The Outer Hebrides, A 130-mile archipelago of 119 islands sat marooned in the Atlantic Ocean off the North-West coast of Scotland. They are the home of some of the most content people in the UK (according to a recent survey), some of the best beaches in the world, and of course a fabric we are very fond of here at UW, Harris Tweed.
The northernmost island of Harris is the most spectacular of all the islands with its craggy mountains fringed by unspoilt white sandy beaches. It also gives its name to the fabric.
A favourite photo journal of ours, and the inspiration behind many a garment, is ‘Tir A’Mhurain’ by Paul Strand. It portrays life in this harsh terrain in 1954. It is a wonderful portrait of the people, the homes they built and the land they worked.
To have lived and worked in this beautiful but unforgiving place you needed clothing that was hard-wearing and warm. Out of this necessity, Harris Tweed was born. It was hand woven by crofters on manually powered looms using the material they had plenty of, sheep’s wool. To this day it is still woven in people's homes in the same way but is now worn by people all over the world.
With all this in mind we had to use Harris Tweed for our Bakers Chore Jackets.