Tweed cloth is cloth made from wool. However, tweed has the special characteristic of being rough and this is because the wool is unfinished. The fabric is medium or heavy weight, durable and resistant to moisture. These are the reasons why it was mainly used to make outerwear such as jackets and coats. This type of cloth is originally from Scotland and is still being produced there.
Tweed cloth comes in a wide variety of colors but the colors are typically subdued. Even though traditionally tweed cloth was made completely of wool, more modern variation incorporate other fabrics such as cotton, rayon and other man made fabrics.
Tweed cloth was quite commonly associated with college professors and old men. However, this is not the case nowadays. Tweed has been made trendy and almost every category of people can be found sporting a tweed article of clothing. The fabric has been made more popular today because of the technological advances resulting to new ways in which the tweed cloth is woven as well as the increasing use of other types of yarns to blend with the wool. Tweed is now being dyed in a wide of variety of colors (including pink). Also, a number of fashion and design houses are using this fabric for some of their designs.
Tweed cloth is used to make jackets, waist coats dresses, skirts, trousers, hats and even being used to make upholstery and soft furnishings.
There are 3 main types of tweed cloth and these are silk tweed, Donegal tweed and Harris Tweed. Harris Tweed is heavy weight tweed made from pure wool that comes from the Scottish Isles of Barra, Lewis, Uist, Harry and the Outer Hebrides. This is the oldest type of tweed. This type of tweed has a long history and was first made in the mid-nineteenth century under the Countess of Dunmore, Catherine Murray. Only the tweed made from these parts of Scotland is considered Harris Tweed.
Donegal tweed is the tweed cloth manufactured in Donegal County in Ireland. Even though most of the Donegal tweed produced is manufactured by the company Magee, Molloy and McNutt, there are still some locals who continue to hand weave the tweed. Hand weaving as a skill has been passed down from generation from generation throughout the centuries.
Silk tweed is the third type of tweed cloth and is of course made out of silk.
Even though tweed cloth is durable and can stand the test of time, it is important to take good care of your tweed clothing. You should always read the instructions on the fabric care label to learn how to take care of your garment. Your tweed clothing should not be hung to dry as this will stretch the fabric. Instead it should be laid flat on the ground. You should avoid using the dryer to dry your tweed clothing as this will cause shrinkage.