The Colour of Clo Mor

The Three Pillars of Harris Tweed: Purity, Tradition, Origin

The three main tenets that define Harris Tweed fabric are:

  • Made from pure virgin wool: Harris Tweed uses only the finest quality wool, ensuring exceptional comfort and durability.
  • Hand-woven at the home of the weaver: This traditional method imbues each piece of fabric with a unique character and story.
  • Woven entirely in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland: The specific environment and local expertise contribute significantly to the fabric's quality.

It is these elements, underpinned by a unique Act of Parliament, which gives Harris Tweed, designer fabric its unique, enduring qualities. 

The Difference of Harris Tweed of Hebrides

But there is much more that sets Harris Tweed Hebrides apart. 

  • Dyed Wool, Not Yarn: Harris Tweed Hebrides dyes the wool itself, not pre-dyed yarn. This meticulous process, while more time-consuming, results in a superior depth and vibrancy of color. They achieve a "three-dimensional effect" through this unique method.

Unveiling the Secrets of Color Depth

  • Natural Inspiration: Each individual wool fiber is saturated with colors inspired by the natural beauty of the Hebridean Islands.
  • Traditional Techniques, Modern Dyes: While the process once relied on natural elements like seaweed and lichen, skilled artisans today utilize standard dyes following traditional recipes.

This adds great time and complexity to the process but the resulting difference gives the Clo Mor - Big Cloth - a depth of colour so strong and vibrant that it has a three dimensional effect. Put it another way - we don’t spray paint our sheep, we softly bathe them in colour.

Each individual micron of wool is completely saturated in colour inspired from the natural environment of the Hebridean Islands. Where this once was done using seaweed, lichen, animal fat and urine it is now done with standard dyes but applied by skilled artisans using traditional recipes.

Setting Trends and Influencing Fashion

Our skilled workforce do not engage with Computer Aided Design (CAD) preferring to set our own ‘gold standard’ of influential colour. Our YC140 (pictured) premiered by Topman at London Fashion Week Feb 2011 launched the trend for rust and the increased use of our brighter colours at Pitti Uomo should see an increased influence of our yarns across the fashion spectrum.

On her visits to the Islands Vivienne Westwood used to complain if the sun was shining. Why? Because for her the tweed shone.  Westwood loves the bright tartans and plaids just as much as the earthy fashion fabrics because the yarns all embody a different character. Take a look at your own tweeds under strong light or magnification and a complex palette will manifest itself. From the land comes the colour; from the land comes the cloth.


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