Rarebird Watching at Harris Tweed Hebrides

Rarebird Harris Tweed: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

This blog post explores Rarebird Harris Tweed, a fashion house on the Isle of Lewis that blends traditional Harris Tweed with modern design. It highlights their award-winning founder, Paulette Brough, their focus on sustainability, and their international recognition.

The Heart of Rarebird: A Studio Steeped in Beauty

A modern yet characterful studio workshop on the west coast of Lewis, in the beautiful Outer Hebrides, provides the beating heart of Rarebird Harris Tweed designs.

Rarebird was established in February 2007 by award-winning fashion designer Paulette Brough. As a skilled pattern-cutter and seamstress for over twenty years, Paulette brings a wealth of talent and creative flair to her designs using beautiful Harris Tweed colours and patterns of Harris Tweed fabric.

“We were always inspired by the colours of the landscape and sea; we wanted to bring that to life through our Harris Tweed designs.”

From Local Studio to Global Recognition: A Serendipitous Encounter

After only two years of trading, the company was transformed by the chance visit of a Japanese merchant.  Three months later there was a collection of bags, shawls and collars causing a stir in the world-renowned Hankyu Dept store in Osaka.

The collection regularly sells out with Paulette working round the clock to keep up with demand. Rarebird seems to strike a chord with the Japanese appreciation for craft and provenance and their island base has seen many fashion-conscious tourists from the Far East making personal visits. 

Rarebird have earned an international reputation for their creations and are now firmly establishing themselves as a high quality Harris Tweed fashion house. Paulette's keen eye for quality extends beyond Harris Tweed. She sources beautiful fashion fabrics like cotton and silk linings, while visiting the company’s retail concessions in Japan and Europe.

A skillful blend of reassuring tradition and chic modern flair lies behind each creation. The allure of skilled hand-crafted designs is given even more provenance by the fact that they are made within a few minutes of Harris Tweed Hebrides’ Shawbost Mill. With the ethics and ecological element of the clothes industry under increased scrutiny, ‘fashion miles’ are becoming a hot topic. Harris Tweed products designed and made on the island that also produces the hallowed fabric deserve extra kudos. 

To guarantee its provenance, each item carries the Rarebird Corncrake logo and iconic Harris Tweed Orb label. The Corncrake may be a seasonal visitor to the islands but like Harris Tweed itself, Rarebird is here to stay.


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