Tweed on Film - Drama on the Hebrides

One of Britian's Oldest Brands - Harris Tweed

One of our German readers kindly contacted us and suggested it might be a good idea to post the films from the documentary series Tweed originally produced by the BBC. Being lazy and seeing the opportunity of knocking together an easy piece on the back of someone else's work, we thought it was a great idea. Danke Nicolas.

In all seriousness though, it's a great film and did much to bring the precariousness of the future of Harris Tweed to people's attention. And as we're a repository of British classics, it fits nicely with our brief.

The Fight for the Heart of Harris Tweed

Genuine Harris Tweed is hand-spun and hand-woven at home by Outer Hebridean islanders. Against the modern curses of fast fashion and throwaway culture, as they say in the film, "If ever there is a time to wrap ourselves in this beautiful, sustainable ethnic British cloth it's now."

Like any good drama the series had its heroes and villains. Our award-winning friend, indie weaver Donald John Mackay has a role - heroic, of course. We'll leave you to decide who are the villains. There are engaging walk-on parts for tweed from other parts of the British Isles and tweed fanciers too.

Since the film was made in 2009 there has been a mighty shift in attitude towards provenance, heritage and integrity in clothing and cloth manufacture. Right now the future is looking brighter for Harris Tweed.

Do Weavers Wear Tweed?

Rewatching, I noticed that the tweed weavers wear little tweed themselves. Is it like fisherman who rarely eat fish having handled them all day?

Tweed Episode 1/3 Trouble Looms from Pssst on Vimeo.

Tweed Episode 2/3 Harassed Tweed (part 2 of 2) from Pssst on Vimeo.

Tweed Episode 3/3 Hanging by a Thread from Pssst on Vimeo.


  1. Hi! Love the blog generally and as a weaver-in-training myself I enjoyed the Tweed documentary. The only thing is, I would question whether you could call the Harris yarns handspun, doesn't the documentary show them being machine spun in the mill?

    1. Thanks for the comment. Maybe hand spun isn't shown in the film, but I think that's the acme of artisanship the best weavers aim for. Maybe you have a film of your own hand spinning or weaving we could share with the readers? They're hungry for tweed flicks.


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