Harris Tweed from where?!

VV tweed finds
Harris tweed & wool plaid

I’ve always been intrigued by fellow bloggers’ thrift finds, especially of the sewing kind.  My local Salvation Army and Value Village carry a lot of linens, but nothing that looks like I’d like to introduce it to my living space.  However, out of curiosity, and with a couple of free hours last Friday morning between appointments and waiting for my kids’ summer camps to end,  I popped into a very large VV that is not in my neighbourhood.  Mostly out of curiosity, mind you, and with not much faith that I’d actually find something interesting.  I was game to look through the enormous store just to see what they had and entertain myself until responsibility called again.

Imagine my surprise at finding Harris tweed (on the left above).  Now, I have no way of knowing for sure if this is the real deal, as there was no label attached, but here’s my arguments in favour.  First, the weave is fairly dense and identical to all the Harris that I have in my stash, purchased directly from weavers in the Outer Hebrides.  Second, it’s only a single width (35″ wide), which is a very odd width to find in tweed anywhere, and is very typical of Harris tweed.  You can purchase it in a double width, which is more around 60″ or more if you like, but the traditional weaving width of Harris is the single width.  And there’s about 3 yards of it, to boot!  It also has little bits of what I call “extraneous wool” fibres here and there that I’ve also noticed is a characteristic of the Harris that I’ve in my stash.

The plaid on the right is not Harris tweed, but a medium-weight wool that I will probably make into a circle skirt.  There is about 4 yards of it, and it’s 60″ wide – enough to match pattern if I decide to make a jacket instead.  There was wool crepe, a moth-eaten hand-embroidered real cashmiri pashmina, various sorts of lining and cotton velveteen, to mention just a few other treats in the store.  Oh, and a couple of fur coats in excellent condition that I didn’t buy, but inspected very closely.

So I must say, I’m no longer skeptical about thrift fabric finds in my (driving) area.  I think I might make it a regular thing… when I’m not working hard stash bustin’!

Bette Boop is the parting shot for today.  It’s an offshoot of the original in my grandmother’s prairie garden that apparently came over from Switzerland in the mid 1800’s with her grandmother.  I always have a dickens of a time getting it to bloom, and am thrilled that it’s happy to do just that this year.

bette boop
Bette Boop

5 thoughts on “Harris Tweed from where?!

  1. Yay, score! … now you’re hooked, you’ll always be looking. 😉

    Although, I say in honest envy, both those pieces are yards above what I usually find. And I am preemptively jealous of your awesome plaid circle skirt.

  2. Wow! That does sound like real Harris tweed! Sounds like somebody who doesn’t sew did a house clearance and just dumped it. Lucky you!


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