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26 Nov 2014

The End of an Era of Handwoven Tweeds

08 Nov 2014
Craftsmanship | Artisan Production | Tweed | Made In the UK

When our search for sustainably produced wool tweed began in 2012 we didn't know that it would lead to a tiny family run company spanning generations of hand-weavers.  That journey led to Breanish Tweed on the Isle of Lewis (where the famous Harris Tweed is also produced).  Upon receiving our sample book, we immediately fell in love with the softness of the Breanish collection (which was much softer than Harris Tweed) and the colourways which reflected the beauty of the Scottish countryside where it is produced.

Two years on we have been fortunate enough to produce some great items as part of our New Directions in Tweed collections which include our signature 8 Piece Rambler Fat Cap, waistcoats, jackets, trousers and Tweed Cufflinks.  However, we were very sad to hear recently when Christine called us that the very special handwovens that they have been producing for nearly 100 years would no longer continue due to the retirement of Donald & Iain who are the main weavers of the Macleod family.

We hadn't expected a time that we could no longer buy the handwoven tweeds that we have come to know and love and Phil and I have been unexpectedly knocked for six.  Yes we had very much appreciated and cherished the craftmanship of these artisan produced fabrics but we realy did not envision having to look elsewhere to source them.  The Mcleod family had very much become part of our team of producers. Christine has explained that they will now be producing their Tweeds in a less traditional way, as their Hattersly looms will no longer be used to produce the tweeds but rather move to the more modern mode of production on an electronic loom. 

So this really is the end of an era for Cock & Bull Menswear.  We still hope to do business with the Mclead family, as this is a relationship that has been a cornerstone of what we have done since the inception of Cock & Bull Menswear, and while we await the new collection of tweeds we will, of course, continue to produce our smaller items from the remaining tweeds that we have and intend to purchase.  We had always said that they were limited edition items, however, now with the end of lines looming (pardon the pun) we really have to emphasise that once our very special item caps, cufflinks and waistcoats are gone they really are gone.

We sincerely hope that we will be able to find more producers of handwoven tweeds within the British Isles and hope that more people such as the fantastic Daniel of the London Cloth Company contnue this traditon and not allow this craft and art to fade away.   And to those lucky few who have supported Cock & Bull Menswear in the purchase of their handwoven tweed items we just want to remind you to cherish those items.  And for  a very special limited edition handwoven tweed item check out our new Tweed Cadet Caps.

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