HOME > Fashion History >



Written by in Fashion History on the

Everything You Need to Know About Tweed

Oh, the good old Tweed! A material that has so much history behind it! It's an ever so popular fabric with origins going back to the 19th century and today this material is still holding strong and can be seen on runways and streets during fashion week. Associated with British upper-middle class leisure wear, this material is well known for its durability, practicality and classic timeless polished look.

What is Tweed Made of? 

There are a lot of variations and techniques when it comes to good old Tweed material. Generally speaking, Tweed is a wool cloth which is woven and is usually made for heavy-weight garments like coats, blazers, waistcoats, flat caps and so on. There are different types of Tweed which vary in their proportions of wool used depending on the technique applied when crafting the fabric. For example, Derby Tweed consists of 50% wool with a blend of acrylics and other fibres, Keepers Tweed is a blend of 85% wool and cotton, and the most renowned and trademarked Harris Tweed is made from 100% handwoven wool.


The History of Tweed  

Did you know that this ever so popular and fancy material was never supposed to be called Tweed? However, the is that London merchant back in 1831 misinterpreted handwriting from a supplier and recognised it as 'Tweed' instead of 'Tweels’ and assumed that it was the trade-name for a material taken from the Tweed river in Scotland. The goods made from this wool fabric were advertised as Tweed ever since. Tweed is traditionally used for country clothing and is highly associated with upper-class leisure wear. The Tweed material for active outdoor enthusiasts in Victorian and Edwardian eras was like a Lycra for cyclists nowadays. Since Tweed is durable and moisture resistant, this material is very popular among hunters, golfers, shooting enthusiasts and equestrians. Can you imagine a gentleman in Victorian times strolling around their country estates without a Tweed blazer on? Probably not.

Tu Clothing
Tu Clothing

Tweed Nowadays 

Nowadays, Tweed is worn more liberally than it was back in the day. Even though a sight of a gentleman wearing a Tweed blazer with plus fours and a shotgun would definitely bring some attention, nowadays it is very popular to pair Tweed with more casual solutions like simple tees and jeans. Tweed is as practical and durable as it was all those years ago, so it is not going away any time soon. There are infinite possibilities and settings to wear it no matter the weather and occasion, especially if you want to bring the smart to your casual. All in all, there definitely is a reason why this material stuck with us back in the 19th century and is still as popular as ever. Tweed's practicality, durability and timeless look are the reason why it still has a very special place in our wardrobes today.

River Island
River Island
previous post
next post