When I was up in the Outer Hebrides 18 months ago I met the person who runs the Harris Tweed Authority and she showed me some beautiful photographs and graphics that they were intending to use to publicise, and update the image of, Harris Tweed to the wider world. However, they were still waiting for funding to go into production as these sort of quality publicity materials cost a lot to produce.
When I was up in the islands this time I noticed that there had been some new developments – there were some new posters/publicity materials and swing tags featuring these new images and also some much smaller woven fabric labels with the Harris Tweed Orb that had not been available before. As Harris Tweed is a registered trademark you only get 4 woven labels with every metre purchased so if, like me, you make a lot of smaller items you cannot put a label on everything. These wee labels will make it easier to identify the products I make as the real McCoy. I didn’t have time to go and see the people at the HTA in person this time but a couple of emails and a phone call later I received a parcel of loveliness in the post!
New posters bearing the legend “ From the land comes the cloth"
This new publicity works brilliantly as it shows a much more modern aspect of Harris Tweed (this industry is enjoying a new lease of life and a lot of designers are using Harris Tweed in a variety of ways) whilst still emphasising continuity of tradition, using the natural resources of the islands….
Some new style swing tags featuring the infamous Harris sheep – I can tell you these sheep got ‘tude!
On the back of the labels there is an inscription “Made by the Hands, Woven from the Heart” – now we know where the motto ‘Heart and Hand’ on Lews Castle in Stornoway is from! I’m tickled pink! I also discovered that the motto 'Head, Heart and Hand' was adopted in 1896 by Charles Voysey for the Society of Designers.
Wee woven labels – like gold dust and very closely guarded but I was able to get some!!
I am so delighted as I have 2 lovely events booked for May and I can revamp my stall display with the new display materials and the new products that I have made with the new tweed will have wee labels on them.
If you are interested in Harris Tweed and/or the Outer Hebrides please pop over to Isobels’ blog as she has done some detailed posts with great photographs of our recent road trip to the islands – it is so lovely to relive it!