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National Tweed Day At Lee Longlands

It’s time to dust off your shooting jacket as this Sunday is National Tweed Day! This holiday celebrates the world famous woollen fabric and its rich cultural heritage. Tweed has been an iconic mainstay of traditional British and Irish aesthetics for many years, with Tweed furniture and clothing becoming immensely popular. In anticipation of National Tweed Day, we will take a look at the materials history and The Harris Tweed Authority’s commitment to preserving the legacy of tweed.

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Tweed is a rough, woollen fabric with a flexible texture and distinctive patterning. The history of the fabric begins centuries ago in the Isles of the Scottish Outer Hebrides where islanders made the cloth to protect themselves against the harsh winters. By the 18th Century, exports of the material had begun to the Scottish mainland. Originally, the cloth was called tweel, due to the twilled patterns woven into the fabric. However, a merchant in London in 1826 misread the name on an invoice, instead seeing it as a trade name taken from the River Tweed.  

The development of tweed exploded in the 1830’s, when members of the aristocracy began owning sporting estates for hunting, shooting and fishing and needed hardwearing garments that provided protection from the elements but also signified their higher social class. Tweed was soon adopted as the ideal sporting attire of the 19th and early 20th century gentlemen.

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Tweed has now evolved into one of the most recognisable materials in the world, being used in both the fashion and furniture industries extensively. Tweed has also infiltrated pop culture, used frequently to symbolise a character that is intellectual or refined. Doctor Who, Indiana Jones and Sherlock Homes are all notable fans of tweed clothing.

As popular demand increased for the material in the 20th century, there was an influx of cheap imitations, which lacked the quality of the original. To combat this, The Harris Tweed Authority was created. This defined Harris Tweed as ‘tweed that is hand-spun, hand-woven and dyed by the crofters and cottars in the Outer Hebrides’. Despite this definition being over 100 years old, Harris Tweed still upholds these traditional methods.

Every single fibre of Harris Tweed is still made exclusively by the residents of the Outer Hebrides Isles, where the fabric was first created.  This makes Harris Tweed the only material produced in commercial quantities by truly traditional methods anywhere in the world. At Lee Longlands, we are proud to be a part of this unique process.

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Lee Longlands stocks a range of Tetrad Harris Tweed sofas and chairs, all built with timelessly elegant shapes and breathable, soft and warm tweed. From the classic wing chair to the archetypal English chesterfield sofa, we have a great choice of seats for a refined, traditional living room.

The Harris Tweed Braemar Sofa features a classic British design, with simple lines that exude elegance and beauty, whilst maintaining the tough resilience you would expect from a Harris Tweed sofa. The Harris Tweed Taransay Sofa is a classic scrolled arm range and features a contrast between wool and hide that makes this a distinctive, refined piece that will stand out in any room.

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Browse the full range of Harris Tweed Sofas at Lee Longlands now.  

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