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Butt of Lewis Tweed (Harris Tweed weaver)


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#1 gshen

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 10:10 PM

As there are no merchants insane enough to stock heavyweight tweeds in the heat of Singapore, I scoured the web for some interesting tweed for a jacket to be used to combat a Scandinavian winter. I found Mr Callum Maclean of Butt of Lewis Textiles, a small weaver in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and ordered some Harris Tweed samples:








Just before I placed my order for HT 114, I noticed that he was selling a new tweed on ebay not listed on his site.. this was his reply when I asked him about it:

QUOTE
Hi gshen,
I have just made this new Tweed, from 100% wool, the weft contains 4 thin threads twisted together to make a beautiful strong heavier Tweed. I don't know if you ever bought the traditional heavy Harris Tweed, which is so scarce now, I would say that it is similar to that.
I have had a number of customers who wanted Tweed which was similar in weight to the old Harris Tweed, and this is my attempt at meeting this demand ! I expect to make some more in due course, but I would think that this would be ideal for Men's jackets/coats !
Hope things are well with yourself !
Kind Regards,
Callum


The only difference from Harris tweed is that the wool used is from UK instead of from Scotland. Besides that, it is apparently woven in the exact same way as he weaves Harris tweed. Handwoven vintage weight tweed at 9GBP a metre (single width) + 17GBP shipping? I had to order some...and boy am I glad I did:







Compared to the Harris tweed samples I received, this tweed is softer, smoother and nicer to touch, less porous, and quite a bit heavier. The Harris tweeds are about 16-18oz, and this one is Sator-weight at about 20-21oz. The color is closest to the last picture, but still a little off...it's a bit more green toned in person. Callum's description is "a solid dark green warp, with grey/white & brown twist weft, a great looking tweed!" Couldn't agree more!

Callum's customer service was exceptional... he was extremely courteous and polite when answering enquiries, quick to reply emails, and shipping took only 6 days from the Outer Hebrides in Scotland to Singapore!

I will be making this up into a 3roll-2, 3 patch pocket (2 with flaps) and maybe a half-norfolk back sometime next month.. will post pictures when completed.

I look forward to hearing your comments.. but please feel free to turn this thread into a discussion about everything tweed!

#2 Schneidergott

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 11:08 PM

The butt of Lewis Tweed is, or better said, was very nice and soft. Sadly he is concentrating on Genuine Harris Tweed right now.
I was lucky enough to buy a total of 9m for a small price. Both are no longer found on his website.
The Butt of Lewis Tweed is really much softer than the regular Harris Tweed and has a nicer feel and smell.
I have no idea what I'm going to make out of them. In this region of Germany it doesn't get really cold in winter, so I guess a loose fitting coat will be enough to keep me warm on my way to work. The cloth is definitely too heavy and warm to be worn indoors.

This was/ is the B105



BTW, Callum is able and willing to make any kind of pattern for you so you can have a personalized tweed. I don't know what he charges for that special service.

"Nur der ist Meister seiner Kunst, der immer sucht, das Gute zu verbessern und niemals glaubt, das Beste schon zu haben."
"Only he is a master of his art who always seeks to improve the good and never believes to have the best already"

"Es gibt keinen Grund mit Erfahrung zu prahlen, denn man kann etwas auch viele Jahre falsch machen!"
"There is no reason to boast of your experience, because it's possible to do things wrong for a long time!"


#3 Sator

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 12:57 AM

I sent an email to Callum inviting him along. Perhaps he thought it was spam hmm.png Maybe if one of his customers could contact him he might come and educate us a bit about tweeds.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): "Tradition ist die Weitergabe des Feuers und nicht die Anbetung der Asche."

"Tradition is about passing on the flame, and not the worshipping of ashes"

#4 gshen

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 02:19 AM

Sent him an email, Sator. I think he might be away at the moment though, as he has not replied an email I sent a couple of days back (and he is usually very quick to do so). Hope he takes up your invitation!

#5 Sator

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 10:12 AM

I am pleased to say that Callum has joined up, and I look forward to him educating us about tweeds.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): "Tradition ist die Weitergabe des Feuers und nicht die Anbetung der Asche."

"Tradition is about passing on the flame, and not the worshipping of ashes"

#6 Claire Shaeffer

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 12:36 AM

My first thought when I read your original post was to ask for some "in-process" photos; I decided that was too elementary for this group.

This morning I received an email from Jeff describing his method of taping an edge which is quite different from the several I know.

I have rethought my original idea and decided that your construction techniques are not necessarily the same as others on this list and "in-process" photos and descriptions might be interesting to others as well--particularly since you are working with a heavier fabric which we see less often now.
Claire


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#7 Callum Maclean

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 02:12 AM

Hello to you all[, who have discussing Tweed.
I have to hold my hands up and admit to having made/woven the tweeds shown in some of those photos, Harris Tweed & Butt of Lewis Tweed ( Both Handwoven ! )
I grew up in a part of the world where Harris Tweed was woven by my father, and in the district where I lived.(By quite a number of weavers ). Harris Tweed , at it's peak was one of the main industries of the Western Isles of Scotland, reaching a peak of over 7 million yards sold in one year.
In my younger days Harris Tweed sold a large percentage of output to the USA. For a number of years Germany & Japan have become major customers.
I started producing my Butt of Lewis Handwoven Tweed last year,along with Harris Tweed. As you know Harris Tweed must be Handwoven with wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides, my BOLT ( Butt of Lewis Tweed ) is woven/ warped , and finished in exactly the same way, but I use 100% wool, but sourced from the UK mainland, my reasons were two fold , to give customers a choice, and the wool I use is softer. It is down to personal taste, whether to buy one or the other.
I am delighted to have been invited to join you on this forum. I hope we can enlighten each other !
My kindest Regards,
Callum

#8 yachtie

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 07:34 AM

[This was/ is the B105



BTW, Callum is able and willing to make any kind of pattern for you so you can have a personalized tweed. I don't know what he charges for that special service.

If he could/would make this, I'd be interested in it. I like the warmth but not the scratchyness.

#9 Callum Maclean

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:17 AM

Hi there again,
Harris Tweed is a lot softer than it was in the past. Heavyweight Harris was especially hard and hairy in the past!
Although Harris Tweed is lighter and softer, I make the new Butt of Lewis Tweed with softer wool- so that people can have a choice. Although the BOLT shown on this forum is of a heavy weight, I also make Butt of Lewis Tweed in a lightweight, and I dare say that I could make a featherweight also.
Callum

#10 Sator

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Posted 29 April 2009 - 11:54 AM

Welcome Callum. I am really pleased to see you here.

I have also heard that Harris tweed today is different to what it used to be. One question I have for you is why that is. Does it relate to the selection of wool, the weaving/finishing process?

The other question I have is the width of the looms. I have heard it said that hand woven tweeds are always single width, and that if a tweed is double width it always means that it is machine woven. It is claimed that double width looms are so big and clumsy that nobody would have such a monstrosity in their house or shed. However, I have also heard it said that some weavers do have double width looms in their sheds, and that a double width loom is hardly any more cumbersome than a single width one.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): "Tradition ist die Weitergabe des Feuers und nicht die Anbetung der Asche."

"Tradition is about passing on the flame, and not the worshipping of ashes"

#11 Callum Maclean

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 01:42 AM

Hi again,
Re the question of why so little heavyweight Harris Tweed, the simple answer is - the demand is not there for it, if there was , it would be more readiy available.
I have a double width loom, in fact I had the first one, as I was very involved in it's development.
It is a great machine, I use ir regularly - but only to do sub- contract work for the largest Harris Tweed Producer. I use the single width Hattersley loom to make my own Tweed, which I also sell myself. I hope to be able to make some of my own Tweed in double width- in the next few months!
Callum

#12 Sator

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 10:46 PM

It is a great machine


Thank you Callum for explaining things. Just to be 100% sure, by "machine" you mean one for handweaving rather than one that is mechanically driven/operate, is that right? Or are all handwoven tweeds still single width?

Also, what do you think of the tendency to use single ply yarn to get a lighter cloth? At least one of the bespoke tailors on this forum who has worked on tweed woven single ply in warp and weft, has complained that the cloth doesn't make up well and is difficult to work with.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): "Tradition ist die Weitergabe des Feuers und nicht die Anbetung der Asche."

"Tradition is about passing on the flame, and not the worshipping of ashes"

#13 Callum Maclean

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:19 PM

Hello G, and to you all,
When I used the word machine, I off course meant Loom. THe single width loom is called " The Hattersley Domestic Handloom ". The double width loom is called " The Griffiths Double width Loom ", which was introduced in 1994.
The only thing I can say , in response to what a couple of Tailors have said , if they are referring to Harris Tweed is - make sure you buy good quality Harris Tweed, like everything else in life, you must be sure you are buying the best !!!! I can only relate to the feedback I get. I don't want to blow my own trumpet, but - the Tailors & Dressmakers I deal with tell me they love working with Harris Tweed/ Butt of Lewis Tweed !! smile.gif
Callum

#14 Sator

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:35 PM

Of course, I wasn't thinking of your stuff, which, judging by their weights look like they are solidly woven in two ply in warp and weft clapping.gif . However, there this drive to make cloths lighter and I can think of some tweeds around that use single ply yarn to give them lightness around the 12 Oz range.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): "Tradition ist die Weitergabe des Feuers und nicht die Anbetung der Asche."

"Tradition is about passing on the flame, and not the worshipping of ashes"

#15 Benjamin

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 10:28 AM



a charming little video of the above mill.

#16 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 09:30 PM

Harris Tweed is a lot softer than it was in the past. Heavyweight Harris was especially hard and hairy in the past!


A Challum Chór,

So I take it from the above passages you can and still do a traditional heavy hard tweed as was done in the past, at least to special order correct?

la meas.

J
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#17 greger

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 08:09 AM

Different sheep of the past.

So much today is made from one varitiy of sheep.

#18 Jasper

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:45 AM

Hello gshen,

I have orderd the Butt of Lewis too and will start a coat soon. Beautyfull heavy Tweed. Is your coat yet finished?

Jasper




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