Tweed is a kind of fabric woven from colourful yarns creating a variety of distinct weaving effects such as checks, stripes, diamonds or herringbones. The first tweed fabrics were made entirely from pure wool and they were coarse and densely woven. In fact, tweed was conceived as a functional fabric – rough and sturdy enough to withstand the tough conditions of working in lands and fields.
But the origins of British tweed are also tightly connected to identity, as tweed patterns were traditionally commissioned by British estate owners and served as a unique tool for the identification of their estate and the workers in their lands. Each pattern had to be unique, so the choice of colours depended on the particular shades that filled the landscapes of those pieces of land – as one of the functional aspects of tweed at the time was that the workers' uniforms should blend well with the landscapes around them as a way of protection.
Over time, the use of tweed expanded as the expertise of weavers and dyers and the innovations in machinery gave way to finer, more pliable fabrications appealing for their design, superior warmth and durability. Today’s growing sensibility for well-made products has enlivened British tweed, and the possibilities for variation in materials, weights, colours and patterns make it a classic fabric that is able to adapt to the timely needs of contemporary fashion.
supplier Abraham Moon
Abraham Moon and Sons is a small weaving mill founded in 1837 in Guiseley, Yorkshire – an important centre in the history of British woolen textile production. Abraham Moon himself was a clothier and an entrepreneur during the Industrial Revolution, when he established a small mill next to a newly-built railway station to easily transport his cloth to the nearby cities of Leeds and Liverpool and beyond.
In 1920, the firm came to be sold to Charles Walsh – a local and experienced young man who had worked for Abraham Moon since the 1880s after studying dyeing and weaving at Yorkshire College. With a forward-looking commitment to design and innovation, he set the basis for a successful business model based on a great focus in design, ensuring the relevance of their cloth in the international fashion trade.
Today, Abraham Moon and Sons is the last vertical mill in Great Britain and continues to be owned by the Walsh family. The firm employs over two hundred professionals, including a large team of designers and skilled professionals who do the dyeing, blending, carding, spinning, weaving and finishing processes. All steps, from design to production, take place on the same site, and the plant produces over 35.000 meters of woven wool fabrics every week.