The story of Harris Tweed

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Scotland has given the world some great things. Whisky. Bagpipes. Cricketers, and Harris Tweed

Words Aninda Sardar

If you wear it, you’ll have a checkered existence for sure. It’ll also help identify you as a person who probably either has something to do with Scotland or just that you like certain Scottish things. If you can pull it off with pizzazz then you’ll have stamped your authority as a stylish man. What are we on about? Why, Harris Tweed of course.

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The Harris Tweed story

Urban legend is that back in the times of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-nineteenth century, the soft woolly cloth with the checkered pattern was sold by the Scots as tweel to English traders. One gentleman misread a label and started using the name tweed, which apparently stuck itself to the cloth. As for Harris, well that’s actually the name of one of the larger islands of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. The cloth itself had been woven for centuries by the islanders of Lewis, Harris, the Uists, Benbecula and Barra and was called Clò Mòr, which in Scottish Gaelic simply means big cloth.

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Harris Tweed is retro yet stylish

The thing is Harris Tweed has the ability to create style in the most retro way imaginable. Thanks to the cloth’s relation to old world English gentry and the very way it looks, Harris Tweed looks very vintage. At the same time, if you choose to wear it a little differently, like with a white shirt and denims (which incidentally is another classic), or with corduroys and a casual shirt you can look very stylish indeed. However, if you want to retain that classic English charm, then just team it up with a well tailored trouser made of a slightly heavy fabric to offset the weight of the tweed, pair it with a crisp white shirt and of course a cravat to match.

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