Lining up success for Harris Tweed

Brian Wilson and Ken Kennedy examine the specially-designed Ryder Cup Tweed.
Brian Wilson and Ken Kennedy examine the specially-designed Ryder Cup Tweed.

Harris Tweed Hebrides has been named as an official supplier to the Ryder Cup and following a launch of the Ryder Cup Harris Tweed collection at Gleneagles Hotel yesterday.

The award-winning company, based at Shawbost, has partnered with Edinburgh-based retailer Walker Slater to produce an exquisite limited edition range of products that will be sold at select outlets including the Ryder Cup village.

Harris Tweed has a long golfing pedigree and was worn by many of the great players of an earlier era.

In recent years, it has seen a major revival on the basis of its quality, heritage and fashion status.

Harris Tweed Hebrides’ creative director Mark Hogarth said: “Ken Kennedy, our head of pattern design, was set the challenge of creating a tweed that complements the Ryder Cup livery and tartan but also represented the unique blues of the Hebrides. As ever, he has risen magnificently to that challenge.”

The 25 piece collection includes classic mens’ and ladies’ hacking jackets and plus-fours, flatcaps, Boston style traveler bags and a selection of accessories including wallets and hipflasks.

Ken Kennedy said that, in order to achieve the desired effect, they had created “a new blue” which includes five “dyes” or shades of wool including turquoise to reflect the colour of the Hebridean sea.

“We offered them a range of 30 options based on their original guidelines and they eventually opted for a herring-bone.”

Walker Slater Design Director, Dan Fearn, said: “We are delighted to be involved in highlighting the timeless legacy and stunning future of Harris Tweed for such an iconic global event. To showcase our work with those who share our passion and vision is a huge privilege.”

Ryder Cup organisers have greeted the collection with warm approval and it is hoped that it will be highly visible during the event in September.

It is already being cut into the team uniform for the Junior Ryder Cup team who will play a curtain-raiser to the main contest.

Richard Hills, Europe Ryder Cup director, said: “We are delighted to see this impressive collection come to fruition ahead of one of the world’s largest sporting events.

“The Ryder Cup Harris Tweed is an exquisite design and yet another example of the highly-skilled craftsmanship to come out of Scotland.”

Harris Tweed Hebrides will limit production of the licensed specially-designed tweed as they hope the products will become true collectors’ items.