About our crafts
about Harris Tweed, embroidery and my crafts
Harris Tweed is a beautiful cloth. It is ingrained in history, love, and inspiration from the people and places of the Outer Hebrides. There are so many different colours, patterns and textures of Harris Tweed, and it can be used to make so many different items.
Harris Tweed – Clo Mor (Gaelic for Big Cloth) is the only cloth in the world protected by an Act of Parliament. The cloth must be made in the traditional way in order to achieve the iconic Orb stamp and become Harris Tweed.
From the early days of making Harris Tweed, the need to protect it was recognised. The Harris Tweed Association was formed in 1909, but The Act of Parliament to protect Harris Tweed was introduced in 1993 and the Harris Tweed Authority was formed at the same time, replacing the Harris Tweed Association.
Harris Tweed must be: “Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.” The legislation, coupled with the work of the Harris Tweed Authority, ensures that the quality, reputation and integrity of Harris Tweed will continue for generations to come. Harris Tweed is such a beautiful cloth to work with and is truly unique.
I use Harris Tweed to make most of my crafts, often visiting the weavers to hand pick the colours and designs that suit the design in my head.
Many of my crafts are hand embroidered, with features inspired by the wildlife and landscape of the Outer Hebrides. Each of my crafts is unique, and will be a one off design. The lining fabrics are chosen specifically to complement the Harris tweed and the object I have embroidered.
I’m happy to make a bespoke design, just get in touch to talk about your needs.
Felting is an amazing craft using natural fibres to create all sorts of wonderful items. Felt arts and crafts are unique, spectacular and it is a craft that is slightly addictive. I am a member of the International Feltmakers Association, which has member from all over the world sharing their love of felting and demonstrating how felting is an art and craft that everyone can enjoy.
There are many different types of fibres that can be used, but the basic felting fibres must be natural wool, predominantly from sheep. You can also use fleece from Alpacas, Angora, Cashmere and even things like Camel. I mainly use sheep fleece, and there are hundreds of different sheep breeds. Each of them has a different characteristic and quality to the fleece which produces very different results.
Wet felting is when fibres in layer, each layer is placed at a 90 degree angle to the one before.You then add hot water and soap, and agitate the fibres until they lock together. Once this stage is complete, the ‘fulling’ process then starts. This involves rolling the wet felt to further agitate the fibres and shrink them to create a denser, stronger felt.
Needle felting uses a specially designed barbed needle. When the barbed needle is pushed in to the fibres, the barbs pull the fibres and lock them together. The more you push the barbed needles in to the fibres, the tighter the fibres become. You can produce amazing 3D sculptures, or ‘paint’ a felt picture. You can also needle felt on to a piece of felt you have wet felted (once it is dry).