Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Making Harris Tweed: Video


This lovely 4.5 minute film was made by National Geographic, about Harris Tweed wool fabric. This wool is made the age-old way, spanning multiple generations, in the outer Hebrides of Scotland, on the island of Lewis and Harris.
This fabric has a special meaning to me, because when I was in my 20s, I wandered into the Britex Fabric store in SanFrancisco with a friend who was a fellow-fabric lover. We shopped the store and each settled upon a piece of Harris Tweed wool, in different colors. The plan, for each of us, was to make a coat.

I got that goal accomplished within a couple of years and though it was a few decades ago, I still wear the coat and love it. My favorite things about the fabric are the colorful fibers, the organic nature of it, and the little grass fibers that were woven into it which give it an old world charm.

There is a lot more awareness today about sustainable fabrics. Agriculture is food and fiber. Fiber, today, is largely plastic. The fracking boom has brought about an oversupply of plastic for every use and purpose possible. No one appreciates high tech activewear fabrics more than I do, but, if we had a value system that rewarded the economics of handmade appealing natural fabrics, many more farmers could be employed and make a living in this year 2018.

I hope you enjoy watching the film.

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