How to make Harris Tweed part 2

After the yarn has been spun and twisted (see my earlier blog: How to make Harris Tweed part 1) it gets wound onto bobbins which will become the warp (vertical threads) and weft (left to right threads).

The Warp threads need to be gathered into a specific colour order because this makes the required pattern of the Harris tweed. It can take a whole day or more, for the weaver to thread up the warp onto the loom.

Once the warp threads are in place, the weaver gets to work on the treadle loom (nothing is mechanised here!) and a new length of Harris tweed begins to emerge.

I met this weaver in Gearrannan blackhouse village on the Isle of Lewis. Gearrannan was preserved after the last villagers moved out into more modern houses nearby, and is now a museum with rentable holiday cottages. The cottages are very dark inside as they have tiny windows, so the weaving is all done with electric light.

I was surprised at the small size of the loom overall. This one is a single width loom (so he can weave only 75cm width cloth and not the usual commercial 150cm width) but it’s capable of producing 35+metres in length. As all the weaving is done in the weavers home or ‘shed’ in their gardens, I suppose it’s handy that the looms aren’t too big!

When the cloth is woven, the tweed goes back to the mill for finishing. More about that another time.

This is one of the Gearrannan blackhouses from the outside. On a beautiful day, like I had in May, it’s a stunning location. I’m not so sure what it would be like in deepest stormy winter!

How to make Harris Tweed part 1

I love using Harris tweed in my designs and a recent visit to the Outer Hebrides cemented my passion for this truly beautiful hand made fabric. The Carloway Mill Annie MacDonald of the Carloway Mill on the Isle of Lewis was kind enough to give me a private tour of the mill, while explaining how…

Tatti Tailoring – for you and your Doggy

It’s been a few months now since the first of the Tatti Tailoring doggy accessories have been in stock and I’m pleased to report that we now have some matching sets for you and your dog! This first matching set is our pink check Harris tweed dog collar, dog lead and dog walkers bag. Everything…

New Designs: Harris Tweed

Our new Harris tweed designs have come in recently, so here’s a quick preview of one of them. The Harris Tweed Handbag Organiser If you use several handbags, changing over from day to day, to match your outfit, then you need a handbag organiser. With all your essentials in one place, it makes it easy…

Fashion Revolution Day 2018

It’s five years today, since the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. And all this week it’s Fashion Revolution Week, when we remember the 1000’s who died and were injured because they worked in an unsafe building. It’s scary how inexpensive garments can be – surely we must all wonder how is that possible?…

International Women’s Day 2018: Part 2

Yesterday, over on Twitter, I posted 24 International Women for International Women’s Day and for those not on Twitter the first 12 were featured in yesterday’s blog post. Today, I give you my second lot of 12 amazing International Women…   International Woman #13, Sujatha Sujatha makes handbags and purses at my workshop in rural…

International Women’s Day 2018

Today, on International Women’s Day, I’m posting 24 photos of International Women with my designs. Scroll down to see the first 12 here or if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll be seeing all 24 today – one per hour, every hour of the day. If you don’t do Twitter don’t worry, I’ll post the…

A Useful Valentine’s Gift

With all things online these days, I’ve been wondering if anyone ever sends a virtual Valentine’s card? Perhaps it’s not possible to send an anonymous card that way! But it is nice to get things in the post (apart from bills and junk mail, that is), so I had an idea for a useful Valentine’s…

A New Year, A New Collection

I thought that the New Year might be a good time to share my story about Tatti Tailoring, my new designs for doggies, so here goes.   Once Upon A Time Once upon a time there was a little doggy called Tatti. She was such a character – a little crazy sprocker spaniel, descended from…

January Sale – Crazy Prices!

SALE News If you subscribe to my mailing list, you’ve had a 10 day head start (and an extra special offer…) but now I’m opening my January Sale to everyone, so please take a look at my current designs as many of them are almost finished and are therefore reduced massively to clear space for…