still used in the production of Harris Tweed®?”
Over time, the traditional method of hand ‘waulking’ the tweed (which was carried out to soften the cloth and where urine was sometimes used) became less sustainable, and came to an end.
There are no Harris Tweed® producers using completely 100% natural methods for dyeing/production in our industry today (as far as we know!).
Over the generations, it has been necessary for the production of Harris Tweed® fabric to adapt and develop its techniques, allowing us to sustain the industry and jobs for our islanders and produce a cloth finish that was consistent for customers.
We are very proud to still hold on to our many of our other old traditions like weaving the cloth by hand and at the home of the weaver, which is so importantly laid out in the Act of Parliament 1993’s definition of Harris Tweed® fabric.
Follow the link below to see a demonstration of the traditional ‘waulking’ of Harris Tweed® cloth.
The featured Harris Tweed® design is handwoven for the mill, Harris Tweed Hebrides
Harris Tweed® fabric photograph | encompass