Every man, hell every woman too, should own a tweed jacket. Does not HAVE to be Harris Tweed woven in the remote Western Isles; there are storied tweed mills in the Borders area of Scotland and England and Ireland too (love the rainbow bobbles sometimes seen in Donegal tweed). To me there is something fascinating about the almost impressionistic blur that the colored wool creates; this jacket is slate blue from afar but grey/blue/black/cream up close. A tweed jacket may be seen on the laird of the manor all the way down to the jake begging on the corner, and of course countless legions of professors and librarians. The wet dog smell of a rainy day tweed is hugely reminiscent for me; walking home in a drizzle among the sandstone buildings of Edinburgh. Or maybe that was the malt smell of the brewerys, now sadly gone.
Due to their Protected Geographical Status, Harris Tweed has a consistancy of lineage that makes a good story and allows it to be easily identified. This even includes the weavers... do you see those blue stamped numbers on the side of your HT label?? Those correspond to the individual weaver that created the cloth. I am hopeful that at some time The Harris Tweed Authority will create a database so one might look up these numbers, providing yet another layer of connectivity with the artisan and the cloth.
-written by James Fox of 10engines