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The Distillery Harris Tweed

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Our ongoing Harris Tweed Project has reached a key milestone this evening as we are pleased to announce the winner of our island-wide competition to design a pattern for our official distillery Harris Tweed.

After months of workshops and working with local children we’ve now completed the onerous task of judging over 150 entries from pupils in primary and secondary schools across the Outer Hebrides.

So, without further ado, our congratulations go to 14-year-old Scott Murray from S3 at Sir E. Scott School here in the Isle of Harris!

Scott’s entry stood out from very early on in the process, with a well-presented submission encompassing an intriguing mood board, experimental yarn selections and pattern painting. 

His visual creativity was heightened by a carefully thought-out rationale of his influences as he sought to explain the ideas and inspiration behind his work in words too.

The winning pattern is all the more impressive because of the subtle complexity it exhibits. On first inspection, the quiet design may appear simple, but with a little time and small changes in light, its hidden depths are soon revealed.

There are deep sea blues and dark heather hues spun together among the warp and weft, with ribboned flashes of peat-flame flickering through the traditional twill weave.

Our founder Burr Bakewell, who made the final decision, described it as…

“a most interesting, understated but powerful design that captured something fundamental of the islands’ character, over the dark ‘ground’ colour of the peats you have overlaid subtle hues of blue and orange, reflecting the fire, the seas (and the gin bottle!)”

He went on to say…

“It is truly a tweed of the island and a reminder to us all for years to come that the future of the distillery lies in the young people of the island and their appreciation of the natural world which surrounds them.”

Our congratulations also go to the four other finalists: Ethan Macaulay from Leverhulme Memorial School who is the winner of the Lower Primary category; Kate Macleod from Sgoil Nan Loch and Abby Burley from Laxdale Primary who are joint winners in the Upper Primary category; and Neil Morrison from Sir E Scott School as the winner in the Secondary school category.

Scott received confirmation of his win this morning at his school assembly in a personal letter from our founder, delivered by MSP Alasdair Allan. We now look forward to welcoming all the winners to a special awards event at the distillery in late June where they will receive their prizes alongside family, friends and partners of the project.

Scott will then join us on a very special journey as we follow the creation of the cloth inspired by his winning entry. From the raw wool and dyes to the carding, spinning and weaving of the final piece here in Harris, we’ll be sharing this exciting new stage of the story with you too.

Meantime, our sincere thanks go to all the children, parents and school teachers who took part in our competition, and to the local education services, Harris Tweed Hebrides and the Harris Tweed Authority for all their enthusiasm and invaluable support along the way.

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