May 21, 2012

Wee Harris Tweed Shop Model Suit

Saw this adorable wee Harris Tweed suit, a promotional model, in the window of W&J Wilson on Government Street in Victoria, B.C., Canada.  The sign says "Harris Tweed woven by hand in the Western Isles of Scotland."

Saw a five minute video, Harris Tweed: the Weaving Industry of the Outer Hebrides, by Pod Films here  It's not just the twill weave that makes the cloth distinctive and with so much of a sense of place.  The process starts with blending dyed unspun wool to get heathered fibre.  The weft is put in using looms that your average handspinner doesn't ordinarily see.  The looms' shuttles are sent back and forth by levers, and the warps look quite long.  Yet the cloth is advanced by people power.  (The carding and spinning machines look fully mechanized.)

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