Machair and midnight light; let the summer begin

beach coast in the Hebrides islands

The solstice arrives and with it cattle and sheep graze on the machair in full-long light. Tourists roll in from around the world. The Hebridean summer begins in earnest.

Late June also heralds the busiest time of year for Harris Tweed Hebrides. With a heavy order book and deadlines to meet, carding, spinning, and weaving is in full flow. The Mill operates around the clock to ensure supply meets demand of the tweed fabric.

There is also movement a plenty in the flora and fauna of The Hebrides – so beautifully captured and depicted in the BBC’s 2013 documentary Islands On The Edge, and Ian Lawson’s book, From The Land Comes The Cloth. Summer provides the perfect platform on which to view the natural hues that inspire our brighter patterns of cloth. 

Plenty of action too on the beaches. Porpoises, basking sharks, and puffins are regularly spotted beyond the florally-infused machair. The ‘fruit de mer’ is not bad either. Pollack abound, attracting a keen set of ambitious anglers, and the hand-dived scallops are simply the best in the world.

From the shores of The Hebridean Isles to the ‘reshoring’ of British manufacturing. Simon Colbeck, innovation and quality head for general merchandise at Marks & Spencer, said: “We are seeing a real resurgence in premium-British fabrics. There has been a reinvestment in the UK textiles industry that I haven’t seen in a long, long time. But we need to make sure it’s an ongoing trend.”

It is great to see one of our customers investing in UK manufacturing, and we hope the recent resurgence of Harris Tweed fabric has acted as a guiding light for companies investing in textile fabrication and specialised garment making throughout Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Back on the islands, the crash of waves, cackle of sea birds, and rattle of looms all contribute to an intoxicating cacophony of natural and man-made industry at this time of year in The Hebrides. There’s certainly no need to ‘reshore’ here,  but if you are lucky enough to visit The Hebrides over the next few months, we know you’ll be back again next year. 

Have a closer look at our summer fabric


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