Behind the cloth: It’s Thursday, so let’s throw back to something from our archives. Here are a few pages from an old booklet that details some of the plants employed to dye Harris Tweed® fabric. Our ancestors certainly made good use of their surroundings. (Well, we do say from the land comes the cloth.) From the most unprepossessing of fauna could come the brightest of colours – like the luminescent orange from the crotal (lichen) pictured here. This is exactly the sort of colour we need to brighten up the darkest of Hebridean wintery days, don’t you agree? Nowadays, these beautiful wildflowers are protected and can no longer be used to dye Harris Tweed® fabric, but many designers still draw from them direct and indirect colour and pattern inspiration.
This Harris Tweed® cloth – ‘Carloway Crotal’ is handwoven by independent weaver Seaforth Harris Tweed
Photography: Alison Johnston/ Encompass
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