History of tweed yarn
Tweed yarn appeared in Scotland. Hard sheep wool was used for its producing. Classical tweed yarn is a close no-twist yarn which has outstanding thermal characteristics and high durability. This yarn was hard and itchy to the touch.
Tweed yarn was used to weave strong fabric for making up common and coarse clothes. However, Highlanders needed those clothes to be protected from chilling mountain wind and endless rains. Scottish tweed cloak could serve a Highlander as a tent, a blanket or a horse rug as suited the situation. Woollen fabric sinks water in perfectly, but clothes of Highlanders turned so greasy in course of time that it became waterproof.
What did the Scotch use to dye tweed yarn?
It goes without saying that the Scottish weavers didn’t have synthetic dyes, therefore they got dyes from natural materials. Mainly, phytogenous dyes were used. They were made of herbs of different kind, heather and lichen. The yarn was quite washy but the colours themselves were lasting enough.
New page in the history of tweed yarn
In the 19th century the English became interested in the tweed yarn. The fabric made of hard sheep yarn was ideal for making up men’s coats and jackets. These clothes were suitable for hunting, fishing and long walking. The English aristocrats saw the true value of warmth and utility of items made of tweed yarn.
In 1930 the first tweed fabrics manufacture appeared in London. The yarn was woven on the hand-operated looms as before, but it wasn’t so hard and itchy anymore. Softer, “city” tweed came in production due to experiments with the yarn.
Tweed yarn in the modern world
Today colour palette of tweed yarn has much more hues (although products made of tweed fabric have mostly classical hues: brown, black, grey and green). Synthetic dyes are also used for dyeing of the tweed yarn.
Even today some producers of the tweed yarn venerate ancient traditions of yarn finishing. The company Harris Tweed still uses the yarn woven by the Scottish weavers by hand. Of course, this yarn is dyed only with natural dyes. In the modern world this method of manufacturing is a rarity, therefore the value of the Harris Tweed tweed yarn is beyond doubt. Tweed produced by this company is one of the most expensive in the world. It can be called a sample of quality and good taste by right.