The Guide to Tweed

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Monday, April 2nd 2018
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In many ways, tweed should be the perfect material for a modern man. It is practical, hard wearing, and can be dressed up or down, from almost-formal to definitely-casual.

On the formal side, a navy tweed jacket, grey worsted trousers and button-down shirt is the smartest dress most men outside professional offices require.

And for a casual look, a softly made jacket in perhaps a grey herringbone suits a crewneck sweater, jeans and boots, making an informal outfit that still looks considered.

But tweed has an image problem. Despite its variety of uses over the years, it is still strongly associated with country pursuits, with an older generation, and with the English upper class.

Indeed, the very name can put off younger guys - tell them something is a ‘wool’ jacket rather than tweed, and they will often look at it in a different light.

“These popular associations largely come from the media and from fashion designers,” comments Fiona Anderson, author of Tweed (Bloomsbury, 2016).

“Tweed has always been worn by a range of classes, but it is the upper classes that are featured in films and TV, such as Downton Abbey, and that are romanticised in fashion advertising, particularly by Ralph Lauren.”

These old-fashioned associations are a pity, because tweed is so practical - the original performance fabric. Nothing compared to modern synthetics for waterproofing of course, but still very windproof, water-resistant and breathable.

“Tweed owes its weather-resistant properties largely to the hairy, springy texture,” says Anderson. “It means that water is more likely to stay on the surface rather than soaking in.”

She adds that tweed first became popular in the 1830s, when Scottish field sports started to be fashionable and the alternative cloth - a brushed wool broadcloth - soaked up water much faster.

Tweed’s spongy feel also makes it lovely and comfortable to wear - certainly more so that those synthetic alternatives.

And in all its flecked, nepped and multi-coloured variants, it has to be one of the most diverse and beautiful fabrics in the world.

Permanent Style don’t need to be convinced of these pleasures. But the broader world does - and those that tell them should use this language of versatility, practicality, and subtle beauty.

Once a man starts to love tweed, there is a huge amount of information to delve into, including the history, the estates and the different weaves.

In many cases, these have little impact on what he selects - as a ready-made garment or to be made bespoke. Looking at the colour and texture is enough to tell whether the tweed is smart or casual, and feeling it quickly establishes whether it is light or heavy, soft or rough.

But knowledge can be useful in communication.

Knowing the basic terminology enables one to understand what a tailor or retailer is talking about when they describe a tweed as a donegal or gun-club - whether it’s about the pattern, the finish, or simply the heritage.

Tweed today is a generic term for a flecked fabric made of woollen (rather than worsted) yarn, with a rough surface, and made in mixes of earthy, natural colours.

Its influence is so broad, however, that these various elements are often used in other cloths, and referred to as tweed or ‘tweed-like’.

For example, Italian mills occasionally offer a jacketing that has the same nepped style as donegal tweed, but woven from cashmere. This is lovely, and a very versatile material for a jacket - but it is unlike tweed in every other way.

In the United States, and sometimes even in the UK, simply having a windowpane check can be enough for a jacket to be called tweed.

And there are many cloths made of worsted yarn that lack the rough finish of a traditional tweed, but use worsted to make a smoother, smarter cloth.

So traditional tweed is perhaps best thought of as a reference point, an archetype from which many others draw inspiration.

Whether they really deserve to be called ‘tweed’ isn’t that important. As long as we all understand the traditions they're drawing on.

So what are the different types?

Well, the two best-known varieties are theoretically defined by their origins: Harris Tweed from the island of Lewis and Harris in Scotland, and Donegal Tweed from the Donegal region of Ireland.

However, while Harris has been closely guarded as a label, Donegal has not. Harris created its own trademark in 1909 that defined which wool could be used to make the cloth, and where it could be made.

As a result, Harris Tweed is now more consistent - with that traditional roughness of finish and an open weave that makes it spongy and naturally stretchy.

Harris tweeds also tend to have a lot of colours woven through them - often up to 12 coloured yarns even making a simple brown (above).

Donegal, by contrast, is used today to refer to any cloth with the flecked pattern of the original Irish tweed (below). Very attractive, but not necessarily as deserving of the original label.

Other types of tweed are defined by a variety of things, from location to sheep to functionality. They include:

  • Saxony: A fine, soft tweed usually using merino wool. Sometimes Saxony uses a mix of woollen and worsted fibres, which can make it appropriate for suits. It was originally made in Saxony, Germany but is woven quite broadly.
  • Cheviot: A thicker, rougher tweed than most, named after the British sheep it takes its wool from. Cheviot is often stiffer and more densely woven than other tweeds, again making it useful for heavy suits.
  • Shetland: One of the softer tweeds to come from Britain, but not particularly fine. Often spongy and good for jackets, it originally used wool from Shetland in Scotland, but often doesn’t today.
  • Thornproof: A tweed that uses higher-twist yarn that most others, in order to make it tougher and harder. Usually made in the muted green colour of hunting suits.
  • Estate tweed: This concerns design rather than location or animal. Estate tweeds are usually unique to a particular estate and worn by their staff. They all tend, however, to have a windowpane check, usually over a herringbone weave.
  • Gun club: A type of estate tweed, but woven as a shepherd’s check with various coloured checks over the top. It originated with the New York Gun Club, which modified a Scottish estate tweed.

Other designs (eg Glenurquhart) or weaves (eg barleycorn) are not that specific to tweed, being used in other suit or jacket cloths. But they are so prevalent in tweed that they are often used as names of different types.

Today, tweed is slowly becoming more popular, and witnessing its own trends and fashions.

For example, mills say they are seeing increasing demand for brighter colours. Traditional tweed echoed the colours of the Scottish countryside - browns and pale greens, the blues and greys of heather. It was originally a form of camouflage.

But once in the city, browns and greens don’t necessarily make as much sense - and don’t help with the old/rural/posh associations.

Darker blues and navy have been used for a while, but designers today say they are using more soft pastel colours like pink or yellow, and weaving them into more muted, urban versions of grey, blue and brown.

Arguably these modern tweeds are subtler and more wearable than their rural ancestors, given the latter tended to use bright red and yellow overchecks that couldn’t be seen at a distance, but were quite stark up-close.

I have a few tweed jackets that could fall into this modern category, including my pale-yellow shetland tweed from B&Tailor (below). It mixes a sherbet-y yellow with several different shades of grey, making something that feels light but also quite modern.

Elsewhere, I tend to favour browns and greens, but in darker shades than most traditional tweeds. I also have a dark-blue tweed that has proven very useful as a modern version of a navy blazer.

I also find I consistently shy away from checks on tweed jackets, and from tweed suits. In both cases, the desire is to avoid standing out too much - and I usually wear them with an open-necked shirt (oxford or chambray), and jeans or flannels, for the same reason.

Many thanks to Fiona Anderson and the dozen or so other contributors to this article, some from England and Scotland’s finest tweed mills.

Tweed, by Fiona Anderson, can be found here.

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Nick Inkster

I share your love of tweed.

One thing which is important is weight, given the very wide range of weights available.

In my view, regardless of pattern, the heavier the cloth, the less formal it will be.

I have several Harris tweeds which at their most formal can only get as far as cords or moleskins. By contrast, many finer cloths which work well with flannels.

Limekiln

I am a fan of tweed and I enjoyed your recent post. However I think you might have given Donegal tweed short shrift. For reference, I am a fan of both Harris and Donegal tweeds.

You refer to Donegal tweed as coming from the “Donegal region of Ireland” which tends give the idea that it’s a rather loose arrangement, which it’s not. Given that Donegal tweed doesn’t enjoy the protection over its provenance that Harris tweed does, I think it’s important for readers to understand that it comes only from the county of Donegal.

In the description of Donegal tweed you don’t refer to the differentiating characteristic, which is irregular flecks of colour throughout the pattern as a reference to the varied landscape of this wild and beautiful county. You mention that Harris tweeds have multiple colours woven through them giving the impression that this is how they are unique. Donegal tweeds (and probably other tweeds too) have multiple colours in the weave as well. It is the additional random flecks of colour, often quite bright and striking, that give Donegal its special place. Your photo of Donegal tweed may have these flecks but they are not too evident – there are plenty of more representative Donegal patterns on the internet.

I think the most difficult to read was the comment that “Harris tweed is more consistent”, which is hard to defend when buying Donegal tweed which is made in Donegal. A simple internet search of “Donegal tweed” will point your readers effortlessly to high quality producers of the genuine article.

I hope you will take this in the spirit in which its meant, and please keep up the great work.

Barry Pullen

Probably since I was a boy I’ve always loved heavy flannel trousers, which pretty much demand a tweed jacket or something at least as heavy as the trousers. Unfortunately, in the U.S. the word ‘tweedy’ was used as a perjorative for many decades, connoting someone who is old, out of step, and possibly even feeble-minded.

Part of being well-dressed means having the ability to ignore such external noise, and by ‘noise’ what I mean of course is nonsense.

MUSA

isn´t tweed consider for colder weather?

Paul

I used to be affected by tweed being associated (only in Britain I imagine!) with the hunting and shooting set. Now I love it, for reasons you’ve articulated very well Simon.

Harris tweed in has enjoyed a real renaissance. It was only in 2005 that the main Haris manufacturer had to be rescued by investors. Ten years later the same company was winning export awards. I wonder how much credit the i-gent set can take for that?!

Oskar

Good guide!
I like the idea of a contemporary blazer in tweed. How would you rank formality between a dark blue Donegal and a herringbone Harris/Shetland? My gut says the flecked Donegal is slightly more casual, but curious for your thoughts after the research you’ve done. No windowpanes, no checks, just plain apples to apples. Danke

Ben

Think navy tweed and gray worsted is a fine combination but can easily be done wrong. Lots of textural variation in a worsted swatch—some color variation is a must when pairing with tweed.

G

I’ve discovered the delights of vintage tweed and find Harris Tweed the most impressive. Good article.

Chris

As a collector of tweed jackets, I find that while beautiful and sensible, tweed is becoming harder to wear without projecting a “period costume” or novelty air. What are your thoughts on bringing tweed to the younger generation?

STEVEN

Dear Simon.

Thank you for this interesting article. I will consider a navy blue tweed jacket for next autumn/winter.

I think that all the tweed jackets I have seen so far were single breasted. In your opinion, can a tweed jacket also be worn double-breasted?

Thank you.

Dan

Simon what do you think should be the first 3 sport jackets a man should get. I have a blue blazer, a brown harris tweed jacket and I am thinking of getting a grey donegal or cashmere jacket. Would that be a good choice for a small capsule wardrobe? If one only was to have 3 jackets?

BespokeNYC

I would do a pale brown or grey hopsack instead, so you have something to wear in the summer months

Andy

I came across a jacket that is a mixture of merino wool and cotton. It is described as merino tweed from NI…is that still considered tweed?

I always associated Tweed with being 100%.

Limekiln

An approach that makes a statement and avoids the overly “tweedy” look is to wear a tweed waistcoat under a non-tweed suit. For example a brown tweed waistcoat under navy suit, with the right choice of shirt/tie colour, has great impact. And it’s easier on the wallet since Harris or Donegal tweed waistcoats cost typically around a third of the price of a sports jacket.

GONZAGUE

You often refer to cashmeres with a Donegal aspect. I am yet to bump into one such fabric, despite the hundreds of bunches I have been through. Any hint?
Can a Donegal be worn 3 seasons if the jacket is half lined?

daniel

Dear Simon,

Would a tweed jacket take place in the top-3 jackets a man must have?
By the way, which 3 jackets would this be? Fabrics and colors mainly is what I am interested in.

Thanks alot for a lovely blog,
Daniel

John

Hi Simon,
Tweed is a lovely fabric indeed! Even though one of my first bespoke item while in High school was a tweed trousers, I’ve end up loving only tweed jackets instead of suits, and wearing them as the French usually do.
Thus, the big challenge for those who consider such an option: which kinds of additional items to pull off for a whole outfit? Shirts, ties, cardigans – when in need, trousers and shoes could indeed either drag it down and make it a country attire or a very smart casual one.
For inspiration, the following pic displays an outfit that could be seen as a starting point from my perspective on tweed jackets:
http://therakejapan.com/tokyo/japan/20171210/607/
John

Juan Manuel

Excellent, brilliant, informative and enabling article. Thanks!
I’ve got (and use often!) several tweed jackets, paired with corduroy or grey flannel trousers and button down oxford shirts (in blue…)… which I wear at the weekends.. as I usually have to (like to too…) dress really formal. As the jackets are made of ‘light’ tweed fabric, have soft shoulders, and are 3 roll 2, I think one looks smart but not stuffy…

Giovanni Rainoldi

Dear Simon I am an italian agent of British fabrics and tweed is the most beautiful cloth where you can find the best colours in the finest designs. It’s a cloth where a fine tailor can express himself in the best way. The interesting point you mentioned is that mills that make cashmere cloths take inspiration from tweeds, never the opposite. We must promote all the kinds of tweeds, possibly British or from Ireland. From Italian mills let’s buy other fine cloths. Giovanni

Anonymous

Simon,

Very enjoyable post. A quick question on “gun club”, please.

I am eternally confused on this topic, but have come to believe that gun club cloth is composed of shepard’s checks. So, if the cloth is composed of hound’s tooth checks, it is not a gun club cloth (even though it often resembles one if the hound’s tooth is small in scale), but a hound’s tooth cloth. Splitting hairs I know, but am I correct?

Thanks.

Paul Brough

I don’t recognise your “made in mixes of earthy, natural colours“; natural, yes, but not necessarily earthy because some Harris Tweeds have all the colours of the world from the pinks and oranges of the sunrise and sunset to the blues and purples of the flowers of the field. It is one of their glories.

Luis

Dear Simon,

Thank you for yet another insightful and informative post.
Is tweed a resistant fabric for trousers, or like flannel it wears out relatively faster in trousers than in jackets?
Thanks and keep up the good work!

Luis

Does that also apply to thornproof tweed?
And if that is the case, would you recommend an extra pair of trousers for a tweed suit?
Many thanks!

Luis

Thank you Simon!

Ian

Which trouser fabric would be the most hard wearing? Cavalry Twill?

Anonymous

You mention shying away from full tweed suits to avoid standing out too much. However, what are your thoughts on commissioning a tweed three-way suit — that is, having a suit, but really wearing the jacket and trousers separately and thus more casually?

I’m particularly thinking of the typed of non-checked tweeds you mention preferring. Maybe a navy or dark brown donegal for example.

Bernie

Hi Simon,

Do you see any notable herringbone tweeds on par with the discontinued yellow tweed from Sherrytweed (from your B&Tailor jacket) and the Permanent Style grey herringbone tweed?

Wondering what I should do next after I get my grey herringbone moonbeam sports coat.

Thanks,
Bernie

Anonymous

Simon,

What do you think of tweed odd trousers? I’m thinking of something relatively neutral in a lovat green, possibly to wear with a camel jacket.

FIDELIO

Hi Simon,
I am considering a grey herringbone tweed jacket and would like something I could wear in the office (perhaps with charcoal trousers) but also with jeans. Looking at your tweed jackets it would seem that the lighter the fabric the more formal they look. Which bunches would you recommend? It seems the 11oz Sherry Tweed you used on the B&Tailor jacket or the WBill from the disguisery can be good options?
Thanks,

Steve mck

Good morning, Simon, enjoy your articles on Harris Tweed…I’m going on a 90 day cruise later in the year, and have been informed formal wear in the evenings is the tradition,I already have a tux and charcoal grey suit, but will be visiting Newtonmore, Inverness and purchasing two Harris Tweed suits, I would appreciate any advice on correct colours tweed, partial to the green heather though, but for a cruise…appreciate it, Simon, good day to you.

A.

What do you think about a grey herringbone sport coat (the 4th in my case) in Harris or Shetland tweed? What’s the best shade of grey ?

I figure to pair it with cream beige sand and light brown trousers. But also with jeans and charcoal grey flannel trousers maybe (or very light grey depending on the shade of the herringbone)

Fu Pei

Hi Simon, because I can’t find answer anywhere, I look you for help.
Could you tell the difference between Cheviot and Flannel.
I know Flannel is usually worsted, but I was told by a seller that her Cheviot is also worsted.
More importantly, when present the two fabrics before you, can you tell the difference by look and touch?
Thank you in advance.

T

What’s the provenance of the jacket in the fourth picture? I love that blue herringbone tweed.

Professor Haberdash

I enjoyed this post. I’ve been gaining a new appreciation for all things wool. My favorites include Pendleton’s Fifth Avenue throws, Icebreaker ultra-fine merino base layers, and now tweed jackets. I wonder if you have suggestions for mid-priced (less than $400 US), genuine Harris Tweed jackets? I have a Ludlow from J Crew, which is in that range, but the gorgeous jackets from Ben Silver or O’Connell’s are $800+, which I cannot justify.

Collin

Hi Simon and fellow tweed-ers. I have a blue tweed suit for my wedding and was considering pairing them with tweed derby shoes (half tweed/half leather). Is this tweed overkill or will it pull off nicely (assuming the tweed styles are identical)?

Here’s a link to the image of the shoe (top right i’m referering to):
comment image

Anonymous

Would you recommend tweed or flannel for smart casual suits / sports jacket?

anon

What about a flannel sport coat with a pattern that makes it casual (like a check)? Wouldn’t the sharpness of the flannel be mediated by the pattern, and maybe the trousers paired with the coat (like a cavalry twill, for example)?

Pyc

“Permanent Style don’t need to be convinced of these pleasures.“

Missing the word “readers”?

Regards

Anon

Simon,

In your opening, you mention wearing a tweed coat with worsted trousers, but wouldn’t there be too much contrast between the two? Maybe a relatively refined tweed, worn with patterned worsted trousers (maybe a subtle houndstooth) or in a casual color?

Lawrence

The first picture, gorgeous jacket, what colour and type of tweed is that?

Y. Dassu

Tweed both Scottish and English is without comparison the best cloth in the world. My love of tweed started in the 60’s and has grown.
Ralph Lauren, Holland and Holland and Burrlberry has brought tweed back to life.
Worderful cloth.

Andy Ross

Thanks for the interesting and useful article. I own The Shetland Tweed Company and your insight into bespoke, colourful tweeds is spot on. We are finding that our fabrics are going to people who want something different and bespoke without that older “tweedy” association. I am researching Shetland Tweed at the moment and your article is very useful for comparing modern-day views with those of the past. Thank you.

rishi

Dear all , please check the rarest tweed procured from the villages of kinnaur , Indian Himalyas .
it has got unique texture as it is completely handcrafted by the weavers . even the thread used is also hand made giving it an amazing texture .

Kinnaur Handcrafted
48. london road
stanmore
HA7 4NU

Michael

Very informative article, and I share most of your opinions on Tweed style in a modern world.
However, wearing a 3-piece tweed suite has had a Renaissance since the TV series like Peaky Blinder, Boardwal empire and the like – which I cherish. There is even a shop near the British Museum in London which sells special vintage Harris tweed suits and other 1930s items. Can´t remember the name, but the suits look gorgeous. Ok, those are period costumes in a way, but still nothing beats wearing a decent tweed suit, or jacket or waistcoat combined with jeans etc. I do it all the time in autumn, winter and spring.

Michael

Simon, I am a sucker for all Kinds of Tweed Caps, what about bringing an article up on your blog? In my opinion, those caps can easily combined with everything, both sartorial and casual works equally fine.
My most recent buy is this one:
https://www.christys-hats.com/8-piece-baker-boy-tweed-flat-cap-z530

Michael

I do see your point, Simon.
At the end of the day it is also a matter of what people are used to.

Moshe

Hi Mr Crompton,
I have read in many forums that tweed trousers wearout quickly. However I was wondering is that going to be the same scenario with thornproof tweed trousers since they are much more dourable than a shetland or saxony tweed ?
Regards

Michael

Well, I wonder what some people do with Tweed trousers so that they should wear out quickly – go rock-climbing? 😉
At least no normal duty Moon or Harris Tweed trouser of mine has ever prematurely worn out for years, if not decades Ehen in normal use (cycling, sitting, walking in all kinds of weathers).

Rups

Is that blue tweed shown in fourth picture from your Disguisery jacket? You used W Bill tweed, WB12123 12/13oz for this? Thanks)

Jay Naliboff

A comment and a question:
1. I have had good luck on e-bay purchasing Harris Tweed sport coats. If you know your measurements you can get a jacket requiring minimal if any alterations.
2. Can you discuss the pros and cons of Saxony cloth suits?

Thanks

Anonymous

What weight would you recommend for a 3 season tweed jacket that can be worn year round except the hottest days in summer? The jacket should be primarly a substitute for a sweater in spring and autumn.

Do you also own a jacket made from softer tweed, Simon?

Anonymous

I like the look of donegal tweed. Does softer donegal tweed exist?

How would you describe your pale yellow tweed jacket in terms of softness?

Anonymous

Which Harris tweed jacket do you like more regarding color and versatility, the green one (Zizolfi) or the brown (Caliendo)?

When do you wear your Harris tweed jackets outside (temperature)?

Anonymous

Is a tweed jacket suited for travel?

Anonymous

Do you keep your heavier tweed jackets on when going inside (e.g. when eating in a restaurant etc.)?

Anonymous

When do you change from tweed and other heavier jackets to lighter summer jackets and vice versa?

Maybe it’s a dumb question, but is it suitable to wear a tweed jacket on chilly summer nights as it isn’t a typical summer fabric?

Anonymous

Does the same apply to lighter tweed jackets?

If I understand you right, you would prefer a summer jacket layered with knitwear over a tweed jacket in the summer?

Anonymous

Is it possible to get the permanent style tweed rewoven?

Do you know any similar tweeds? It’s difficult to find a light/pale grey tweed jacket with a subtil pattern.

anon

What do you think of some of the more refined takes on Donegal tweed? For example, I’ve been considering commissioning a jacket in a blue flecked with light blue in cashmere with a touch of silk by Drapers. It struck me as sufficiently polished for an office setting, yet casual and reasonably understated.

anon

Just curious, any strong feelings about the blue, or just preference?

Max

Is a wool tunic, described as “the thickness of a tweed jacket”, suitable for the ballroom or too hot?

Mike

Thanks for the article.

Are you able to share/identify the fabric type used for the light brown jacket (with the coarse twill) and blue accent stripes … the leftmost jacket in the image showing 3 cuffs/sleeves.

Sorry if this was already asked/answered as i tried to scan the comments/answers but havent come across this fabric scanning online catalogues/ bunches.

Thanks

David

Simon, just came across this article and it is extremely helpful. I’m interested in buying a navy tweed jacket in a more casual style – ideally very similar to get brown one shown in your first picture. Would you mind sharing the brand of that jacket? I’m flexible on ready to wear vs bespoke but probably leaning more towards RTW as I’m always nervous commissioning bespoke for something a bit more unique (vs a standard suit) for fear it does not match my expectations when finished. I’ve used city tailors in the past and while I think they do a good suit, I’m never that impressed when they show me garments made for other customers that are more unique.

With thanks, David

David

Any tailors you’d recommend for this or instructions for the style shown in your pic? Patch pockets and a shorter, more casual cut is what I’m after to wear with jeans.

I was thinking somewhere like drake’s would do something like I’m after, but they have no tweed styles. Any other brands you’d possibly recommend that could hold something like this?

David

David

Thanks, Simon. I didn’t know they had a MTM service so I’ll certainly check that out. Will also check our Anglo-American.

Any other RTW brands your’d think may hold something like this at a good price point? I was thinking somewhere like Thomas Pink, or Paul Smith where you can also pick up something on sale, particularly now. Not quite the same heritage / quality perhaps but potentially a good option at a cheaper price.

David

Aha – slip of the mind….Super – appreciate the pointers. David

Chris

Hi Simon,
Brilliant and fascinating article as always.
A question for you – I bought two RTW tweed jackets for myself this month, (my first ever tweed) from brands I have bought from in the past and always got on well their rtw- Lardini and Drakes.
In both cases the jacket is unusually boxy due to the tweed, despite it being (I am assured) cut to their regular blocks. I’m pretty surprised by this , and don’t love the extra bulk it adds to my physique as a result when wearing. I would like to slim it a bit with some alterations but am honestly confused why a different fabric would drape so differently as to make me look much larger. That it’s from two manufacturers also makes me attribute this to the actual nature of tweed itself?
Would love some insight on why that might be, if you’ve experienced anything similar, and if that’s something an alteration could actually adapt too or if, perhaps, tweed is just not the right fabric for me and I should stick with different materials.
Thankyou sir!

Alison Cloonan

Superb post. After selling many vintage and second hand tweeds face to face we have seen a good responce from younger people due to tweeds being made fashionable with the peaky blinders theme. however we have see an increase in more modern tweeds such as brands like Cavani, Next and Greenwoods due to new modern designs.

Eric

Simon,

What would you say is the difference between tweeds made by Harris and those made by the big makers like Fox Brothers?

Is their weaving that different? Are 500g tweeds from both woven differently/are different qualities of yarn used? Are they better for different uses?

I hate to say that I see a big difference in the price of each the Harris being $50 m2 and Fox being $180 m2.

Are they really so different?