Fig.1 Matt Mensley (2012) Urbanears Harris Tweed Plattan Headphones [Online Image]. Available from: http://www.departures-international.com/nc/sections/post/stately-sounds.html [Accessed 17/10/13].
Fig.2 FIDM Museum (1993) Vivienne Westwood Harris Tweed Suit [Online Image]. Available from:http://blog.fidmmuseum.org/museum/2009/07/vivienne-westwood.html[Accessed 17/10/13].
British Fashion warms to Wool
Wool Week-What is it?
Wool week is a global campaign for the Woollen industry started by his royal highness the Prince of Wales in a bid to inform consumers of the natural and economically sustainable benefits offered by wool which takes place in October.
The Campaign for wool (2010) Wool Week Campaign [Online].Available from: http://www.campaignforwool.org/ [Accessed 17/10/13].
British Woollen Industry
Britain has a long history within the woollen industry with a wider variety of wool producing breeds in its fields than anywhere else in the world and the most native breeds at that. The most well-known sheep breeds being the Shaggy Devon and Cornwall Longwool, the Beulah Speckled Face and the unusually named Striped Zwartables.
thegaurdian (2013) It’s Wool Week… [Online] Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/14/wool-week-great-british-industry?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487[Accessed 17/10/13].
The most famous and internationally known woollen commodity from Britain is Harris Tweed cloth which has been woven by islanders in the Outer Hebrides of Northern Scotland since the 18thcentury. The production of this precious and protected commodity has risen in manufacture by four times its value since 2009.
WIKIPEDIA (2013) Harris Tweed [Online] Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris_Tweed[Accessed 17/10/13].
Harris Tweed Authority (2013) Harris Tweed [Online] Available from: (http://www.harristweed.com/[Accessed 18/10/13].
THOMPSON, F (1969) The story of Hebridean Industry. New Abbot: David &Charles.
But the question on the fashion industries minds is will it continue to do so?
Recent reports in the fashion industry seem to suggest it’s here to stay, with the rise in demand for this historic British commodity leading to another eight woollen mills opening within Britain over the past decade. Bringing the total number of workers in the British wool industry to 6,000.
DEY, I. (2013) World warms to wool. The Sunday Times, 13th Oct, pp. Available From: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/business/Retail_and_leisure/article1326878.ece
But what caused this Resurgence of demand for Harris Tweed?
Could it be that Vivienne Westwood’s 80’S ‘The Pagan Years Collection’ with this infamous cloth has made a comeback with the rise of interest in vintage attire and the fashion world’s current love for heritage chic. I say completely, the market speaks for itself with brands such as Next, Topman, DM and Sony all buying in to the British Heritage Frenzy. Not only is the fashion and interior industry inundated with this Heritage Chic, but T.V. series such as Dr. Who, Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife and Bomb Girls are all sporting the classic Harris Tweed weaves, all of which are world-wide and internationally acclaimed programmes.
Vivienne Westwood (1988) The Pagan Years Collection [Online]. Available from: http://www.viviennewestwood.co.uk/w/the-story/the-pagan-years[Accessed 18/10/13].
MC DERMOTT, C (2008) Vivienne Westwood. Dubai: Carlton.
The Telegraph (2013) Wool week the best woolly furnishings [Online]. Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/interiorsandshopping/10377396/Wool-week-the-best-woolly-furnishings-and-top-events.html[Accessed 17/10/13].
BBC News The Fashionable rise of Harris tweed (2013) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3UlFcu6ufc BBC News TV Clip. Directed by BBCWorldNews225.BBC.
However with issues such as recession in previous years and the national campaigns to encourage consumers to buy the best of British it’s not surprising that people are starting to buy this historic commodity again. If I am honest I’m surprised the resurgence of the Woollen Industry hasn’t happened at a more Global and rapid rate. Considering that both Harris Tweed and wool are so frequently within the public eye.
thegaurdian (2013) Harris weed returns to global boutiques after islands’ renaissance [Online]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2012/nov/09/harris-tweed-industry-scotland-renaissance[Accessed 19/10/13].
Eric Musgrave (2013) DMs [Online]. Available from: http://www.ericmusgrave.co.uk/index.php/category/blog/page/10/[Accessed 17/10/13].
Wool week campaign Info
1) The Campaign for wool (2013) Wool School Arrives [Online]. Available from: http://www.campaignforwool.org/news-item/wool-school-arrives/[Accessed 17/10/13].
2) Marks and Spencer plc.(2013) Wool week [Online]. Available from: http://www.marksandspencer.com/Wool-Week-Style-Edit-Home-Womens/b/3543406031?extid=ps_ggl_UK_Gen_NGS_CampaignsWoolWeek_WoolWeek2013&kwid=_Google+Adwords&s_kwcid=AL!2750!3!37383028753!e!!g!!wool%20week&ef_id=Ul68jwAAANm3qagE:20131016161927:s[Accessed 17/10/13].
3) SHETLAND.org (2013) Shetland Wool Week 2013 [Online]. Available from: http://www.shetlandwoolweek.com/[Accessed 17/10/13].