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Harris Tweed - Traditional clothing and materials

Nothing speaks to the sensibilities of a country gentleman quite
like an elegantly appointed Harris Tweed coat.

Orvis

 

Harris Tweed

Tweed is a traditional, woven, heavy woolen outerwear fabric first made in Scotland. The name comes from tweel a Scottish word for twill and not the river Tweed as often thought. It is the fabric that was worn by many of the early Antarctic explorers and also the mountaineers who first attempted to scale peaks in the Alps and Himalayas.

While it has now been replaced by modern high-tech materials for extreme situations, it is still a beautiful and high performing, comfortable material, much used and highly coveted.

Tweed that is made in the Scottish Outer Hebridean islands of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra and called Harris Tweed, is widely acknowledged as being the finest available. In its homeland, this revered material is known in the original Gaelic as

 

Clò Mór, "The big cloth."

Today Harris Tweed is manufactured on the islands, still often woven in the homes of the islanders on their own looms.

The Harris Tweed Act, was passed by the British Parliament to give international protection to this unique international industry. The tweed is made in accordance with strictly controlled processes that combine traditional skills with modern methods.

Finished rolls of cloth that pass the strict criteria are submitted to the independent Harris Tweed examiner, who will certify that it conforms to the legal definition. If all is well, then the tweed will stamped with the Orb and Cross logo of the Harris Tweed Authority and the famous and exclusive "ORB" garment labels will be issued.

The Certification Mark was originally granted in 1909, registered in 1910 and stamping of the rolls of tweed began in 1911. Originally the cloth was made from wool that came exclusively from the islands where it was produced, but demand soon outstripped the supply from this source and in June 1934 amended regulations were made.

 

Historical stuff

Originally, the tweed was manufactured totally from resources found on the islands. Before synthetic dyes became commonly available, the cloth was dyed using a wide range of vegetable pigments. In particular from lichens such as the grey lichen Stone Parmelia - known as Crotal in Gaelic which gave a reddish-brown colour. This had to be painstakingly scraped from stones around the islands.

 
The current status of Harris Tweed is owed to Lady Dunmore, widow of the late Earl of Dunmore who in 1846 had the weavers in Harris copy the Murray tartan. She was so impressed with the result that she dedicated much of her time and activity to telling her friends about the cloth and improving the production process.

Hundreds of years ago, urine from red-haired boys however used to be kept separate, this was used to quench sword blades as they were made. It was thought to make the blade particularly strong.

Dyes must be fixed in the fabric using a mordant to stop them washing out. Before chemical mordants became commonly commercially available, the usual substance used was urine. A container was kept in the shed for the whole family to collect and store it. - Don't worry, these days, modern mordant agents are used!


Donegal Tweed Flat-front Pants / Petite $149

Pure-wool. flat-front trousers with quarter-top pockets. one button-through back pocket. zip-fly front. Stretch insets in the waistband lie flat on the body and add comfort. Fully lined. Dress pants for women in black. brown. Dry clean. Imported.Regular s more...




Donegal Tweed Flat-front Pants / Regular $149

Pure-wool. flat-front trousers with quarter-top pockets. one button-through back pocket. zip-fly front. Stretch insets in the waistband lie flat on the body and add comfort. Fully lined. Dress pants for women in black. brown. Dry clean. Imported.Regular s more...




Donegal Tweed Split Skirt / Petite $149

The graceful look of a skirt with the practicality of pants. in our pure wool. salt-and-pepper Donegal Tweed. This split-skirt design has a generous leg shape for freedom of movement. On-seam pockets. side zipper-and-button closure. belt loops. and elasti more...




Donegal Tweed Split Skirt / Regular $149

The graceful look of a skirt with the practicality of pants. in our pure wool. salt-and-pepper Donegal Tweed. This split-skirt design has a generous leg shape for freedom of movement. On-seam pockets. side zipper-and-button closure. belt loops. and elasti more...




Donegal Tweed Stand-collar Jacket $169

Classic Orvis Donegal Tweed lends a timeless look and feel to this stand collar jacket neatly shaped with front and back princess seams. A current shorter length to pair with everything from fine wool trousers and skirts to your favorite khakis. Full butt more...




Forest-tweed Bias-cut A-line Skirt $129

Just right for the season. our subtly flecked tweed skirt is cut on the bias for a swingy flair and elegant drape. Clean-finish front wiast. elastic back. Hidden side zip. Skirt has an anti-static polyester lining. In forest. Polyester/wool/acrylic tweed. more...




Forest-tweed Classic Trousers $149

Classic and timeless. our flat-front trousers are sewn of our subtly flecked tweed in season-right hues of rich greens and black. Traditionally tailored with flat front and back elastic insets. Quarter-top front pockets. Back darts for a smooth fit. Trous more...




Harris Tweed Roadmaster Jacket / Harris Tweed Roadmaster $595

Wear the definition of sport-luxury. Effortlessly cool Roadmaster jacket styling is complemented by genuine handwoven Harris Tweed. It's the jacket you'll grab first for crisp morning top-down jaunts to your favorite spot for coffee and conversation. Two more...




Harris Tweed Trim Rugby Shirt $89

A more sophisticated take on the Rugby shirt. with authentic Scottish Harris Tweed trimming the collar. placket. elbow patches. and side vents. Classic Rugby design details include a covered button placket. corduroy collar lining. and a straight hem with more...




Heathered Tweed Rollneck Pullover $79

Slightly heathered with Donegal tweed flecks. our wonderfully soft pullover sweater offers a relaxed look and feel perfect for casual days and weekends. A bit relaxed in shape with contrast-stitch side panels. Rolled edges at the rounded neckline. long-sl more...




Irish Rainbow Tweed Cap $79

Woven in Ireland of genuine Donegal wool to shed water naturally and to add handsome appeal as no other wool can. Fully lined with a cotton twill sweatband for superior comfort. fit. and feel. Snap keeps brim in place. In multi. Dry clean. Ireland. Sizes: more...




Irish Tweed-woven Country Hat And Scarf / Hat $79

Beautifully handwoven in Ireland for an authentic artisan-inspired look and feel. these sumptuously soft and wonderfully lightweight hats and scarves are the ones you will be thrilled to give or receive this season. Hat has a 3 1/2 " rolled brim and a pol more...




Irish Tweed-woven Country Hat And Scarf / Scarf $49

Beautifully handwoven in Ireland for an authentic artisan-inspired look and feel. these sumptuously soft and wonderfully lightweight hats and scarves are the ones you will be thrilled to give or receive this season. Hat has a 3 1/2 " rolled brim and a pol more...




Lambswool-blend Tweed Cardigan Sweater / Lambswool-blend Tweed Cardigan $89

The sweater you'll absolutely love on the coldest days of the season. our original cardigan design is knit of supersoft lambswool-blend yarns with tweedy flecks of color running throughout. Nicely styled with stand collar and finished with ribbed trim. In more...




Lightweight Highland Tweed Sport Coat / Long $350

The approach to creating our signature Highland Tweed was simple: Create a versatile fabric with a timeless color palette that fends off autumn and winter chills without feeling heavy on the shoulders. Woven by a small. family-owned tweed weaver in Scotla more...




Lightweight Highland Tweed Sport Coat / Regular $350

The approach to creating our signature Highland Tweed was simple: Create a versatile fabric with a timeless color palette that fends off autumn and winter chills without feeling heavy on the shoulders. Woven by a small. family-owned tweed weaver in Scotla more...




Lightweight Highland Tweed Sport Coat / Regular $350

The approach to creating our signature Highland Tweed was simple: Create a versatile fabric with a timeless color palette that fends off autumn and winter chills without feeling heavy on the shoulders. Woven by a small. family-owned tweed weaver in Scotla more...




Lovat Tweed-trimmed Rugby Shirt $89

A more sophisticated take on the Rugby shirt. with authentic Lovat wool tweed trimming the collar. placket. elbow patches. and side vents. Classic Rugby design details include a covered button placket. corduroy collar lining. and a straight hem with side more...




Patagonia Tweed-lined Pau Slip-on / Patagonia Tweed-lined Pau Slip-on $140

A supple leather exterior and soft wool tweed lining combine in these men's attractive. casual slip-on shoes. Superior comfort and environmentally sound manufacturing practices make this a shoe you can truly feel good about wearing. Made with premium leat more...




Pink Tweed Zip-front Jacket $159

Dressy enough for the office. a stylish way to elevate jeans from casual to chic. our pink tweed jacket is a fashionable choice for sweater weather. Cleanly designed with crewneck. hidden zip-front placket. and besom pockets. Fully lined. In pink. Silk/ra more...




Ribbed-detail Tweed Mockneck Sweater / Ribbed-detail Tweed Mockneck $79

Handsome ribbing and color-drenched flecked hues combine to make our cozy mockneck sweater so much better than basic. Stretchy and easy fitting in our exceptional cotton/acrylic/nylon tweed knit. Distinctively detailed with a ribbed neck and center front more...




Ribbed-detailed Tweed Mockneck $79

Handsome ribbing and color-drenched flecked hues combine to make our cozy mockneck so much better than basic. Stretchy and easy fitting in our exceptional cotton/acrylic/nylon-blend knit. Distinctively detailed with a ribbed neck and center front panel. T more...




Scottish Harris Tweed Ball Cap $69

When a standard ball cap just won't do. it's time to up the ante. He'll appreciate the vintage look of authentic Harris Tweed and the fine craftsmanship of this six-panel ball cap. made at one of the last cut-and-sew hat factories in the country. Fully ad more...




Silk Tweed Sport Coat / Long $250

From Bimini's End of the World Bar to the Poronui Ranch on New Zealand's North Island. wear our men's silk tweed sport coat in comfort with everything from khaki shorts to gray flannel trousers. The slubs and variations in the natural silk create a distin more...




Silk Tweed Sport Coat / Regular $250

From Bimini's End of the World Bar to the Poronui Ranch on New Zealand's North Island. wear our men's silk tweed sport coat in comfort with everything from khaki shorts to gray flannel trousers. The slubs and variations in the natural silk create a distin more...




Simoom Tweed Quarter-zip Sweatshirt $98

The appeal of this casual quarter-zip mockneck lies in the details. Constructed with a rugged double-faced fabric. our pullover sweatshirt offers a distinct heathered tweed-like appearance on the outside. which is contrasted by a complementary color insid more...




Snap-front Tweed Berber Fleece Jacket $98

You'll feel toasty just looking at our plush. deep-pile Berber fleece jacket. so imagine how snug you'll feel wearing it! Enhanced with supple faux-suede piping. Jacket has a snap-front placket. Roomy patch pockets. In brown. Polyester/acrylic Berber flee more...




Stand-collar Tweed Fleece Zip-front $89

Our richly flecked. plush and cozy fleece takes on cool weather in a sporty zip-front jacket. Flattering shape enhanced with front and back seaming details. Comfortable stand collar. Welt pockets. Zip-front fleece jacket for women in olive. red. blue. Acr more...




Tweed Jacket $225

Our ever-popular Weatherbreaker. a jacket style that rivals the WWII bomber with its sporty profile and casual style. attains a higher level of sophistication with pure wool tweed. Detailed with corduroy neck trim for comfort and handsome looks and lined more...


 



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