The Gotland Tweed
Sumptuous tweed handwoven on my Hattersley loom from my own Gotland fleeces
I have sheep, I have them because I have wanted, since I was about 12, to make something with fleece from my own animals. It was a dream to have the fleeces, spin the wool, weave the tweed and make the final garment and it has finally become a reality! I particularly wanted to use gotland wool as it is very different to say hebridean fleece. The staple (wool length) is very long, twice the length at least of Hebridean. It is incredibly lustrous with a sheen similar to silk but with a fluffy quality similar to mohair. I sent the wool away to be spun as it would be unrealistic to handspin that quantity and fineness but it was extremely expensive! So worth it though, the yarn was gorgeous, soft and fluffy yet strong and shiny! My sister and I wove the tweed creating a subtle variegated grey cloth fading randomly from dark to light as the different fleece colours came through. The warp in the mid soft grey of Harriet and the weft in the deep grey almost black of Arcos and Jemima, and the lighter creamy tones of Liza. Once woven the tweed was sent to a mill on the mainland to be 'finished', washed, cropped and pressed to strengthen, supple and give it its final finish. The end result is a soft, silky tweed totally unlike Harris Tweed, much softer with a rich luster and delicate natural colours.