15 minutes ago
Colours of the Hebrides
Cerulean blue skies fading into the deep indigo of the sea at the horizon; fading into a graduated aqua at the waters begin to shallow, tinged with the white caps of rolling waves, until it finally reaches the sandy shoreline.
These are the colours of the Hebrides which have inspired our island artists for generations, as well as drawing painters, photographers, writers, musicians, sculptors, and conceptual artists to our shores to find their inspiration.
The colours of the skies, seas, and landscapes are also reflected in the Harris Tweed produced here, that wonderful fabric which is known and loved worldwide.
Harris Tweed is handwoven on traditional single and newer double width looms by the islanders in their homes in the Outer Hebrides.
The Harris Tweed weaver is a true artisan, the master of his loom in the same way a musician relates to his instrument. Each loom will have its own sound, and idiosyncrasies and only the weaver will know how to get the best from it. It may take a weaver hours to ready his loom for weaving a new cloth and once weaving may create four meters of crafted tweed an hour once underway, watching constantly for flaws as they go.
However the weaver is only part of the story, without the skill of the millworkers there would be no yarn to weave. Dozens of specialised jobs take place in the mill sheds, each learned only after years of training. There are professional wool dyers and blenders, yarn spinners and warpers, cloth finishers and stampers and many more roles in between. From croft to catwalk the men and women of the islands take great pride in their work, the results of which can be seen in every piece of Harris Tweed that leaves our shores.