If you've watched a movie about a university professor, you've probably seen someone wearing a Harris tweed jacket. Known locally as "clò-mòr", or literally "big cloth", Harris tweed is made exclusively in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, mostly on the islands of Harris and Lewis. In this short documentary by Jack Flynn and Nick David, you get a glimpse into the family connections that come along with the production of Harris tweed. Protected by the Harris Tweed Act of 1993, any tweed that bears the Harris name must have been completely produced in the Outer Hebrides and will bear a distinctive stamp to help ensure that the quality level remains high.
Ties To The Past
Tweed production in the Outer Hebrides reminds me of the generational farmers that you see in the Midwest here in America. A trade passed down from father and mother to daughter and son, perfected, tested and used to support life in a mostly remote part of Scotland. My family comes from a lot of farmers that handed down land and craft. That physical connection to your past can be strong and enduring. A tangible reminder of where you come from. Local weavers in the Outer Hebrides have seen a bit of a resurgence in production and demand since 2009, with companies as varied as Nike and Brooks Brothers experimenting with variations on the fabric in their collections. Remember, just look for the Authority stamp to make sure it's authentic Harris tweed.
To learn more about Harris tweed, visit the Authority's website here.