Tweed is a type of fabric using the twill weave. It is a rough-surfaced woolen cloth, typically of mixed flecked colors, originally produced in Scotland.
It is usually woven with a plain weave, twill or herringbone structure. Color effects in the yarn may be obtained by mixing dyed wool before it is spun. Tweed fabrics can have different patterns. Popular patterns include houndstooth, associated with 1960s fashion, Windowpane, gamekeeper's tweed worn by academics, Prince of Wales check, originally commissioned by Edward VII, and herringbone.
Harris Tweed: A handwoven tweed, defined in the Harris Tweed Act of 1993 as cloth that is "Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides"
Donegal tweed: A handwoven tweed manufactured in County Donegal, Ireland. Donegal has for centuries been producing tweed from local materials. Sheep thrive in the hills and bogs of Donegal, and indigenous plants such as blackberries, gorse (whins), and moss provide dyes.
Silk tweed: A fabric made of raw silk with flecks of color typical of woollen tweeds.
Traditionally used for upper-class country clothing like shooting jackets, tweed became popular among the Edwardian middle classes who associated it with the leisurely pursuits of the elite. Due to their durability tweed Norfolk jackets and plus-fours were a popular choice for hunters, cyclists, golfers and early motorists
Who came up with the name tweed? The original name
of the cloth was tweel
(with an "L"), Scots for twill, the material
being woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern. A
traditional story has the name coming about almost by
chance. Around 1831, a London merchant received a letter
from a Hawick firm, Wm. Watson & Sons, Dangerfield Mills
about some "tweels". The merchant misinterpreted the
handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from
the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders
textile area. The goods were subsequently advertised as
the name has remained since.
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