It was highlighted to me recently that the Harris Tweed Authority (HTA) have changed the design of their labels and that all official merchandise will now have two labels (not including swing tickets) as of June 2019. Don’t be shocked, this is regular practice for the HTA: trademarks and labels 

I was involved in the redesign change and update process in 2015, only now is it coming through to products in retail premises.  As the only brand in the world protected by an act of parliament (The Harris Tweed Act 1993) with a global reputation, the whole process had to be managed very carefully.

Paramount was the exorcising of the fakes and the extremely poor manufacture of products using Harris Tweed. All users of Harris Tweed cloth now have to show their own label (brand) as well as the one we all know. 

One of the major reasons for this – HTA is being blamed for poor workmanship in the manufacture of products. Some buyers of the cloth are shipping it to Vietnam and China to make a range of poorly made goods… to those unaware of the Harris Tweed business, they were presuming HTA were making the products and it was their problem!

When working with the HTA I discovered one of the biggest grumbles from the Agents (they travel with sample books of Tweed enticing designers to use it in their collections) was the desire to present a bigger variety of cloth samples.  Aside from the request to update the label design (they weren’t alone) they wanted a clear differentiation between seasons.

As a designer, weaver or textile designer do you follow the trends, avidly watching the runway shows determining the overriding themes and nuances?

Or do you stick with what inspires you, staying true to your vision? 

I mean, let’s face it, we’re all going to be shocked at the appearance of large polka-dots Spring Summer 2020, right?


If there’s anything more certain, fashion comes round in circles – polka-dots were big in the 80’s, they had a moment in naughties and it looks like they’re about to resurface in the roaring 20’s…

Maybe one day fashion as an entity will be entirely circular… in the mean time, if you’re shopping for anything Harris Tweed related, look for the 2nd label, that’s the one that designed your product.

Find out more here: Link to Labels Policy and Brand Use rules for Harris Tweed PDF

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