HARRIS TWEED’S orb trademark has been officially recognised as a coat of arms.
The “historic milestone” for the brand is seen as a further acknowledgement of Harris Tweed’s unique status, and will bolster its protection from imitations.
The iconic orb has been the symbol of Harris Tweed since the early 20th century and was established to indicate the authenticity and quality of the cloth produced.
The Lord Lyon, King of Arms, has approved the use of the orb as a coat of arms ahead of a photo exhibition on Saturday that celebrates the heritage brand and the community of weavers behind it.
A decade in the making, Ian Lawson’s exhibition will form part of Scotland’s year-long celebration of innovation, architecture and design.
The exhibition will open in Rheged Cebntre, Penrith in Cumbria and will then travel to An Lanntair Arts Centre in Stornoway, which will showcase the exhibit from July 1 until August 16.
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The Harris Tweed Act 1993 defines the cloth as a product “handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.”
Norman Macdonald, chairman of the Harris Tweed Authority, said: “Being awarded a Grant of Arms is a historic milestone for Harris Tweed which has fought for decades to protect the sanctuary of the Harris Tweed cloth.
“It’s the ultimate protection for our products which are known for throughout the world for consistently high standards of quality and authenticity.
“It’s an honour to receive the Grant of Arms from Lord Lyon himself and we are grateful to be able to ensure the security of our cloth and its heritage for generations to come.”