|The Breanish Story|
The Outer Hebrides is one of the great weaving areas of Great Britain. Along with the Scottish Borders and Yorkshire, British weavers produce some of the best cloths in the world. The Outer Hebrides is known around the world for producing tweed.
It is this heritage which we draw on, but Breanish Tweed is unique. The founder of Breanish Tweed - Ian Sutherland - was the creator of this special cloth.
Our tweeds are handwoven, but they are lightweight and luxurious. We use qualities such as cashmere, lambswool and shetland to produce cloths which are easy to wear, tailor very well. We like to weave small runs - enough for four or five jackets.
Our looms are adapted Hattersley looms, built in Keighly in Yorkshire and range in age from ninety to forty years old. They are beautiful pieces of Victorian engineering.
We are the last mill to handwarp the tweed. It takes around three miles of walking to create the warp for a length of tweed.
Our weavers then bring their great skill and experience to bear, they have to tie over eight hundred knots to get the tweed into the loom. They can then begin weaving and it takes about three days to weave a piece length of cloth. A machine driven loom can do this in a matter of hours, but the fact that our cloth is made on a human scale, with not so much pressure and tension placed on the yarn during the weaving process, is noticeable in the end product.
We are the only producer of Breanish Tweed and therefore have complete control over the process - some of our tailors go over the tweed with a magnifying glass and no length of tweed leaves the mill unless it is perfect. Most of our cloth is used by bespoke tailors, master craftspeople themselves.
At our mill on the island, you will have the chance to buy the last metres of rare tweeds, as well as see where they are woven. You can take time to look at our fine cloth and find out more about what makes Breanish Tweed truly unique.
We were recently honoured to receive the Balvenie Masters of Craft Awards for Textiles. When one considers the great cloths that Britain produces, we are indeed honoured that our work has been recognised in this way.