A friend of mine is intensely interested in Harris Tweed. He has visited the islands where it is made, talked with the mill owners and sees an opportunity to invest in a Harris Tweed rebirth. His interest has peeked my own and has caused a heavy influence of Tweed in many of my illustrations.
A big question though, is Harris Tweed viable in the 21st Century?
All of the tweed is made on a specific set of islands in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. All of the tweed is home spun and can be made no other way. Parliament even enacted legislation to protect Harris Tweed from being produced anywhere else with any other standards than how it is produced in the Outer Hebrides. A special Orb is attached to all approved Harris Tweed to guarantee authenticity. The islands' economies are almost exclusively based on the production and sale of this special wool.
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With most fashion labels producing ready made clothing in large factories at ever cheaper prices the cost of doing business in the Outer Hebrides is high. Businesses are purchasing less of the heavy weight wool and expensive artisan craftsmanship to produce their items at the lowest and cheapest costs.
Is anyone interested in wool fabrics for leisure in the spring and summer?
Is there a demand for high quality and intricate craftsmanship?