The Harris Tweed Authority, legal guardians of the Harris Tweed industry and the historic Orb Mark, this week marked a new online landmark in its 160 year history.
Having made successful inroads with Social Media in 2011, the Harris Tweed Authority adds to its successful forays into Facebook pages and Twitter feeds with a new website, designed by artist Ian Lawson, a regularly updated blog written by local weaver Mike Donald and a new Vimeo hosted film channel giving rare and unique insight into the Harris Tweed process. All can now be found at www.harristweed.org
The new online strategy allows access to a wealth of exclusive images of the beautiful Outer Hebrides, weavers, mills and of course Harris Tweed with information on the history, heritage, industry and processes behind the world famous Scottish textile.
In addition to the present content, their online presence will continue to develop through a web-based Archive project where a repository of digitised documents, images and film will be collected and accessible online for the first time. As the new project develops, the Harris Tweed Authority would be very pleased to hear from anyone who owns any vintage Harris Tweed clothes, old Harris Tweed labels, promotional materials, samples etc. and who might allow access to photograph it for their archive and share with other Harris Tweed lovers around the world
Lorna Macaulay the HTA Chief Executive said: “The Harris Tweed Authority (HTA) are very pleased indeed with the new website. Given the global nature of our brand and Harris Tweed’s worldwide customer base, we fully recognise the need to invest heavily in keeping trade and retail customers around the world up to date with information, news and views on all aspects of the Harris Tweed Industry. A key feature of our brand is our unique and special geographical location and of course the craftsmanship of the weavers and mill workers who make the cloth. We are keen therefore to use the website and social media to introduce a new audience to the people involved in designing and making the cloth here on the island, tell them all about who’s out there working with Harris Tweed and, of course, all our exciting collaborations with other brands. We hope also that by digitising the rich archive of marketing and promotional materials created by the Harris Tweed Association and the various mills themselves over the years will help tell of the rich history and heritage of our special industry.
Despite recession and financial crisis throughout the world, the Harris Tweed industry is currently thriving with collaborations with high street brands like Topman and continued appearances in the collections of designers like Henry Holland, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood.