With autumn leaves falling and the countryside giving us it’s orangey glow, summer shorts and flip flops are now being packed away. Sheepskin boots, cashmere jumpers and tweed jackets are luxury staples of anyone’s wardrobe but still super stylish this autumn keeping you warm and dry.
Tweed is still prominent on the fashion catwalk with it crossing over from the traditional country attire to making a steady appearance on the high street. Tweed being such a versatile fabric and look, is now being incorporated into everyday wear through to more formal occasions. It’s once itchy and stiff image is now been shaken off and designers are reaching for tweed to be used in upholstery, wedding dresses, fashion accessories and now even into lingerie.
History of Tweed
Originating from the Scottish Outer Hebrides, people living there from modern day to centuries ago know what it is like to live and experience bad weather. Crofters or sheep farmers used their own hand carded wool which they would colour with vegetable dye, which was then hand spun and weaved using hand looms to produce a sturdy material. They produced blankets and clothing which protected them well from the harsh elements.
Over the years the crofter’s flair and skill shone through with new styles and colours being introduced in their weaving. With the industrial revolution, new manufacturing processes made tweed more available and produced on a larger scale. This was then shipped all over the country and then in time across the world becoming the well known and fashionable material it is today.
The Tweed Jacket
The staple of any wardrobe for both genders is the tweed jacket. A well made or bespoke jacket is a worthwhile investment and will still work with the changes of fashion that the decades bring. They are extremely versatile and stylish and can be used for formal occasions, smart casual weekends or everyday wear. Tweed jackets can be mixed and matched effortlessly with other fabrics and clothing particularly with denim jeans, a smart leather belt and a pair of stylish leather shoes. This season anything goes with tweed waistcoats, spotty or paisley scarves, fur hats which all sit together in pure class and style. Even matching tweed jackets with tweed skirts and trousers can be worn together creating a smart look that can be worn not only in a country setting but harmoniously in the city.
Accessorise with Tweed
There is not a bag, hat or a pair of gloves that you cannot find which incorporates a bit of tweed styling these days. A casual outfit with a tweed flat cap or tweed and leather handbag just adds that touch of class to any style. Leather holdalls, purses, wallets all stand the test of time with tweed mixed in with some quality leather designs. The humble fascinator which was once limited to some netting and sinamay can be now been seen at weddings or at the race course covered in different coloured tweed and game bird feathers. Even your pets can now be seen sporting tweed collars and coats. Mix and match your tweed accessories but remember to keep it simple.
Introducing Tweed into Your Home
The traditional country home has seen tweed mixed in with its interior for many years now. This look has become very fashionable within the home with blankets, throws, cushions and upholstery all including hard wearing tweed. There are now some amazing chairs, settees and even tweed can be seen in picture frames and mirrors. The key is not to overdo the look but keep it contemporary with one or two pieces placed prominently within your home. Don’t forget a traditional tweed throw is essential to be wrapped up in on cold winters nights.
Caring for your Tweed
Tweed does need to be cared for, especially when you have invested money into a quality jacket or stylish chair for your home. This hardy material has come a long way from its scratchy days when it was woven organically with 100% wool. Even with advanced technologies in making tweed fabric for a softer appearance, it must never be placed in a washing machine due to shrinkage. If you need to clean a tweed clothing item, always take it to a professional dry cleaner for their advice. If you have stubborn stains that need removing especially on upholstery, dab it lightly with a damp sponge without being too harsh on the material itself. A good clean with a stiff brush from time to time, will keep your tweed looking smart and neat.
So this autumn, team in some tweed together with some leather luxury styling and give this hard wearing and traditional material the showcase it truly deserves!
by Samantha Hobden
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