Not Your Grandfather's Stitches

Infused by modern ideas, Harris Tweed takes a new turn to their old fashioned ways to lure younger generations. Fast Company reports: "Spend a stormy December evening in the Outer Hebrides and you'll understand why the locals invented Harris tweed. For centuries, the inhabitants of these remote Scottish isles have handwoven the dense woolen fabric to keep out the biting North Atlantic wind and rain. Outsiders -- stuffy toffs, dusty college profs, Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle -- adopted it. By the mid-1960s, the foot-powered Hebridean looms were producing as much as 7.6 million meters of cloth every year. Then came the slump. As customers switched to lighter, more modern fabrics, mills were shuttered. By 2008, annual output had sunk to just 500,000 meters. But on Lewis, an island of moss-coated moors and salmon streams, a startup is weaving a profitable future for the sagging sector, with a client list that ranges from design giants Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, and Alexander McQueen to cool up-and-comers like Glasgow's Deryck Walker."

With a successful turnaround in November 2007, Harris Tweed Hebrides bought and reopened a village mill in Shawbost, and launched a bold, design-driven campaign to restore the Harris Tweed's popularity. Watch the runway as local artisan craft gains much deserved recognition. Harris Tweed is regulated by the Harris Tweed Authority.

Harris Tweed

Suggested reading, FiberArt Harris Tweed: The Fabric of Island Life