Tweed through the ages at Towerhouse

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A MAJOR exhibition which tells the fascinating story of tweed – the famous cloth which originated in our region – has opened in Hawick.

The venue is the Borders Textile Towerhouse, the showpiece Heart of Hawick facility run by Scottish Borders Council’s museum service.

On display are garments, samples, and film and archive material which evocatively explore the industrial past and also showcase the work of mills where high quality tweed is still produced today.

Although the sector employs a fraction of the workforce it did in its heyday, tweed continues
to be a cutting edge fabric favoured by many top fashion designers.

The contemporary garments on display come from Hawick’s Lovat Mill and two

Selkirk factories - Andrew Elliot Ltd and Lochcarron of Scotland – and include a tweed and sheepskin jacket by quirky Edinburgh designer Joey D and a coat by stylish Japanese brand, 45 rpm.

Vintage highlights include samples of tweed by Borders-based designers Bernat Klein and E. Y. Johnston which have been loaned by Heriot-Watt University’s archive in Galashiels. There is also a short technicolor film, shot in 1947 at St Mary’s Mill in Selkirk, which shows the production process.

To accompany the free exhibition, entitled Border Tweed, two special talks have been arranged by Fiona Anderson, the senior curator of fashion and textiles at the National Museums Scotland.

The first, examining the early history of tweed and its relationship with contemporary fashion, takes place on Wednesday, December 4, from 7 till 8.30pm.

The following day, from 10 till 11.30am, Ms Anderson will discuss the role of tweed in today’s global fashions and why designers like Chanel and Dior continue to use the cloth in their ranges.

There is no charge for either event, but spaces are limited so advance booking is advised. Contact Borders Textile Towerhouse on 377615 or if you wish to attend.

Border Tweed will be on display until March 22, 2014. It is open from Monday to Saturday from 10am till 4pm, but closed on Tuesday and Sunday. For more information on the exhibition or the talks contact Shona Sinclair, 373457.