A brief History of Tweed & tailoring

In the depth of the shorter darker winter days the only sensible fabric to be wearing is tweed.

Warm, waterproof and fashionable.

Originating in 18th century Scotland, tweed is traditionally a coarse woven cloth of pure wool.  Its recognisable earthy colour tones reflect the heather covered highlands in which it is made.

In search of a denser heavier cloth, Scottish weavers developed the iconic tweed twill. It has been known as tweed since a London cloth merchant mis read “tweel” which is the Scottish word for twill.

Tweed is predominately used as an outerwear fabric due to its hard-wearing properties and longevity and from its origins to the present day has been synonymous with men’s suiting and outerwear.

Most well-known is Harris Tweed, which came originally from the crofters of the Outer Hebrides.  At first it was predominantly used by British aristocrats as it was perfect for days spent hunting, shooting and fishing in the variable British weather.

Harris tweed is still used today as clothing for these sports

In 1909 Harris tweed was given an ‘Orb Certificate Mark’ which regulated and protected the fabric from imitations – “ Only tweeds woven in the outer Hebrides would be eligible to be called Harris tweed”

Advancements in technology and the weaving of Harris tweed means that it can now be made in lighter weights allowing it to be cut for a softer piece of tailoring and not just be limited to sporting outerwear.

British Tweed has a long history in tailoring and continues to do so.  It has never gone out of fashion and we doubt that it ever will.

Although it has many historic links it is a cloth that can be modernised with colours, weight and weave making it relevant for today’s tailors whether producing traditional or contemporary pieces.

Contact us now to discuss your own British tweed suit, whether it be for a weekend shooting, a wedding or the office. All in the comfort of our luxury Dormeuil showroom

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