Too many people consider tweed as an old-fashioned, itchy and dull fabric for granny’s suit, so this article had to be written. One can’t be more wrong. Among the world classics like little black dress and pencil skirt tweed occupies it’s place firmly. People, who do follow the fashion trends would agree that there is no autumn/winter season catwalk without at least one tweed skirt for women and tweed jacket for men. Maybe, it’s already the right time to stop arguing and get to know more about this amusing cloth?
How tweed was created
This woven fabric appeared in Scotland and Ireland. It was handmade, of course, so the material was rather rough and thick. Tweed truly was created as a clothes for workers. The climate of the mentioned countries is rather wet and chilly, so people, who worked outside, needed something warm to wear. It’s also true that first tweed fabrics weren’t bright and colorful. They were rather dull-looking, yet had a merit that wasn’t questioned – they were wind and water resistant. What else do people needed back then? It’s nowadays that we don’t get tired of coming up with new models and materials.
There are two versions of the appearance of the naming “tweed”. The unpopular, but reasonable theory, is that the exact origin of this fabric is Tweed Valley near the Tweed River in Scotland. The more popular story is that the word appeared as a misspelling of the term “tweel”. This way people called the specific weave of cloth (twill is the common variant). In the beginning of 19th century some clerk made a mistake in spelling the word and “tweed” appeared. Sounds just too cheerful, doesn’t it?
How did tweed become the clothes for gentlemen
It was again in the first part of the 19th century that Englishmen decided to create suitable for hunting in the chilly climate clothes. Tweed again was there to help: it didn’t get wet, protected the hunter from the wind and had earthly colors, that worked out good as a disguise in the forest. Prince Albert even designed his own personal tweed. It is called the Balmoral Tweed. The color of this fabric is very unusual. If to look at it closely, then one can see that it has a light blue as a background, which is colored with crimson and white. As a disguise is was perfect, since from the distance it looked grey and made the task of hiding in the forest a lot easier. Hunting may not be that noble of a leisure time activity, yet it brought tweed into the gentlemen’s life as a “must-have” clothes. That was the first triumph of the tweed.