Harris Tweed firm bids on US and Canada revival

A Harris Tweed firm in the Hebrides is to attempt to revive the fabric's fortunes across the Atlantic. Picture: Ian Georgeson
A Harris Tweed firm in the Hebrides is to attempt to revive the fabric's fortunes across the Atlantic. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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THE biggest producer of Harris Tweed has revealed plans to revive demand for the cloth in the US and Canada.

Harris Tweed Hebrides want to resurrect demand for the fabric across the Atlantic after exports fell sharply in the 1980s, ending a time where North America was among the biggest importers of Harris Tweed.

A model wears Harris Tweed. Picture: TSPL

A model wears Harris Tweed. Picture: TSPL

The Shawbost-based firm have partnered with an international marketing firm to restore Harris Tweed’s hold in the US, with plans to promote sales using KILTR, a social media platform innovated by a Glasgow-based firm.

Price wars fought between rival firms in the 80s led to dwindling sales of Harris Tweed, with Germany and Japan long since overtaking the US and Canada as the cloth’s largest export market.

Margaret MacLeod, marketing manager for Harris Tweed Hebrides, told BBC Alba: “Various things happened through the 1980s due to import issues and price wars between the different mills that really weren’t helpful.

“But I think year on year we have seen that business come back.

“People are looking for style, looking for quality and looking for heritage and all of those things Harris Tweed can offer.”