Harris Tweed has been everywhere this season, from the traditional blazer, to overcoats, hats, sneakers and bags…. like this backpack from Japanese department store Beams. Available in all black, or a black and white houndstooth pattern with black accents, they feature contrasting zippers, leather pull tags and the famous Harris Tweed orb logo badge.
It has been fabulous to see Harris Tweed come back into fashion and being used in such a wide array of products, not only from an aesthetic perspective, but because it helps maintain the culture and heritage of the fabric and the islands that produce it. Legally the only fabric that can be called Harris Tweed and display the orb logo has to be hand woven by the islanders of Harris, Lewis, Uist and Barra in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, using only local wool. This means its not cheap to produce and can only be used in high cost luxury goods, this combined with its rugged look means it has fallen out of favour in recent years and many of the tweed mills have closed down with only a handful remaining open and a few thousand feet of fabric produced each year. This is a sad state of affairs, the creation of the tweed is becoming a dying art, as it becomes increasingly difficult to make a living as a weaver less and less young islanders wish to take it up as a trade, and as a result more of the traditional tweed patterns are become lost in time. The trend for tweed gives a timely boost to the industry, and by using the cloth in non-traditional designs like this backpack it shows a whole new generation and market just how versatile and hard wearing this most special of fabrics is.
For more information on Harris Tweed visit the official Harris Tweed Authority website .