I wrote this post, my first for Gentleman’s Gazette, in collaboration with Raphael Schneider, who runs the site. I am quite confident you'll come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of tweed after you read it.
The post is hefty and is chock full of text, photos, links, and videos conceived to provide you with a comprehensive education on tweed and how to wear it in a classic way.
In this article learn about:
- The origin of tweed
- The history of tweed
- Types of tweed
- Tweed patterns
- How tweed is made
- A rundown on a recent crisis in Harris Tweed
- How to wear tweed
- Where to find tweed
Here is an excerpt from the article below:
"The Origin of Tweed
It is commonly thought that tweed emerged in Scotland and Ireland as a way for the farmers there to battle the chilly, damp climate that characterizes those parts. Tweed began as a hand woven fabric. The cloth was rough, thick, and felted and the colors were muted and earthy. It was truly a working man’s cloth. As far as the name goes, there are a couple of theories.
- There is a River Tweed in Scotland and the cloth was made in the Tweed Valley, and some believe that is the origin of the word.
- A more popular legend has it that the name tweed is a twist on the Scottish word for “tweel” or twill in our parlance, which is the signature weave of the fabric. It is said that in 1826, a London clerk accidentally transcribed an order to “tweel” and wrote “tweed” instead, and from there the name came into use.
Whatever the origin, tweed is a rugged fabric, resistant to wind and water with excellent insulating properties.
(Photo from Bookster)
How to Wear Tweed?
Because tweed is inherently a cool weather fabric it goes well with autumn, cold-weather golfing, the opening of bird season, fall run trout, and crisp winter days. On the other hand, tweed is not ideally suited for classic white collar business outfits or more formal evening events.
A good rule of thumb for tweed is to wear it in any cool weather situation where a sport coat or casual suit is appropriate. Weekends are great for tweed. Keep in mind too, that a new tweed jacket or suit will require some break-in time. There are reports of people throwing their traditional tweed jackets against a wall to soften it up. I don’t know if that’s actually done, but once a tweed jacket is broken in–wow–what a comfortably wearing garment."
Edited by Magnanimist - 9/4/13 at 9:56pm