As the days continue to be short, dark, wet and cold, we are all bringing our knits and woollens out but behold, there is a fabric that is rather rich and has a varied history you might need to add to your winter wear – Tweed!Photo: Courtesy of Vicky Garnett Photography
As soon as you hear ‘tweed’, your mind might have raced to the royals, Dr Who, nerdy professors, Sherlock Holmes, politicians or those aging men in Harris or Donegal tweed hats in your local pub. Whatever your associations with it, tweed redefines the complex history of gender, class and fashion from the 19th century until now. It had functional characteristics that were attractive to 19th century gentlemen and aristocrats who had an interest in virtually every sport and adventure activity – shooting, hunting, fishing, golf, cycling, motoring and mountain climbing. Dr Who in tweed jacket
In the 1890s British tweed became popular when it was included in ‘tailor made’ garments for women which consisted of a jacket and long skirt. They were warm, functional, durable and were the ‘power dress’ for contemporary office women.
By the 1920s Coco Chanel was simplifying fashion with her innovative forward looking ideas on female clothes. She borrowed items normally worn by men and transformed them into pared down stylish female apparel, for example simple jersey and tweed suits.The Time Lifestyle Magazine – 1960s Chanel tweed suits
Although tweed might be associated with old-fashioned values and upper-class country sportswear, fashion houses have made it popular again by adding new lighter tweed weaves that are perfect for modern street wear.Photo: Courtesy of Vicky Garnett Photography
It might look like an itchy, stuffy and heavy fabric but tweed is practical, warm, versatile…….and classically stylish. Perfect central heating for those winter walks!!