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Story of Iconic Harris Tweed Brought to Life in New Exhibition

Harris Tweed Celebration

The Campaign for Wool were delighted to be invited to the Private View of ‘Harris Tweed: From the Land’  – the stunning Ian Lawson photographic and Harris Tweed Authority combination exhibition – at the Rheged Centre in Cumbria.

IMG_1153 showroom

The images were captured over a decade by Ian, a British photographer and one of our 2015 IncrediWools.  Ian works exclusively within the landscape documentary genre, filling his time with self-initiated projects that chronicle unique stories about the people and places he has come to love. These are at the heart of his own book publishing company – Ian Lawson Books – which are magnificent art pieces in their own right.

The launch of Harris Tweed and Ian Lawson's From the Land exhibition 2

This photographic collaboration with the Harris Tweed Authority – guardians of the iconic Harris Tweed Orb Mark is stunning.   We literally felt as if we had taken a remote journey to the heart of the Scottish Outer Hebrides with its dramatic scenery captured so beautifully by Ian’s eye for detail and remarkable photographic skills.

IMG_1142 the orb mark

Weaving the fabric, immense workmanship and the characters of the Harris Tweed story in to his images has empowered the traditions of the handwoven fabric, which is held in such high esteem all over the world.

The historic Hattersley loom which is the original loom used by Harris Tweed weavers in their own homes takes price of place at the centre of the exhibition – its well-used pedals paying tribute to the  weaver’s own work, the fabric’s provenance.

FullSizeRender loom

Each length of Harris Tweed can be traced right back to its individual weaver and mill.  Made of 100% Pure New Wool, Harris Tweed is dyed, blended, carded, spun, warped, woven, finished, examined and stamped only in the Scottish Outer Hebrides by local crofters and artisans.

IMG_1131 fab swatches

The Authority marks as genuine with the Orb every meter of cloth made to the exceptional standards and legal definition befitting the protected textile. The ‘stamp’ is pressed onto all genuine Harris Tweed, and is only issued by an official Harris Tweed Authority inspectors who are fully trained guaranteeing it is a genuine article.

There is a tangible sense of real passion and tradition on display at this exhibition particularly in a world where so much is made at high speed. This captures and exemplifies another way – the Harris Tweed way.


We at the Campaign for Wool would encourage you to make a visit to Cumbria, an area which echoes in many ways, the traditional values of those Islands with its farming heritage and crofting values.

The exhibition’s home for the coming months (until 15 May 2016) is in Rheged, located at the northern gateway to the Lake District, at Penrith. Redhills, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0DQ.

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