When one thinks of fabrics that have stood the test of time, it's hard to come up with a better example than the rugged and honest Harris Tweed.
There are few fabrics that are so synonymous with their place of origin as Harris Tweed. Woven exclusively on the islands that make up the Outer Hebrides - Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra - Harris Tweed is famous around the world for its intricacy, beautifully rich handle and rugged durability. The Outer Hebrides have been well-known for their excellence in weaving for hundreds of years, however until the mid-19th Century, the majority of their product was only sold or traded at local markets.
In 1846 Lady Dunmore, whose late husband the Earl of Dunmore was the landowner of Harris, requested their clan tartan be woven in the local style. She was so taken with the result that she decided to dedicate her time to producing more and marketing it to her well-to-do friends. Her work in both producing the cloth and supporting it as an object of desire led to it becoming a major force in the textile industry and was picked up by cloth merchants across the country. Its popularity has only continued to grow since.
Harris Tweed’s densely woven, heavily textured nature makes it perfect for the depths of winter. It’s incredibly robust - even a finely tailored jacket can still be worn pretty hard, so don’t be afraid to make one a real lynchpin of your cold weather wardrobe. Harris Tweed pairs well with garments that echo its rustic, earth nature. Denim works well as a trouser, as does brushed cotton, corduroy, whipcord and flannel - anything that compliments that rich texture. A sleeveless cardigan makes a natural companion, as does a brushed shetland jumper on the coldest of days. If you’re looking to dress the ensemble up a little, you’ll find that silk prints - madder silks especially - work a treat, as do shantungs and wools. For the pocket square, don’t go past a rich wool and silk blend, in something that will play smartly off those deep Hebridean colours.