Sharing history and design of Harris Tweed through new app

Laxdale pupils trying out the new app, which can be experienced in English or Gaelic. The app is available free of charge and is available to download globally now.
Laxdale pupils trying out the new app, which can be experienced in English or Gaelic. The app is available free of charge and is available to download globally now.

A brand new app has been developed and is now available which will allow users around the world to learn the history of Harris Tweed and create unique tweeds.

The Harris Tweed app went live on Tuesday this week for both Android and iOS devices with a special launch in Stornoway where school pupils from Laxdale School were among the first to try their hand at the interactive and creative parts of the new app.

Norman L Macdonald, Chairman of the Harris Tweed Authority, said: “An important element of the Harris Tweed Authority’s statutory remit is to educate about the story of Harris Tweed - its origins, history, heritage and the unique manufacturing methods of our industry.

“Young people today use technology to learn and it was important therefore that we identified and developed an appropriate approach to sharing our story globally and in a fun and interactive way.

“For our industry to survive for another one hundred years, it is vital the next generation, not only those right here on our doorsteps, but young people in China, Japan, Germany, Italy and all over the world know about Harris Tweed.

“They will be the next generation of fashion designers and consumers.”

The educational app allows the user to scroll through the Harris Tweed story in a colourful and exciting way, from the raw wool to finished and certified Harris Tweed cloth.

The app also explains the importance of the Harris Tweed Act 1993, giving our next generation a full understanding of what makes the handwoven fabric so unique.

The second feature of the app allows the user to design their own tweed. First the user is prompted to choose their ‘base’ colour, followed by the shade and thickness of their warp and weft yarns.

The warp and weft is then dragged across the tablet screen to create the pattern of their choice. Following that, the user can apply the Harris Tweed label to the fabric, then see their cloth design on a female or male model, a teddy bear, a chair and a shoe.