In 2018, the Isle of Harris Distillery set out to discover more about the art of weaving, and the skills of the people who help bring the historic island textile known as Harris Tweed into being.
The distillery, along with Harris Tweed Hebrides and the Harris Tweed Authority, worked closely with schools across the island as we set local schoolchildren the challenge of designing the Isle of Harris distillery’s very own tweed.
After months of working with these young people, and after the challenge of shortlisting over 140 entrants, the eventual winner was 14-year-old Scott Murray from S3 at Sir E. Scott School in the Isle of Harris.
Scott's winning design was then woven by the distillery's own Stephen Passmore and this year, the project continues as we collaborate with the talented Judy R Clark to create something unique from this cloth.
Award-winning designer Judy R Clark is famed for her exquisite hand-tailored womenswear designs comprising of Harris Tweeds, Scottish lace and antique fabrics.
Judy first began to use Harris Tweed when her grandmother, a native to the islands, brought her back a suitcase full of vibrant tweeds which had been woven by her Uncle Donald, a Harris Tweed weaver.
Previously working for the late Alexander McQueen, her work has travelled the globe showcasing in Japan, Italy, Russia, London, New York, Chicago before she returned to Scotland to create her bespoke ranges.
Each jacket from our inaugural collaboration is made using our specially woven Isle of Harris Distillery Harris Tweed, combined with luxurious teal velvet collars embroidered in secret rose gold threads.
For this exclusive product, Judy has also been working with Alison Macleod of Tiger Textiles in the Isle of Lewis, tasked with embroidering the hidden message in the back collar at her studio in the northerly village of Ness.
The linings of the jackets are inspired by the Outer Hebridean seas which surround us, and the closures are finished with rose copper buttons emblematic of our spirit-making, alongside contrasting sea-blue buttonholes.
These items are very limited in availability and for this moment, only for people who can attend a consultation in Glasgow or Edinburgh within the next five weeks.
The price of the made-to-measure jacket is £750.00 plus postage which includes a consultation and a fitting, with an opportunity for minor customisations, with Judy at her Edinburgh studio or in the Isle of Harris Gin pop-up shop in Glasgow.
Each Isle of Harris Distillery Harris Tweed jacket will then be made to fit perfectly, complete with our new Harris Distillery Harris Tweed labels, and the iconic Orb Mark as your guarantee of authenticity.
If you are interested in purchasing a made-to-measure jacket, please enquire by sending an email to email@example.com who will arrange a phone call to discuss details personally.
And, if you’re unable to secure the first of these jackets, don’t worry, we hope to launch an off-the-peg iteration of the design more widely in the near future.
Meantime, thank you to everyone who has been involved on The Harris Tweed project to date, helping us exemplify the very best of Outer Hebridean craft and creativity.
From the schoolchildren and education services, the wool shearers to the weavers, the spinners to the stampers…it’s been a true island enterprise bringing the Harris Distillery Harris Tweed Jacket to fruition.