Introducing: PS Harris Tweed

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Friday, April 23rd 2021
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My favourite Harris Tweed has not been available for a few years now. 

Originally offered by Holland & Sherry, I was such a fan that I used it for one of my favourite tweed jackets (from Elia Caliendo, below), a fantastic ulster coat from Liverano (above) and even a self-backed waistcoat from Richard James (here). 

The waistcoat hasn’t had much use, but the other two are among the best pieces of tailoring I’ve ever commissioned. I know they’ve also been real favourites among readers. 

So last year, I began talking to Holland & Sherry about reweaving the tweed, as an exclusive Permanent Style cloth. It is now finally (after a few Covid hiccups) available from the PS shop.

It is being cut to order by H&S, in increments of 10cm, so check with your tailor how much you need. (Although handwoven tweed, it is a standard width of 150cm.)

The prime reason I loved that tweed was the amazing colours woven into it: vibrant shades of orange, yellow and blue alongside the more standard brown and black. 

And yet, at a distance, it’s just a nice warm brown. Something with character, sure, but not the kind of cloth you’d believe would have these crayon-like colours in it. 

This comes across particularly in the shots below, of the yarn being spun up in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. You can see all the dyed fleeces being assembled, and then mixed together before being made into yarn.

I’d never seen the cloth like this, but it really gives you a sense of the vibrancy of the wool. The mixture looks like something I’d find in my kids’ Playdough box - yet the end result is such a subtle, sophisticated cloth. It’s only when you get close that you see those little coloured fibres curling together.

Being a Harris Tweed, the cloth is handwoven on manual looms - the same type of machine that been used for centuries. 

Actually, manual is a little misleading, because most of the work is done with the feet rather than the hands. The weaver (shown below) uses her feet to keep the loom going at a steady rhythm using the pedals below the seat. 

Her hands, meanwhile, are free to smooth the material as it goes, and sort out any knots that pop up. I saw this process for the first time years ago, at Breanish, and it is a very endearing craft.

The advantage of weaving at this slower speed is that the tweed can be a little more open, a little spongier. And you do notice the malleable, springy feel of handwoven tweed if you compare it to something mass-manufactured. 

In fact, for me, it’s more akin to the way the original wool feels on the sheep - less of that seems to be lost in the weaving process. I remember being in Scotland and feeling the fleece on local sheep that were used in tweed, and it is special somehow to feel that similar wool clothing you.

The sheep used in the PS Harris Tweed are all Scottish, and the yarn has to be spun and the cloth finished in the Outer Hebrides to officially be called Harris Tweed. (All such cloth has a little Harris orb printed on it, as shown below, to certify its origin.)

The tweed weighs 15/16oz (per linear metre), which is a mid- to heavy-weight for tweed, and is something I wear at least half of the year. 

I happily wear my Caliendo jacket (below) into the Spring, although that is in the UK of course. And it can be worn well into Winter, particularly with knitwear underneath or a coat on top. This weight and weave is also noticeably soft - I wouldn’t describe it as scratchy at all. 

The warm-brown colour means it’s not quite as urban as darker browns I’ve featured before (eg here from WW Chan) but it is more versatile probably, going with everything from jeans to flannels. 

In fact, I’ve shown it with all these combinations over the years on Permanent Style, from sharp cream cavalry twills to rugged denim and boots

In this article I even showed my Caliendo jacket deliberately in three outfits, descending in levels of formality. I’ve reproduced those three images below. 

April is, of course, not a usual time to launch a tweed. Most new fabrics come out in August or September. 

But this is the ideal time to be commissioning a jacket for the Autumn and Winter, presuming any tailor you use is going to take at least 3-4 months to have the jacket ready. 

It might even be longer, given the current restrictions on travel. Starting now makes it likely the jacket (or indeed coat, if you prefer) will be ready sometime in the colder months. 

Swatches of the PS Harris Tweed are being made available, if anyone wants to see the cloth in person before ordering. These can be bought through the shop (just order 10cm) and the cost will be refunded if you then subsequently order a length of the tweed. 

A summary of the details on ordering: 

  • PS Harris Tweed can only be ordered from the PS shop, here. It is not available separately to tailors, or from any other mill. 
  • Order the length you require in units of 1m and 10cm. So for 2.2m, you need to order 2 metres and 2 lots of 10cm. 
  • Ask your tailor how much you require. I would normally need 2.2m for a jacket with patch pockets. The cloth has a usable width of 150cm.
  • The cloth is being cut to order, and then sent from Scotland, by Holland & Sherry. So please allow 3-4 working days for lengths to be sent.
  • The tweed costs £95 a metre, plus those local VAT or duties.
  • If you would like a swatch, please place an order for 10cm. The cost is refundable if you subsequently order cloth. Please request this when you make your subsequent order.
  • As the cloth is cut to order, it cannot be returned or exchanged unless faulty. If you are uncertain, please do order a swatch first.
  • If you would like the cloth sent directly to a tailor, please put them down as the shipping address, but include your name in the address also, so the tailor knows who it’s for.

Details on the cloth:

  • Authentic Harris Tweed, which means handwoven by islanders in their homes in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, as well as being finished there, using virgin wool dyed and spun there. 
  • The yarn used is from Scottish sheep, and weighs 15/16oz or 470/500g per linear metre. It has a usable width of 150cm.
  • The weave is a twill, but this is barely noticeable amid the colours and curls of yarn.

Further articles where you can see the tweed being used and worn are:

 

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John

This is definitely a case of giving the readers what they want! Thank you, Simon and H&S, for putting the time/effort in to bring this back. And very competitive pricing for an H&S cloth.

Just one question: how do you feel this compares to the brown escorial tweed, and could a wardrobe justify both? This is a little darker and coarser than the escorial i assume, and perhaps more informal? I have a length of escorial sitting in my wardrobe, waiting for travel restrictions to enable me to visit a tailor.

Anonymous

I suspect that John is not the only person with Escorial cloth sitting in his closet unused on account of the lockdown.

Looks like this tweed is probably better suited for wearing over jeans than the escorial is, making it perhaps a touch more versatiles in the post-COVID world.

In fact, I noticed you’re not wearing a tie in an of the pictures with the tweed but you are with the escorial. Can the tweed work well with a tie? What color do you think would look best?

Anonymous

How does this compare to the Escorial in terms of the flocking? Similar colors?

I assume the fabric is much coarser than the Escorial.

Philip Shetler-Jones

Very nice. Similar to one I had in Hardy Minnis 520141 Harris Tweed. https://shop.hfwltd.com/collection/24 made by Pooles.

Tony H

I’m glad to see there’ll be more of this tweed around!

I’ve got two questions, if that’s ok.

The first is I think I remember you saying once upon a time that you thought tweeds were often too spongy to make good trousers, and I was hoping you could expand on what you meant, especially given that tweeds are often made as suits or as shooting trousers. A tweed like this looks like it would go particularly well as a casual three piece because all the pieces would wear well as separates.

Also, I was wondering why the waistcoat doesn’t get much of a go, given it feels like it should be just thing for a little more warmth in a fairly casual outfit?

Anonymous

Thanks Simon. Just so I know – what tweeds tend to work as trousers / suitings then?

Peter Hall

I own several tweed jackets and I use them with Donegal wool trousers. I think, as you mention, the heavier weight the better for trousers.

Tony H

I have more or less the same problem with waistcoats – in hardier wools they should in theory go well with any outdoors or workwear based outfit, but they just look forced all the time.

On an unrelated note, a feature I’d find useful for the site next time you’re thinking of a re-fresh would be some sort of ‘thumbs up’ or ‘ah ha’ or ‘I see’ or ‘kudos’ button for comments. There’s lots of times I find a comment or response useful or insightful (like your one above) and it would be a way to acknowledge that without cluttering up the feed for everyone.

A ‘+1’ or ‘agree’ button might be similarly useful.

Nick

I think this is something worth considering. An ‘agree’ button might be the only one you need though. If you don’t agree with someone you can provide input in another comment and further the discussion and if a counter argument has already been provided you can simply ‘like’ that.

Tony H

I agree with Nick – one button is probably enough, and it would be a supportive sentiment so not really a troll risk.

Joe

Simon,

Out of all the clothes you have showcased on PS down the years, the one that stuck with me most was this original Harris Jacket that Elia made for you. I was very taken with it. So much so in fact, that I researched a list of all the registered Harris weavers and, going down through them one by one, I eventually found the most charming lady on the Isle of Harris who very kindly agreed to source the wool and weave a length for me. I then subsequently had a Jacket and a single breasted Coat made for me by Elia. They are both foundational staples in my wardrobe. Furthermore, apart from the wonderful fit, texture and colour(s) this tweed comes in, it is a tweed that is very original and unique. I know that I will wear these pieces for the rest of my days. And I’ve lost count of the amount of compliments I get about them. So “well wear” to those who take you up on this wonderful offer which you so kindly made available. If they knew how difficult it was to get this tweed, they will surely take advantage of its availability. And they’ll be glad they did..!!

Adam

Had circumstances been a little bit different I’d have already ordered a length by now. It’s a wonderful cloth, Simon, and for your sake I hope that it’s all sold out by the time I’d be able to make use of it.

P.F.

Beautiful cloth. The colour combination is very interesting.

One question, do you think that this cloth would be equally versatile for a Teba jacket?
Interested in your reply as I have never seen a Teba jacket in PS but is a very common (semi)casual jacket in Spain.

Robin

Thats a beautiful cloth .
I’ve never forgotten it since seeing it in the article many years ago.

What I would ask is if you could give very approximate prices for having its made as a exact style of jacket to that shown.
I accept this is very, very approximate figures but for example what would be the
London bespoke ?
Saville Row bespoke ?
London MTM ?

Chancellor

I’m wondering if there’s only a very limited amount available to order? I ask because I want to give some thought into what I’d like made-up and so how much to order. But I’m worried of it all running out if I dither.

Agree with other readers that I’ve been enamoured by this tweed, and very excited you’ve brought it back for us to order!

Rogey

I have an overcoat in cloth that is very close, from the same tweed book. I believe it is one tick off yours; mine is No. 892021, yours I think was No. 892020. Mine differs in that it has an overcheck. The Harris Tweed made up into an incredibly rich, robust, beautiful coat. While my cloth is not exactly the same, it is extremely close in color and texture. This is a cloth with character. It is also spectacularly warm and I have yet to be cold when wearing my coat, even in the most bracing weather.

There have been some comments about tweed trousers. I have six pairs and absolutely love them. I wear them as odd trousers when the weather is freezing, or when I travel to Scotland. They are in various weights, from Donegal tweed, to heavy Shetland tweed and Harris Tweed. They are lined to the knee. They do not drape as crisply as a wool dress trouser, but I am not troubled by that. They have their own style–you have to be comfortable with it–but for me their wonderful warmth makes them extremely practical. They are handsome and draw comment. I have one pair in grey Shetland wool that can be worn with odd jackets, but the more patterned ones generally do not go with jackets, so I wear them with heavy sweaters and overcoats.

Veit

It‘s funny. When I saw this Tweed on your Jacket years ago I actually purchased it (still in the H&S range back then) and made my first self-made Jacket out of it (teaching myself some tailoring). The fabric is really great and I can confirm its versatility. You can dress it up and down and it will allways feels natural. Will you keep on launching your Escorial cloths?

Ben R

Ah darn… I had the oatmeal colored Escorial made into a Vestrucci jacket on the first release and the green into a Rubinacci safari jacket/over-shirt in the second launch. I was looking forward to the brown in the third go around. Oh well, I’ve purchased this Harris tweed. Now, I just need to decide how I want it made.

Scott

I’d forgotten just how gorgeous this cloth is. Both the Ulster coat and jacket are in the top five, maybe top three, in their respective categories that you’ve ever commissioned. Thanks for bringing this beautiful Harris tweed back.

David

Dear Simon,

for the gentleman who is inquiring about tweed cloth suitable for trousering: there are several, but Harris tweed is not among them. Plus fours, also known as knickerbockers would likely be the only exception. The confusion might come from Harris tweed being the best known of all tweed fabrics.

Tweed cloth for suiting would be
1. Cheviot tweeds, named after a breed of sheep whose wool is used. The yarns are thicker, rougher and heavier, cheviot cloth is usually more tightly woven and stiffer than other tweeds.
2. A so-called Saxony Tweed is also suitable for suits – the cloth is somewhat softer than other tweeds and made of merino wool.
3. Thornproof is especially appreciated by hunters because the cloth is very resistant – thorn punctures can be massaged out manually.
4. Finallly, most Irish Donegal tweeds are suitable as well.

Finally, there are Shetland tweeds made from a very soft wool – this one is suitable for jackets, overcoats and scarves, and the particularly heavy Gamekeeper Tweeds.

One more word on tweed trousers: there is hardly anything more elegant and relaxed to wear on weekends than tweed trousers and a turtleneck pullover. Well, with the exception of flannel trousers perhaps.

JJ

Simon, what about your tweed herringbone suit by The Anthology? Isn´t that Harris Tweed?

Nikolai

Just to clarify, if I want 2.5 meters then I need to add two lots of 1 meter and then 5 of 10 cm, all of them separate additions to the basket (there doesn’t seem to be ‘quantity’ function). Just wanted to double check, as I don’t want seven separate pieces of this lovely tweed!

Best wishes,
Nikolai

John

Do you think a gilet could work with this fabric? Thanks

Yash

Hi Simon.

I note that you needed 2.2 metres for the jacket that you have with patch pockets.

Can I ask how much you needed for the overcoat please?

And does say the neopolitan style vs A&S make a difference to how much material is needed?

Thanks.

Yash

Hi Simon.
I did try and get hold of them but they won’t be available until Tuesday so hopefully there will still be material left otherwise may have to err on the safe side and work it out that way.

Thanks for reverting.

Yash

Final Question.

Never having ordered fabric lengths before, should I order separate lengths for jacket and overcoat or one larger length to accommodate both?

Yash

Many thanks.

Yash

Hi Simon,

May I offer my apologies in advance for asking the following question under this unrelated post?

If there is a better way for future reference please let me know.

Where can I purchase proper madder silk cravats? Like the Budd ties. I called Budd and they rarely have them in and cannot remember the last time they did.

I normally wear neckerchiefs but want a few cravats in madder paisley and other patterns. Happy to have them made specifically as well so if you have any ideas or suggestions, that would be great.

Thanks.

Tamaki

Hi Yash,
Gentlemen Gazette has some cravats, but not many models, in madder silk. I have one in blue and red which is really nice. The handle is really soft and subtle.
I believe Serafine Fine silk also have some models, but I have never purchased from them, so I can’t testify on their products

Just on Gentlemen Gazette, the colors on the fotos usually show a slightly different color than what you get (likely because of the lighting) and they actually are slightly brighter then in reality

Yash

Hi Tamaki,

This is very helpful, thank you.

Both sites have some interesting patterns but the Gentlemans Gazette ones look quite beautiful.

I note your comments on the slightly “brighter” than the photos colour.

Thank you again. 🙏🏼

Yash

Ok, no problem.

Any thoughts from other readers would be welcome. Thanks in advance.

Kali

Beautiful color. Well done!!! Nothing like Harris Tweed. Now to find a tailor given Whitcomb is not traveling

Robert

Hey Simon-
I have admired this fabric for on the above mentioned commissions. Thanks for the exclusive offering for the PS groupies. Just placed order for fabric for jacket and full fabric back waistcoat. Pretty excited especially after reading above reviews. Love the Ulster coat but tough to justify cost especially with warmer climate in the southeast of US. Regarding your Richard James waistcoat, sorry you don’t find more use for it. Here in the states all offices are over air conditioned and I love my WBill shetland waistcoat. Good stuff. Thanks again.

Dachshund

What a lovely tweed. Really reminds me of a tweed cap I have from Lock – very similar base but with an over check. Lots of wonderful subtle detail to it.

Bernie Leung

Hi Simon,

Congrats on this fabric launch! I think many readers would also be interested in a rerun of the breanish tweed silver PS Tweed, especially with the current shift to more business-casual. The PS tweed is very similar to the navy options you mentioned in your recent “Navy with Jeans” article. Please let me know if this would be possible, thanks!

Bernie Leung

bummer, thanks!

Claes

Lovely cloth, and obviously something that will gladden many of your readers. Your ability of making (or find) styles, textures etc. that are not easily found elsewhere are certainly very good (the chambray shirt my own most recent example).

But (yes, there is a but…), I just wish the colors of the cloth you make up would be colder. I have a jacket made right now in your escorial oatmeal. A stunning fabric (and the tailoress agrees). I would happily bought the green and brown as well, but alas, they are significantly warmer than the oatmeal, and because of it, much less versatile.

Anyhow, sorry about the lamentation, I guess it’s was just a cumbersome way of asking if you have something more urban colored in the pipeline?

Best
Claes

Claes

Sure, it definitely makes sense. And I hadn’t noticed that W Bill tweed, it looks very good, thanks for the pointer!

I read that one of the other commentators asked, if there were any risk to look like one where of to a fox hunt, and I guess that’s pretty spot on why I preference colder fabrics. That question wouldn’t been asked about, for instance, that W bill fabric. And, perhaps you don’t agree, but I don’t find that coldness necessarily enhances the smartness (which for me would be a negative).

Best
Claes

Anonymous

Hi Simon,

Will there be a restock? I have ordered the sample but if you are going to be sold out within the next few days I don’t see a reason to have, unless there is another run planned.

Gilles

Thanks for adding this cloth which I love to your shop. Almost four years ago, inspired by your Elia Caliendo jacket, I ordered the cloth to H&S when it was still available and had a similar sports jacket commissioned here in Seoul. It’s still one of my favorite items in my wardrobe. Love to wear it with grey flannel trousers and navy roll neck, or jeans and light denim shirt, with our without knitwear.

Noel

Hi Simon,

Beautiful cloth. I think it’s great that you’ve put the effort to get it reweaved.

I actually did manage to order a length back when it was available (inspired by your Caliendo jacket) and I got a jacket made by Solito that I use a lot during early spring, autumn and winter.

I wonder if the material could work in an overshirt / shacket ? I think that as an overcoat it would be too light for Stockholm.

STEPHEN

Hi Simon,
Beautiful cloth! Please could I ask a technical question on the key differences between Harris and Donegal tweeds? Asit appears they have suitability for different applications? Eg the PS Donegal overcoat. You may have covered previously?
Thanks

Stephen

Thank you Simon

Nick

Yes, Harris Tweed is a highly regulated type of fabric, I also think it’s one of the few products made in the UK that have a similar regulatory body as AOC in France. More details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harris_Tweed_Authority

R Abbott

Seems unusual to have a sports coat and overcoat made of the same material. Is the coat heavily lined or is it just a lightweight coat? Presumably, the fit of the overcoat allows you to layer underneath.

Fletcher

Simon, I have lusted after this cloth since your Caliendo jacket first appeared on PS in 2014. Of course, at that time, you dishearteningly noted that the cloth was vintage and not available. Then I missed the 2018 production by H&S.

Never again. I have ordered 5 meters for a topcoat, despite having never purchased bespoke or frankly being able to afford to anytime soon. This cloth will sit in my closet until the appointed time. I have no doubt that this length of unfinished cloth will be among the most intrinsically luxurious objects I own.

Thank you!

Ross

Beautiful! I work in a very casual office, such that even a very unstructured jacket would be too formal most days. I’m thinking a shirt jacket might be versatile enough for me, but there are so many different styles. Do you have an recommendations or examples of shirt jacket styles that would be good with this fabric?

Also, would you need about the same amount of fabric for a shirt jacket as a regular jacket?

Ross

Thank you for the pointer on fabric quantity.

I probably could wear a jacket to work. I work in a very casual office (California tech company). You are as likely to see someone in a graphic tee and cargo shorts as you are to see someone in a shirt and chinos. But, as you point out, a jacket like yours can be worn very casually.

However, even if I can wear it casually, I think I would find it hard to wear a jacket regularly. A jacket, even if unstructured, is a style that just isn’t that common in my environment, and so might be too memorable to have in regular rotation.

My hope is that a nice shirt jacket could be worn just as high up on the formality scale as an unstructured jacket, but wouldn’t necessarily seem as out of place. Do you agree? What do you see as the trade-offs between a shirt jacket and an unstructured jacket?

Ross

Definitely some good points to consider. Thank you Simon!

Jacob

Hey Simon,

Great cloth and addition to the shop. I know here at Permanent Style, we will be a bit bias but how do you think this will look in an American city? Does this avoid the pitfalls of looking like we are about to go fox hunting?

I’m planning out my wardrobe at the moment and thinking this may be my one brown jacket but the orange really is a double edge sword in this cloth. Lovely color but does give it the rustic look.

Winot

Damn too late! Have put myself on the waiting list for the next run.

How many metres did you sell Simon?

Robin

I dithered and now that it’s gone I’m kicking myself , the cat and being short with everyone.

Well at least I know what I should have done !

Please let us know when the next run will be ?

P.S. given that so much of your cloth runs sell out why produce so little ?

Christopher Casta

Ahah, I’m happy that readers are now able to get this wonderful tweed, but also frustrated you offer it only now, as I have very recently (in February) ordered a jacket in brown Harris Tweed, wanting something similar to yours, and as I couldn’t find the exact same reference I went for this one :
https://apparel.hollandandsherry.com/fr/fabric/use/jackets/8919020-harris-tweed-bitter-chocolate-mix-solid

It’s similar in terms of texture and richness of colour, but I believe it has a much more red-ish tone to it, making it a little more showy and less versatile. Still, I love my jacket, but would have loved it even more had you been able to release the PS Harris Tweed just a few months earlier. ^^

Cheers,
Christopher

Danny

Glad got 2.2m booked this time! Got shocked the first time seeing your lovely Elia Caliendo jacket

Nick

It’s interesting that several people mention that they are concerned that they will look like they are about to go fox hunting if they wear this tweed. I think it should be pointed out that such a tweed would never be worn fox hunting (the traditional colours are red, black, navy, cream and definitely not in Harris tweed). I would even say that harris tweed isn’t really worn shooting in the UK (here ‘shooting’ is what the rest of the world calls ‘hunting’). My associations with harris tweed would definitely be more in the realm of academia than country pursuits. I suppose what I am trying to say, is that sometimes our associations are wrong and it is impossible (and unnecessary) to guess what other people will read into the dress we are wearing.

Nick

I completely agree with your point, I suppose it can be a fine line between what we like and what fits with our surroundings. I think that this is something that has come up previously on this website, particularly in relation to white socks. So perhaps it would be interesting to hear you thoughts on this. How can we be individualistic without making some sort of statement with our clothes? Should we adjust what we are wearing if we go abroad where cultural norms are different?

Peter Hall

Interesting.

I think the great advantage is that we can add colour . My smart casual with Harris is jacket and wool trousers. If out of the classroom and visiting a client, at home perhaps, a splash of pocket square or scarf can both promote conversation and move you away from perceptions.

Certainly worth an article,Simon. Your article about your family life certainly stimulated thoughts and this seems a similar path.

Ben R

Does the cloth come with a little tag to have sewn near the in-breast pocket? Sorry, I am not sure if there is an official name for such tags.

Ben R

No worries… I was just curious. I saw the point about the “stamp” of orb on the cloth itself and didn’t know if the label was a requirement for the provenance.

Kit

Hi Simon,

Very nice! What would you recommend for use in Singapore? The weather is not ideal, but the cloth is hard to resist. No lining, half lining? Or perhaps just keep to wear in an air-conditioned room. Thanks

Anonymous

Hello Simon, could you possibly provide details on the trousers in the third photo of you seated? I don’t usually care for khaki trousers but this fawn type colour seems to avoid those associations.
PS, I too was taken with this fabric when your original post came out and promptly had it made into a similar style jacket when H&S wove it in 2018.
Cheers!

Anonymous

Hi Simon, are there by any chance plans to bring back your gun club check tweed?

Anonymous

Yes that’s the one. I should have phrased it more clearly, any chance you are thinking of recreating it?

Luke

Hi Simon,
Tried to order the 2nd batch but apparently the stock remaining is so low that it is no enough for a jacket length.
Any chance for a 3rd batch? Thanks.