Escape to the Country
Learn About The Rich History Behind Scottish Tweed Patterns!
The tweed fabric used to make your Fall and Winter outwear may have a more important and interesting history than you’d expect!
With the weather starting to cool down, it’s time for us to break out our Fall and Winter wardrobes. Every year we look for Winter coats and outerwear that can provide warmth and comfort while also being durable enough to hold up against the elements. We think there is no material better for the job than tweed! While tweed patterns have become synonymous with Scotland and Ireland, this wool-based fabric is also a popular choice for making jackets, hats, gloves, and other Winter outerwear.
On this episode of “Escape to the Country,” our host pays a visit to Hawick, Scotland, which is effectively known as the home of tweed. In this rural town, visitors can find Lovat Mill situated on the pristine banks of the river Teviot. Lovat Mill has stood the test of time, and has a reputation for producing the high quality tweed patterns that dates back to the 1800’s. In the below clip, the owners of Lovat Mill are more than happy to welcome our host for a tour and some instruction into how tweed is woven and colored.
As you can see in the above clip, the care that goes into crafting the perfect tweed patterns is an important part of Scottish heritage. While you may have heard of Scottish clan tartans that were used to identify members of noble families, tweed was the top choice for making estate tweeds by renowned land owners and regiments. Instead of only identifying family members, estate tweeds were used to identify anyone who lived or worked on a particular estate whether they were related or not. Therefore, it was imperative that the color and pattern of the woven fabric be perfect! Today, authentic mills like Lovat Mill still take the same care and effort to make sure the colors and patterns are of the highest quality. The careful process taken by these genuine mills is really something that makes Scotland unique, as the rich results can’t really be replicated by someone who is trying to cheaply make tweed fabrics by rushing the process and only using a few standardized colors.
If you look around your closet, you probably already own some tweed outerwear to keep yourself warm and comfortable during the Winter. When you purchased it, you probably had no idea how historically significant the fabric used to make your coat or product truly was. Most people don’t even consider what fabric was used and simply purchase their clothing because they like the texture and design. We encourage you to check your closet to acknowledge and appreciate any tweed you own. But if you’re feeling inspired to add some tweed to your wardrobe now, take a look at some of our favorite options!