Tweed originates from Scottish islands but has become a much sought-after material in modern day country fashion.

The quintessentially British design became popular in the 19th Century, made popular by high-quality weaving, variety in design and its versatility as a material. Those weaving the fabric formerly referred to it as ‘Clò-Mòr’ – translating roughly to big print from Gaelic. This name has since been dropped, and the cloth is widely known as Tweed. A common myth states that this name derives from a mistranslation of ‘Tweel’ to mean twill, the weaving technique used to create the fabric. Though this is a popular belief, there are alternative stories of how the name originated.

The material was designed to be hardwearing and protective to withstand the harsh elements on the islands.

Hailing from the Scottish Islands and the Outer Hebrides, the material was crafted from Pure New Wool by hand, and designed to be hardwearing and protective - to withstand the harsh elements on the islands. Of all places widely recognised for weaving tweeds, the most famous is that of the Isle of Harris. The material was commercialised by Lord and Lady Dunmore, proprietors of South Harris. They invested considerably in those weaving the fabric by hand and helped to promote the skills across the community, going as far sending promising weavers away for training so they could produce higher quality fabrics. This investment allowed the material to grow in popularity throughout the region. 

Following countless imitations of the fabric, Harris Tweed became a protected brand and the first registered British Trademark. Guidelines state that only Tweed spun and woven on the Isle of Harris can be classed as Harris Tweed. These guidelines and the iconic orb symbol protect the brand and those creating the fabric. The sought-after fabric has been fashioned into a number of items, and our Harris Tweed collection features a number of products from handbags to dog accessories.
Blue Check Harris Tweed handbag and dogbed House of Bruar
Following the material's rise in popularity amongst estate owners, Balmoral became the first to design their own Estate Tweed. This association caused the fabric to soar in popularity amongst wealthier members of society, and particularly the aristocracy. Over the years, the popularity of the material has made it largely more affordable in recent years. Whilst to this day Tweed remains the textile synonymous with Scottish field sports, the material bears a strong association with the country lifestyle and is worn commonly in a variety of everyday garments.
Though the Isle of Harris produces many beautiful fabrics, not all varieties of the material are produced under the Harris Tweed trademark. There are many mills that create the sought-after material. Johnstons of Elgin in the Scottish Highlands produce a number of tweeds, as well as many other natural fibre materials such as cashmere and merino. Others mills range in location from the Scottish Highlands, Scottish Borders, Yorkshire and Ireland, all of which maintain a consistently high quality and are woven from Pure New Wool.

House of Bruar Navy Herringbone tweed map of British Mills

We source our Pure New Wool tweeds from a number of British and Irish mills including Marton Mills, Abraham Moon, Johnstons of Elgin and Mallalieus of Delph. These mills are in smaller numbers than their former years, though the knowledge and skills remain part of the production processes. Many mills retain staff for long periods of time, which helps to ensure that quality remains consistent over the years. By working closely with these mills, we are able to bring our customers tweed pieces that are exclusive to us. This means you get the authentic country fashion look with an individual flare. We work tirelessly every year to ensure the materials we are bringing our customers are of the highest quality at an affordable price.