Thursday, January 19

10e at kaufmann mercantile -weaving harris tweed II

My Harris Tweed contact Mike Donald has graduated as a certified weaver. Head over to Kaufmann Mercantile to read part two of our quite personal interview, about what this means to him but in a larger sense what is happening with the HT brand and the area.

One slightly off topic thing we talked about was connectivity on the island...
What about internet on the islands, I thought paradoxically you had fantastic broadband connections?
Broadband on the islands is one of the biggest issues I think we face and I hope it gets tackled by the Scottish government properly this year. It's very poor in some places. I'm lucky to have a 3MB connection which is average. Some places near the main town of Stornoway can get 7MB which is probably as good as it gets here but many of the remoter rural villages make do with a pretty lousy mast-to-mast wireless network at anything between 500KB and 2MB. It's very expensive too and really not good enough, especially if we want to keep young people and associated creative industries here.

BTW, have a look at your own Harris Tweed jacket... see those blue stamped numbers on the side, those correspond to the individual weaver that created the cloth. At some point I am hoping The Harris Tweed Authority will create a database or service so for S&G one could look up the numbers.

6 comments:

Kristin said...

LOVED this!!!! Makes me want to pack my bags and see this island in person. I didn't realize they were all handwoven at individual homes (assumed it was handwoven at a mill). One question, where are the lady weavers? Is this a male-only occupation?

james at 10engines said...

@KC there were some ladies taking the course, i know that. teh older weavers seem to be men though you are right. Shoot Mike a message via FB?

Murph said...

I couldn't agree more about the database. I've often thought of this same idea. The fruits of such an undertaking would be inumerable for the brand.

james at 10engines said...

@murph completely agree. if you want to leave that comment on the KM site maybe they will take a hint. http://kaufmann-mercantile.com/harris-tweed-part-ii/#more-8510

Matthew Hranek said...

I HAVE A HT WHERE THE NUMBER IS HAND WRITTEN. BRING ON THE DATA BASE!

Mike the croft said...

Kristen: Originally all the weavers (and dyers, carders and spinners) were women while men undertook fishing and crofting but as the fishing died out early 20thC, looms became bigger and heavier and price of tweed rose men took on the weaving role while women carried out all the other parts of the process, particularly waulking. Split today is maybe 75/25?