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Harris Tweed - Enlighten Me

swampfox

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Not sure if this is exactly the right forum for this, but, as it is my first post, I'll just assume no one will be too upset.

Anyway, what I would like is a bit of insight into Harris Tweed fabric. Specifically, how to determine if the fabric is high quality. For example, is the quality of Harris Tweed significantly different between this Berg & Berg blazer and this significantly cheaper blazer from Slater Menswear? If it's not the same quality, what's the best way to judge the quality of Harris Tweed, or tweed more generally.

I understand that the construction of those jackets are very different and that 'construction' is an awful lot more than just the fabric. But the fact that you can find such a range of shops and designers using Harris Tweed on garments with vastly different price points confuses me.
 

johng70

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The cost of Harris Tweed as a fabric, is higher because it must be hand woven in a specific area and certified. So, no machine woven in the far east. But, just like any other material, the material cost is only a small portion of the total cost of goods - the labor/manufacturing cost is a big component. For the more expensive jacket, that site calls out Made in Italy. The other site doesn't make any claims - which usually means it was made in China, Indonesia, etc. It makes a difference when you're paying someone $20 per hour or $0.24 per hour. So, you can still take an expensive fabric and manufacture clothing cheaply using inexpensive far East labor. You should also be aware - true Harris tweed all come with a label (see photo). If you bought something and it claims to be harris tweed but doesn't have this label, it's likely a fake.
Harris.JPG
 

Andy57

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Urgha Loom is a good Harris Tweed.
Yes, she is.

In my opinion, Harris Tweed, purchased direct from the weaver is usually a phenomenal bargain, especially when you consider that it is hand-loomed by one person. The above referenced weaver sells her cloth for 25 British Pounds per meter! Even factoring in that Harris Tweed is woven on looms that produce cloth that is only 75cm wide (so you need twice as much as normal), that's an amazing price for such a product.

The only downside is that Harris Tweed is so sturdy (rugged, even) that it will last you a lifetime. So once you have a Harris Tweed jacket you will have to ask yourself if you really ever need another.
 

swampfox

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All the info is greatly appreciated! Even though some weavers are better than others, is the general consistency pretty high across Harris Tweed(s)? So if you see the tag, you know at least the fabric is of quality.
 

Phileas Fogg

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^ from the quality of fabric standpoint, yes.

The question that comes about, as alluded to above, is how the garment is produced. Harris tweed is the fabric. Produced to exacting standards but what about the overall garment? What good is Kobe beef if it’s cooked well done and drowned in ketchup?
 

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