ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ   TKSST is observing a slow July posting schedule. Back at it in August. Happy summer!
The Kid Should See This

The Big Cloth (An Clò-Mòr): Weaving Harris Tweed

On the Island of Harris and Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, over 170 freelance weavers weave Harris Tweed. It’s the only cloth protected by an Act of Parliament, the Harris Tweed Act 1993, which states that to earn the Harris Tweed Authority‘s Orb Trade Mark for high standards and authenticity, the tweed must be pure virgin wool dyed and spun, hand woven, and finished within the region.

The Big Cloth (clò-mòr in the original Gaelic) was directed by Dog Leap, collaborative filmmaking by Jack Flynn and Nick David. Some history via Wikipedia:

Originally this handmade fabric was woven by crofters for familial use, ideal for protection against the colder climate of the North of Scotland. Surplus cloth was often traded or used as barter, eventually becoming a form of currency amongst the islanders. For example, it was not unusual for rents to be paid in blankets or lengths of cloth. By the end of the 18th Century, the spinning of wool yarn from local raw materials was a staple industry for crofters. Finished handmade cloth was exported to the Scottish mainland and traded along with other commodities produced by the Islanders, such as dry hides, goat and deer skins.

The original name of the cloth was tweel, Scots for twill, it being woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern. A traditional story has the name coming about almost by chance. Around 1830, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm about some tweels. The London merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders. Subsequently the goods were advertised as Tweed, and the name has remained ever since.

Watch these next: Crocheting with English Angora Rabbit Wool, Woven bark fiber with Primitive Technology, and What does it take to make a t-shirt?

This feature is being tested. Saves will disappear if you clear cookies. Find saved videos here.

🌈 Related videos

Weaverbirds design and build intricate nests

Rion Nakaya

War Horse and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Rion Nakaya

How Denim Jeans Are Made

Rion Nakaya

What does it take to make a t-shirt? – NPR’s Planet Money

Rion Nakaya

Tents that turn into jackets: Humanitarian fashion by designer Angela Luna

Rion Nakaya

Woven bark fiber – Primitive Technology

Rion Nakaya

An industrious spider builds an orb web

Rion Nakaya

Danny MacAskill’s Street Trials

Rion Nakaya

Sounding Shetland’s recently restored Sumburgh Head Foghorn

Rion Nakaya

 
Browse the TKSST Video Collections

Get 7 smart videos delivered every week.

 

Subscribe