Clothing in Scotland and China: Inspired by the colors of nature

Clothing in Scotland and China: Inspired by the colors of nature

In the western Scottish Isles, it is the local plants and lichens that inspire Harris Tweed makers. In southwest China, Bai people use woad to color their clothes. On the opposite side of the planet, artisans combine nature and tradition to create iconic garments.

nature and tradition

Scotland’s Outer Hebrides are on the edge of North West Europe. The incredible landscape is the inspiration for the colors woven into the famous fabric made here.

Harris Tweed Hebrides It is one of three weaving mills on the island. Production and design manager Callum Ian MacLeod shows the reporter around.

“It’s 100% Pure New Wool”He says. “That’s the only thing we’re allowed to use for Harris Tweed. We can’t use any fibers other than 100% wool.”

The factory produces more than 50 base colors. Wool of eight different colors is then spun into a single yarn. This creates distinctive color gradations and speckled yarns. Harris Tweed is protected by Parliament and Subject strict rules: The fabric must be hand-woven by the people of the Outer Hebrides.

After weaving, the fabric is returned to the factory for cleaning and filling, and then ready for certification.

“It will be presented to the Harris Tweed Authority, which will mark it with the famous orb logo”Callum explains. “must have this stamp to be recognized as Harris Tweed”.

Harris-tweed was recognized as a registered trademark in 1910 and has since had the “Orb and Maltese Cross” (Orb with Maltese Cross) as a distinctive mark. The fabric has been stamped since 1911. With the passage of the Harris Tweed Act of 1993, the previous definition of Harris Tweed became law.

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To this day, Harris Tweed is the only fabric that is still produced on handlooms and still sold in large quantities. Tweed fabric is subject to the strictest controls and since 1910 has been the only fabric for which Basic Law has been protected in Great Britain. Said to have been a favorite fabric of Queen Victoria, it is growing in popularity among fashion designers.

a global brand

Harris tweed clothing has a global appeal. “We have visitors from all over the world and everyone knows Harris Tweed”David Galloway, Store Manager says walker slater menswear in Edinburgh. “They’re at the heart of our business. They know they’re going to wear merchandise for a lifetime. They know the story, they want the clothes, they want the weight, they want the color, they want everything.” The all-natural stuff that goes with Harris Tweed and the entire history of this brand.”

Chinese Origin of Batik Dyeing

Zhoucheng Village is located near Dali City in Southeast China. It is the hometown of Bai Batik Rangai.

Batik is one of three traditional printing techniques that originated in ancient China. She combines many different skills to create beautiful patterns.

Vod is at the heart of the process. Bai people extract pigment from the plant for dyeing. They have a unique process consisting of eight steps in total. Bonding and dyeing are the most important steps.

“In tie dyeing, making the dye is the first creative step”Duan Yinkai explains, a Bai tie-dye master, who comes from a Bai family. “After that comes the tying, that’s the second step. You have to keep the stitches the same.”

The motifs in the left ribbon represent nature. Each line tells a story about its surroundings.

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Finally, a miracle is seen: the laces are cut to reveal the hidden pattern between the tight knots and the threads are removed from the tangled spaces.

One has to be careful. One small slip and you can create a hole that will ruin the entire piece of fabric.

This unexpected result is what makes coloring so exciting. You never find two patterns and colors that are exactly the same.


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