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Monday, September 8, 2014

Harris Tweed Scotland Pride

Harris Tweed Label
The Harris Tweed Authority – the statutory body tasked with safeguarding the long term integrity of the Harris Tweed name – has settled a dispute with US retailer Euromarket Designs, Inc. who trade as Crate and Barrel.

In June 2014 the Authority, based in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, identified that Crate and Barrel had available for sale chairs which were described as a “Harris Tweed Collection” labelled as “Harris Tweed Chair” and “Harris Herringbone Chair”. 

Neither style of chair contained any Harris Tweed. 

Both products were available for purchase for a number of weeks on Crate and Barrel’s website, its stores and were advertised for sale in its catalogues. 

The selling and promotion of the chairs in the UK breaches the Harris Tweed Act 1993 and other rights held by the Authority on behalf of the Harris Tweed industry.

The Authority considers such conduct with the utmost seriousness.  Misuse of the Harris Tweed name risks dilution of it, and undermines the integrity of an iconic Scottish brand steeped in heritage. 

Court proceedings were raised to protect the Harris Tweed brand.  Following negotiations, Crate and Barrel explained that its improper use of the name ‘Harris Tweed’ was not deliberate and no chairs from the “Harris Tweed Collection” had been sold in the UK. 

The Authority has secured both an appropriate monetary settlement and assurances from Crate and Barrel that there will be no repetition. 

Harris Tweed is cloth, hand woven only by the islanders of Lewis, Harris, Uist and Barra in their own homes, using pure virgin wool that has been dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

This is the definition of Harris Tweed clearly stated in the Harris Tweed Act of 1993 and it ensures that all cloth officially certified with the world-renowned Harris Tweed Orb symbol complies with this definition, making it genuine Harris Tweed – the world’s only commercially produced hand woven tweed.

Sales of Harris Tweed have never been so buoyant, with the demand for the quality, genuine cloth accelerating over recent years.  It is an ancient industry which dates back centuries and it is vital to the modern economic, cultural and social fabric of the Outer Hebrides, creating employment for over 350 craftsmen and women.

The Harris Tweed Authority, on behalf of the islanders protect the Harris Tweed brand for the good of generations to follow.

Lorna Macaulay, chief executive of the Harris Tweed Authority, said: “As we are based in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland it can sometimes seem a long way away from the commercial markets in which Harris Tweed is sold. But we never let this distance hinder our continued efforts to protect our various registered marks  throughout the world.

“We use the best legal advisers in the country, the intellectual property litigation specialists at Burness Paull LLP, and we are committed to pursuing any individual or business who attempt to undermine our historic fabric which is vital and valued not just by the people of the Outer Hebrides or Scotland but also by our customers across the globe.”

The Harris Tweed Authority was formed with the passing of the 1993 Act to be custodians of the industry. 

More information on Harris Tweed can be found on the Authority's website: www.harristweed.org.

Harris Tweed Fabric

About Harris Tweed

Woven on treadle powered looms, Harris Tweed is crafted by hand without the aid of automation or electricity. Weaver’s skills take months to learn and years to master and every step of the Harris Tweed process is in the hands of skilled islanders, from dyeing to delivery.

The fabric is literally dyed in the wool, with separate pigments of wool carefully blended to special ‘recipes’ before being spun. Just one single yarn can contain several different colours in order to obtain the perfect tone or hue, each reflecting some aspect of the natural surroundings – heathers, mosses, lochs, mountains and sky.

Leading designers, fashion houses and artists have all embraced Harris Tweed over the years, season after season. Not just restricted to catwalks and couture, the versatile fabric is also used in bespoke interiors from household soft furnishings to five star hotels as well as a growing range of accessories.

Harris Tweed Authority

Originally conceived as The Harris Tweed Association in 1909, the Harris Tweed Authority was formed with the passing of the 1993 UK Act of Parliament.

Each length of Harris Tweed can be traced right back to its individual weaver and mill. Made of 100% Pure New Wool, Harris Tweed is dyed, blended, carded, spun, warped, woven, finished, examined and stamped only in the Scottish Outer Hebrides by local crofters and artisans.

The Authority marks as genuine with the Orb every meter of cloth made to the exceptional standards and legal definition befitting the protected textile. The ‘stamp’ is pressed onto all genuine Harris Tweed, and is only issued by an official Harris Tweed Authority inspectors who are fully trained guaranteeing it is a genuine article.

It also identifies and robustly challenges any and all attempts to subvert the world renowned name and the legendary Orb Mark.

Harris Tweed Authority

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