Harris Tweed lightens up - A new look from a fashion institution
A new lightweight jacket is launched by Harris Tweed but it's still a heavyweight when it comes to style and quality
Harris Tweed lightens up
A new lightweight jacket is launched by Harris Tweed but it’s still a heavyweight when it comes to style and quality
Hamish, the new lightweight addition to the Harris Tweed collection is a versatile jacket perfect for day wear and stylish enough for a casual evening out. Traditional Harris Tweed is made from 100 per cent pure new wool, woven, spun and dyed on the Western Isles of Scotland. Its texture reflects the way of life on the remote islands.But much time and effort has been spent refining the manufacturing process that produces the yarn and the result is a lighter Harris Tweed but still with its unique properties. Brian Haggas, chairman of Harris Tweed Scotland Ltd, said: ‘Some retailers who sell to younger men wanted a lighter weight jacket that could be worn all year round and would look good with a pair of jeans. ‘We decided to spend some time this year seeing if this was possible and the result is the Hamish jacket. It was a difficult process but we are now confident that we have a superb lighter jacket.’ The Hamish jacket is styled for the younger man with a slimmer silhouette, two slanted pockets, two horn buttons and two side vent design.Mr Haggas added: ‘Depending on how the market takes to the Hamish jacket this autumn, we want to extend the designs of tweeds that are available.’
The Yorkshire connectionBack in 2006, textiles entrepreneur Brian Haggas was about to retire aged 75 winding up his own business John Haggas Group in Keighley, West Yorkshire. But, in his own words, he ‘didn’t want to follow my wife around the shops carrying the bags.’ His stepson, Jason Scott owns and runs a clothing business called Brook Taverner in the Haggas mills in Keighley and Brian was in his showroom when he saw a Harris Tweed jacket hanging up and decided to try it on. He fell in love immediately with the fabric. It was then he made the decision to travel to the Western Isles of Scotland, to Stornoway to buy the Kenneth Mackenzie Ltd (KM Group) which accounted for 95 percent of the production. Brian then started producing a small range of Harris Tweed fabrics for his own range of jackets. The tweed is woven by hand by crofters in the Western Isles and then finished at the Kenneth Mackenzie Mill in Stornoway. He also set up a sales and marketing office in Keighley which is responsible for all worldwide promotion and sales with a team of 10. They are now selling in over 500 stores throughout the world, including Harrods, John Lewis and Bloomingdales.