By Lakeland Skirts

Tweed Kim jacket
Caption: Tweed Kim jacket
River Tweed at Kelso
Caption: River Tweed at Kelso
Vivienne Westwood jacket
Caption: Vivienne Westwood tweed jacket
Chanel tweed jacket
Caption: Chanel tweed jacket

 Tweed! You've got to love it, it's warm, it's moisture resistant and of course it's really rather fetching when made up into a neat little jacket or cheeky mini skirt.

I thought it would be quite interesting to find out a little more about the cloth that we spend so much of our time working with....

'The original name of the cloth was tweel, Scots for twill, it being woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern.[citation needed] A traditional story has the name coming about almost by chance. About 1830, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm, Wm. Watson & Sons, Dangerfield Mills about some tweels. The London merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders textile area. Subsequently the goods were advertised as Tweed, and the name has remained ever since.[citation needed]'. You can read more of this article here - 

So, a mistaken identity eh? A fortuitous one I would say. When I travel up to the Borders region to visit our suppliers and some of our customers I drive over and along the beautiful River Tweed, and I must say that it makes perfect sense for the cloth to go by the same name as the river. The colours of the surrounding countryside are reflected in the colours of the cloth, and the cloth lends itself really rather suitably to the previling weather conditions of the area. 

Tweed has a long association with country pursuits, and as such a lot of twed clothing is very traditional in style. Google tweed clothing and you are offered a range of very traditional tweed jackets, shooting coats, caps and the like. Not that I have anything against a good tweed jacket you understand....have you seen our lovely Kim jacket?? 

 It's a slightly different matter if you add the name Vivienne Westwood to the mix. She is a bit of a rebel and takes traditional styles and traditional tweeds and turns them on their heads. She accentuates, and she deconstructs, and she reconstructs without getting stuck inside barriers or preconceptions. She is a real ambassador for British tweed, particularly those made in the outer Hebrides, those with the mark of the orb and named after the Isle of Harris. A little more about Vivienne Westwood's Harris Tweed connections here... 

Another notable exception to the traditional British tweed rule is Coco Chanel She struck up a connection with Linton Tweed of Carlise in the 1920s, and it turned out to be an extremely fruitful, and iconic relationship which is still going strong to this day. Here is a little extract from the Linton Tweed website... 'Initially Linton employed two salesmen with ponies and traps who travelled the Lake District buying wool and selling woollen suit lengths. William Linton's great friend, Captain Molyneux, was a Parisian couturier who in the1920's introduced him to a dynamic young lady called Coco Chanel. This began an association which has flourished over the years resulting in the house of Chanel being Linton's biggest and most prestigious customer.' You can read more about this here - 

Linton Tweed is notable for its rebellion against the traditional weave and colour palette used in tweeds. Linton tweeds rebuff the smooth green yarns typically used to create a tweed, and replace them with often brightly coloured and highly textured yarn, sometime even a spot of metallic thread is woven into the mix. The result is a stunning collection of sumptuous fabrics that light up your world and give you the feeling of a child in a sweety shop. 

I think we are in pretty good company in our use of Linton Tweeds...what do you think? Looks like Linton Love us as much as we love them! 


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