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 they make the yarn which goes to be woven into the world famous fabric called Harris tweed.

Stage One: The sheared wool from sheep on the islands and the Scottish mainland is washed and dyed into 100’s of colours.Stage Two: Different colours are blended to specific ‘recipes’ to make each yarn colour. Once the multi colour fibres are mixed thoroughly they are then teased into soft yarn.

It’s hard to believe how many colours are needed to make just one shade of yarn!

Stage Three: The soft yarn then needs to be spun and twisted to make it strong enough for weaving.

Stage Four: Once the yarn is ready, it is wound onto bobbins for both the weft or warp threads.

Stage Five: Off to the weavers!

Coming soon – A visit to see a Harris tweed weaver, fabulous scenery and the finished article.



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