Harris Tweed mill produces softer fabric for fashion houses

A Harris Tweed mill has responded to calls from the fashion industry to produce a 'softer, lighter premium tweed' which is less scratchy but just as resilient.

The new fabric is softer and more lightweight than regular Harris Tweed. Picture: Carloway Mill
The new fabric is softer and more lightweight than regular Harris Tweed. Picture: Carloway Mill

Carloway Mill, in the quiet and peaceful village of Garenin, on the west side of the Isle of Lewis has launched a new product that is set to take the fashion world by storm.

After years of top secret, research and development the firm has created a super soft fabric in the form of their Harris Tweed Premium Label that opens up the spring/summer couture market with its emphasis on lightweight materials.

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Household names in the fashion industry like Chanel and Stella McCartney have been using Harris Tweed for years and have cried out for a softer more lightweight fabric.

The latest move marks a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the Carloway Mill having fought back from the brink of administration at the start of the year to being in the enviable position of battling to meet global demand.

Chief executive of Carloway Mill, Derek Reid said: “All the research that’s been done at industry level and also by our own mill, indicates a particular opportunity exists in the female fashion market. “This is hugely under-represented at present with Harris Tweed.

“The opportunity exists for a lighter, softer, Harris Tweed and we believe that with the new products we have created at Carloway after several years of trial and experiment, we are now likely to meet that opportunity.

“This opens up bespoke fashion and top-of-the-range prestigious customers – couture.

“I won’t name the people we have been talking to as we’ve yet to finalise their requirements but I think at the top is exactly where Harris Tweed should be in fashion.”

Mary McGowne, founder of the Scottish Style Awards, said: “Anything that supports the fragile economies of the Highlands & Islands has to be applauded and welcomed. “Any effort to expand into untapped markets can only be a good thing.”