The Harris Tweed and Wallace & Berg story

handmade cashmere harris tweed and scottish tartan handbags 

The Wallace & Berg story

Wallace and Berg are designers, who collaborate together to bring   the best and newest designs using the oldest and most tested  methods. We spring from new, to old with a twist of fashion and   creation. 

Our skills, talent and training come from very different   backgrounds, with a belief that quality over quantity, and old   working values create better products. We want you to be happy   with your purchase, these garments gave us a lot of pleasure to   make, and we want you to have pleasure in wearing them.

All our products are hand made, in our workshop, overseen by   ourselves. We check every  detail of our work, rigorously, so that   you can trust that what you are buying is the highest quality that   you would expect from us.

 

And our name:

As an interesting fact about our designers, the name "Wallace" is synonymous with Tartan and Scottish History, but our designer Wallace loves mountains, or as the Germans call them "Bergs".
Our designer Berg, however, loves Tartan, Scotland and Scottish history, and using these materials. Sort of like the wrong way round, but fits perfectly with Wallace and Berg's collaboration, and thats where the name springs from.

The Harris Tweed Story

Harris Tweed is a tweed cloth that is handwoven by islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, finished in the Outer Hebrides, and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides. This definition, quality standards and protection of the Harris Tweed name are enshrined in the Harris Tweed Act 1993.

Harris Tweed weaver, c. 1960

For centuries, the islanders of Lewis and Harris, the UistsBenbecula and Barra have woven cloth by hand, calling it 'clò-mòr' in the original Gaelic or 'big cloth'.

Originally, this handmade fabric was woven by crofters for familial use, ideal for protection against the colder climate of the North of Scotland. Surplus cloth was often traded or used as barter, eventually becoming a form of currency amongst the islanders. For example, it was not unusual for rents to be paid in blankets or lengths of cloth. By the end of the 18th century, the spinning of wool yarn from local raw materials was a staple industry for crofters. Finished handmade cloth was exported to the Scottish mainland and traded along with other commodities produced by the Islanders, such as dry hides, goat and deer skins.

The original name of the cloth was tweelScots for twill, it being woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern. A traditional story has the name coming about almost by chance. Around 1830, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm about some tweels. The London merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders. Subsequently, the goods were advertised as Tweed, and the name has remained ever since.