Fabric Friday: Wool Tweed

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I don’t know about you, but I love tweed. Goodness gracious. I thought it would be a great week to highlight this fun fabric!

Whenever I think of tweed, I think of the British Isles. Harris Tweed, Linton Tweed. Gorgeous, gorgeous stuff. So many of them are so unique too. Yum! There’s lots of tweed to choose from when you really start looking.

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Tweed is a textured fabric. Additionally it’s usually woven with at least two different color yarns which can give it a speckled look. This is great for hiding stitching irregularities which makes it a favorite for those beginning their journey into tailoring (as in making a jacket). From far away it looks like a softer version of the dominant color. This (above) is the kind of fabric that I usually associate with tweed, but don’t be fooled. It comes in a combination of textures, colors and weaves. Here’s another tweed that I have, direct from Linton Tweeds. Not your typical tweed, eh?

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Tweeds that carry a name, like Harris tweed originate a from a specific district from whence they are made. For example, Harris Tweed comes from Scotland. A few common tweed names are Harris, Linton, Donegal, Shetland and Bannockburn. If the tweed isn’t labelled with a district name it’s just a regular tweed and could have been manufactured/made anywhere (doesn’t mean it’s bad though!).

Most tweeds are usually firmly woven and easy to sew with. Wool tweed takes heat and moisture wonderfully and shapes into just about anything – great for making jackets! Some tweeds are woven with a combination of fibers like wool and silk or wool and cotton. They can even get really exciting and be woven with a metallic thread or cellophane (for a little sparkle!).

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These fabrics are great for jackets or coats, as I’ve already said above. They also make great pencil skirts and trousers because the hand has a nice structure to it.

Now, bragging rights time! Do you have any tweed? What about Harris Tweed or possibly Linton?

For more about Wools, visit the Working with Wool Section!

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9 thoughts on “Fabric Friday: Wool Tweed

  1. Ooh, I just cut into my first wool tweed ever yesterday! It’s an unnamed herringbone. Such an interesting texture, too. I’m crap at describing qualities of fabric but it’s kind of spongy and thick. It’s slightly ravel-y at the edges so I have to be careful transporting the pieces around, but I know it’s going to be worth it in the end!

  2. loooove tweed! I am actually lucky enough to have a pair of leather brogues with panels of Harris tweed on the side. They’re pretty magnificent. 🙂

  3. Tweed is so delicious – sort of tough to find here, too, so when I found an amazing rust coloured wool tweed with multi-coloured speckles in it recently, I nabbed it right up (even though my fiancé thinks it’s ugly haha) – it’s gonna become a stellar pair of trousers very soon! ^___^

  4. i love your articles on wool – as i think it is possibly the nicest fabric to work on as there are so many possibilities. i upcycle wool coats sometimes, and although cumbersome, they are easy in their own way. sometimes sewing with wool is like a give-take. i find if i steam it and brush it a lot first (after taking each coat apart), and then let it rest overnight then its the best start and the wool has settled back into itself.

  5. I was wondering if you have ever found a tweed that has no wool of any kind. I am not able to wear it and have always loved the look of those wonderful winter coats. It really is no fun to be cold cause nobody has a coat to fit and not be made some amount of wool. Thanks for the help, Catharine

  6. I’ve got several pieces of delicious Linton tweed that I’ve been hemming and haw-ing over unable to decide what to make with it. Some will definitely be make into a jacket or two, but I am wondering about skirts and dresses.
    My fear: how do you handle the lining/underlining so that it doesn’t bag out at the seat?

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