Handwoven Harris Tweed
Clo Mor - The Big Cloth
Clo Mor has been woven by independent weavers from their crofting homes for hundreds of years, however it was first known as Harris tweed in the 1840's after the Countess of Dunmore brought the fabric to the attention of the wider world. Since then, it has gone from strength to strength and is now world renown for its quality, authenticity and heritage. With every part of the process; carding, dyeing, spinning, weaving and finishing all occurring on the Isles of Lewis and Harris each meter of cloth is part of a legacy going back generations. Visit The Weaving Shed to watch weaving demonstrations. Hear the click clack of the loom and imagine, in years gone by, a warm summer evening with that sound filling the air as nearly every household is working away. The children run from shed to shed, peddling the pirn winders, a penny a pirn, in pocket money. The adults not weaving, out on the crofts, checking the sheep, digging the vegetable beds, spreading seaweed firtiliser. Find out how this amazing cloth has evolved over the years and how it is woven today.
Hatty my Hattersley loom. Originally brought to the island as a brand new flatpacked puzzle in (about) 1940 she has been worked by three generations for nearly 80 years. Crafted from cast iron and wood she has become a work of art in her own right. The divots on the arms as she has settled into position, the wear on the bar from years of weavers hands, the faded paint and oil deposits. All help make each Hattersley loom unique and give them their own personality
My name is Miriam Hamilton and I learned to weave in the autumn of 2018, taught by the previous owner of Hatty, a gentleman crofter aged 90. He agreed to sell me Hatty and to teach me to weave, so I spent many hours in his tiny, freezing cold loom shed where he had woven for 50 years. He had inherited the loom from his father, who had bought her orignally from the Hattersley factory in Keighley, Yorkshire.
Traditional weaving sheds, like the one I learnt to weave in, were block or stone structures with no real 'comforts' like insulation, decent lighting, heating etc. I decided I wanted a 'posh' shed and so The Weaving Shed was created. Designed in two halves; one to have exactly the right amount of room for Hatty, the pirn winder, the warping frame and the bobbin stand and the other as a studio shop. The 'posh' shed has stunning views over the Loch, and plently of space and light to see the loom and all the weaving processes.
As I am so new to weaving I am not as quick as some, and my other work means I can't weave as much as I would like. Therefore I have only limited amounts of cloth, however with each tweed woven to a unique design and in very limited quantity you can be assured of a truely special piece of cloth!