Harris Tweed Hebrides teams up with Italian textile leaders

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Harris Tweed Hebrides, the leading producer of the iconic handwoven fabric, has announced a new marketing agreement with a view to increasing its penetration within Europe.

Its partner in the agreement is a division of the Marzotto Group, a world leader in textiles production and marketing, based at Valdagno in northern Italy. They will represent Harris Tweed Hebrides in all European markets other than the UK.

At present, Harris Tweed Hebrides – which is based at Shawbost in the Isle of Lewis - accounts for around 75 per cent of all Harris Tweed production with Japan and the United Kingdom as its two major markets. Sales into Europe, other than the UK, account for around 20 per cent of output.

The new marketing agreement was announced in Paris, during Premiere Vision, the world’s leading textiles trade show where Harris Tweed Hebrides is represented as usual by a sales team from the Shawbost mill, working alongside their new partners in Marzotto Wool Manufacturing.

Ian Angus Mackenzie, chief executive of Harris Tweed Hebrides, said: “We have worked with Marzotto for several years and have developed a high respect for their integrity and knowledge of the textiles industry. I am confident this agreement can work well for both parties and also for our existing clients in Europe.

“There are parts of Europe where Harris Tweed could and should have a market but that is difficult to maintain without an ongoing presence.

“Marzotto can help us to widen our reach and give our clients a more direct service on the ground.”