Tag Archives: Scotland

Perfect Christmas Gifts for Tweed Lovers..

5 Dec

All these items shown are Hand Made in the UK and are available at www.tweedvixen.co.uk

  Harris Tweed Phone Pouch – Aye-Phone Sporran Technology. £18phone covers 016

phone covers 012

Harris Tweed Purse £25.50



Notebook & Re-Usable Harris Tweed Cover £29.50

312Harris Tweed Cufflinks £15

dan shots tv 006_edited-2dan shots tv 012_edited-1Harris Tweed iPad Sleeve £3013


Red Harris Tweed Shoulder Bag

27 Nov


This stunning bag is hand-made in Scotland.  Bright Red Harris Tweed with a brown leather strap and brass buckle.


Now in stock at TweedVixen Boutique £105




Scottish Cashmere

9 Nov Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie

It has to be said that I Love cashmere and I find that Scottish produced cashmere is the softest and strongest of all. I consciously decided that we would only stock Scottish cashmere in the Boutique.  I then decided that I needed to find out exactly why Scottish is best.

Cashmere is a fiber that comes from cashmere goats, the best quality of which live on the high windy pleataux of China and Mongolia. These goats produce a double fleece of fine undercoat mixed with a straighter coarser outer coating. The soft undercoat is combed out every spring by nomadic herdsmen. This raw form of cashmere has been shipped to Scotland since the 18th Century.    Craftsmen whose skills have been developed over generations produce it into yarn, dye and knit it into top quality garments.  Many believe that it is the soft Scottish water used during the scouring process that gives Scottish cashmere its extra soft texture. The water in Scotland gives the soap the perfect lather to draw out the natural oils.

Cashmere has long been considered the epitome of luxury that when looked after properly can improve with age, much like a fine wine or whisky. According to legend the fashion for cashmere began with Napoleon who gave princess Euegene 17 scarves of wool so fine she could pass each one through her wedding ring.  Mass production in the far east has driven the cost price and quality  of much cashmere down. Scotland’s mills and factories are standing strong on their traditions and producing high quality cashmere. Today the industry has 4000 workers and contributes 200 million (pounds sterling) to the countries GDP.

Johnstons of Elgin has just celebrated its 215th Birthday…

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Scarf

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Scarf

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Snood

Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere Snood

The great news is that that alongside these traditional mills, new  brands are emerging, offering contemporary styles with traditional values.  The Travelwrap company was launched in 2007 and has won awards for its fabulous company.

“Ethical trading and high quality manufacturing are essential to us. Our mill in Scotland is one of the longest established in the UK and renowned internationally for the quality of their cashmere knitting. Our mill actively participates in programmes to help prevent over-intensive grazing of pastures by cashmere goats, and has worked with the same group of herdsmen for over 200 years.”  Niamh Barker Founder and Creative Director.

Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie

Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie

Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie

Travelwrap Cashmere Hoodie


Definition of Tweed..

24 Oct

I was recently asked by the fabulous Audacious Huxley for my definition of tweed.  I thought that the answer would be easy and obvious, until I actually thought about it.  Just parroting the usual Oxford dictionary description; “a rough surfaced woolen cloth, typically of mixed fleck colours, originally produced in Scotland.”  or giving the standard origin story regarding tweed being a misreading of the word twill, whilst all true it seemed an empty answer.

I believe that tweed is a fabric steeped in British Heritage and so for me must be made in the United Kingdom or Ireland. I know that many great Mills around the world make a tweed fabric to different levels of quality, some rather good but to me they are not tweed.  When buying a tweed garment surely part of the appeal is the heritage and the story it tells.

Tweed must be at least 80% wool or it is not tweed! I think it is great how popular tweed is in the high street at the moment but my pet peeve is garments with no wool content being called tweed. I will use  Marks & Spencer as an example, online today they have a skirt that  is described as “Classic Collection Tweed Pencil Skirt” and is priced at a very reasonable £29.50.  However this skirt has no wool content at all, 72%  Polyester,  21% Cotton & 7% Viscose.  This garment has no right to be called tweed…

The delight of tweed is its versatility, it is a beautiful, warm, hard-wearing fabric that can be as colourful or neutral as the personality wearing it.  The texture of tweed means that it can be matched with other items to become either traditional or contemporary.  Tweed changes with the person wearing it and can adapt to any style.

In conclusion, I have released that I am a bit of a tweed snob and I am not sure any short definition can give tweed its full justice.  If forced to produce one, I would say.

“Originating from Scotland and made within the British Isles tweed is a woolen woven fabric. Favored by many for its warm properties, hardiness and unique style.”

I would love to hear what your definition of tweed is…

Glasgow Harris Tweed Ride..

26 Sep

Glasgow saw its second annual Harris Tweed Ride on Sunday 23rd September 2012. The event was a sell out and saw 150 tweed clad enthusiasts make their way through the streets of  Glasgow.

Many Thanks to Harris Tweed Hebrides for the images!

This unofficial video gives a great impression on the fabulous tweedy vibe of the day!

Accessorize your life with tweed.

15 Aug


As a tweed lover it is hard during the summer months to satisfy the need for tweed.  Add a touch of tweed to your life with these lovely British tweed accessories.

I love this tweed tote bag with corsage £35 by Love Alice. It is available with different images but the stag is the one for me.

Go to www.love-alice.co.uk for some lovely tweedy offerings at great prices

Tweed Therapy: tweed covered 6oz hip flask £20 by Jane Macnab. This is such a great way to add some tweed fun into your life.

Visit www.janemacnab.com for a selection of different tweeds.

Notable solutions by BertieGirl, handmade Harris Tweed re-usable notebook cover £28.50. Each piece is a beautiful one-off, cover worth treasuring always. Hand Made in Scotland.

Available from www.tweedvixen.co.uk

Tweed Door stop £34.50 by Chia Maria. I have so much love for this doorstop!

go to www.chiamaria.com for the full country tweed accessories collection.

Add a touch of tweed to your Earl Grey with this super cute tea coy £25 from Harris Tweed.

 See the full range at www.harristweedandknitwear.co.uk

This wine cooler works with natural fibres to enable drink to stay hot or cold for up to 12 hours. Insulated with 100% British Wool and trimmed with tweed £25.  Made in England from Oxford Blue

Available at  www.tweedvixen.co.uk

Scotland Re:Designed Showcase.

14 Jul

Another great video showcasing Scottish fashion at the Lighthouse in Glasgow on 29th June 2012 by  scotlandredesigned.com

I love the contemporary styles, gorgeous dresses and totally retro knitwear. A great collection of fresh talent!

Scotland Re:Designed is a platform from which Scottish fashion designers, manufacturers and textile companies can build, establish and secure new and ongoing business relationships through working together to share resources to reach new markets, creating and achieving short and long term sales & PR opportunities.” Scotland Re:Designed  quote taken from  http://scotlandredesigned.com/about/

Raising the Baaa by @TextilesScot

13 Jul

This fantastic video showcases what is so great about contemporary Scottish fashion and textiles. Posted by TextilesScotland. on YouTube.

“Textiles Scotland fashion show in the National Sheep Association marquee at the Royal Highland Show 2012. Scottish models wearing wool couture from leading brands and designers: Angela Cassidy, Begg Scotland, Brooks Brothers, Di Gilpin, Eribé, Harris Tweed Hebrides, Hawick Knitwear, House of Cheviot, Iona Crawford, Jaggy Nettle, Jigsaw, Jo Storie, Johnstons of Elgin, Joyce Paton, Judy R Clark, Kiltpin, Obscure Couture and Slanj Kilts. And some fashion-conscious sheep took the front row in their pens to see the action up close!

The show also welcomed a special catwalk model in the form of MEP, Alyn Smith who took to the runway in a Kiltpin outfit accompanied by Susie the Shetland Sheep. Video by Robert Smith.”  @TextilesScot

Worth watching!

Alexander McQueen and Skye – Eternal Connection

8 Jul

Like many fashion lovers, I felt a genuine loss by the death of icon Alexander Mcqueen.  His creations leave me in awe and feature heavily in my pinterest.  He helped guide my love of tweed, textiles and tartan and will always inspire me.

Six months after his death I visited the Isle of Skye with my husband and parents.  A holiday that cemented my love of Scotland and was filled with tweedy delights! We all fell in love with the island, look at the snaps to see why…

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As I enjoyed afternoon tea last week with a close family friend (thanks Jean), I learned of Alexander Mcqueens life long love of Skye and how he chose to have his ashes buried in Kilmur, known for its Kilt Rock and old man of store.  A place he used to visit with his family and always felt connected to.  She brought my attention to a great article published in the Scotsman. I highly recommend a read!

How Alexander McQueen’s Skye ancestry shaped his fashion legacy – News – Scotsman.com.

On 5th July a memorial headstone engraved by artist Andrew Tanser was unveiled.  A beautiful stone that respectfully marks the British Icon.

Thankfully the future of the brand is in good hands with the fabulous Sarah Burton. Who designed the unbelievably feminine wedding dress for the Duchess of Cambridge.

I have included a retrospective video by net a porter and a video tribute just because I love them.

Tweed Bags Inspired by the Movies – Catherine Aitken Chic

7 Jun

Inspired by classic movies and their stars these tweed bags are a modern tweedy nod to legends of cinema. Catherine Aitken is a Scottish  handbag designer based in Leith, Edinburgh. Working from her studio in Coburg House, she creates contemporary bags using traditional Scottish fabrics and locally sourced materials.  Heavily influenced by Catherine Hepburn’s masculine feminine style her bags reflect this inspiration by combining heavier tweeds  with lighter silks and lace trims to create a contrasting textual charm.

“My inspiration comes from Classic films and Hollywood actresses. (Catherine’s background is in film production)  The Hepburn bags are inspired by Katharine Hepburn and her masculine/feminine style, the Rutherford – by Miss tweedie herself Margaret Rutherford, also Maggie Smith in the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.  The Tippi handbag – not currently on the website –  is inspired by Tippi Hedren in the Birds. I am in the process of creating a black white dogtooth handbag for the AW collection that’s inspired by Lauren Bacall’s outfit in “To Have and Have Not”. The men’s bags and accessories were originally inspired by films such as Rob Roy, Mad Max and I Am Legend, films all with a strong male lead  – then it’s all mixed up with the Brigadoon notion of Scotland. I like to use locally sourced cloths and products as much as possible in the Studio, this ranges from local wild deerskin, waxed cottons from Dundee and of course, genuine Harris Tweed.” Catherine Aitken talks to TweedVixen about her AW 2012 Collection

Her bags were voted by She Magazine UK as “the last word in Highland Chic”.

See her bags at www.catherineaitken.com

This video shows how she recycles old tweed jackets into fab man bags, which I love!

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