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TITLE
Crofter Weaver on a Hattersley loom
EXTERNAL ID
PAN_WEAVER_1
PLACENAME
Stornoway
DISTRICT
Lewis
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Stornoway
PERIOD
1950s
CREATOR
J Nairn
SOURCE
Highland Photographic Archive (IMAG)
ASSET ID
20909
KEYWORDS
tweeds
textiles
manufacture
weaving
production
cottage industry
looms
weavers
Crofter Weaver on a Hattersley loom

Under a 1993 Act of Parliament 'Harris Tweed' is cloth that has been hand woven by the islanders of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra in their homes, using pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.' The cloth is protected by law so that imitations cannot flood the market.

In the early 1800s the Earl of Dunmore owned the Harris estate. His wife, the Countess of Dunmore, noticed the superior weaving skills of two sisters from Strond in South Harris. The sisters were known as the 'Paisley Sisters' because they had trained in Paisley. The Countess of Dunmore realised the market potential of the tweed and sent some other girls to Paisley to train. This was the beginning of the Harris Tweed industry. The hard-wearing cloth was very popular among people hunting, shooting and fishing on the estates. Its popularity soon spread and people on other islands also began weaving.

The process of making the cloth was slow as everything was done by hand. Some of the processes began to be mechanised. The first carding (preparing the wool for spinning) mill opened in Tarbert, Harris in 1900 and a second in Stornoway in 1903. This increased the demand for tweed and spinning mills were built but the cloth was always woven by crofter-weavers in their own homes. Despite the name 'Harris Tweed', Stornoway emerged as the heart of the industry and most of the cloth is woven by Lewis crofters.

The cloth would have originally been woven on wooden looms but these were being replaced in the 1920s by the steel framed Hattersley looms, which were more efficient. These looms are being replaced by the Bonas-Griffith double-width loom, introduced in 1996, which is capable of weaving a lighter and wider cloth.

The loom in this photograph is a Hattersley loom


This image can be purchased.
For further information about purchasing and prices please email the
Highland Photographic Archive quoting the External ID.

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Crofter Weaver on a Hattersley loom

ROSS: Stornoway

1950s

tweeds; textiles; manufacture; weaving; production; cottage industry; looms; weavers

Highland Photographic Archive (IMAG)

Jimmy Nairn & Son

Under a 1993 Act of Parliament 'Harris Tweed' is cloth that has been hand woven by the islanders of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra in their homes, using pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.' The cloth is protected by law so that imitations cannot flood the market.<br /> <br /> In the early 1800s the Earl of Dunmore owned the Harris estate. His wife, the Countess of Dunmore, noticed the superior weaving skills of two sisters from Strond in South Harris. The sisters were known as the 'Paisley Sisters' because they had trained in Paisley. The Countess of Dunmore realised the market potential of the tweed and sent some other girls to Paisley to train. This was the beginning of the Harris Tweed industry. The hard-wearing cloth was very popular among people hunting, shooting and fishing on the estates. Its popularity soon spread and people on other islands also began weaving.<br /> <br /> The process of making the cloth was slow as everything was done by hand. Some of the processes began to be mechanised. The first carding (preparing the wool for spinning) mill opened in Tarbert, Harris in 1900 and a second in Stornoway in 1903. This increased the demand for tweed and spinning mills were built but the cloth was always woven by crofter-weavers in their own homes. Despite the name 'Harris Tweed', Stornoway emerged as the heart of the industry and most of the cloth is woven by Lewis crofters.<br /> <br /> The cloth would have originally been woven on wooden looms but these were being replaced in the 1920s by the steel framed Hattersley looms, which were more efficient. These looms are being replaced by the Bonas-Griffith double-width loom, introduced in 1996, which is capable of weaving a lighter and wider cloth. <br /> <br /> The loom in this photograph is a Hattersley loom <br /> <br /> <br /> This image can be purchased.<br /> For further information about purchasing and prices please email the<br /> <a href="mailto: photographic.archive@highlifehighland.com">Highland Photographic Archive</a> quoting the External ID.<br />