Yorkshire was once at the forefront of the woolen industry, with Leeds housing the largest woolen mill in the world. This sort after fabric saw a boom in the 19th Century with the industrial revolution, was this primarily cottage-based skill now became mill based and mechanised. Today very few mills remain including Abraham Moon & Sons, Marton Mills & Mallalieus of Delph, which we still use today. Many of our tweed blazers, skirts and ponchos are all made using Mallalieus tweed, with many of our products being manufactured right here in the UK too.
Tweed first hit the scenes in 1826, where the cloth entered the London market and quickly becoming popular with the gentry. This was a complete U-turn for the fabric, as it had previously been a cottage craft skill where it would be widely available to the working class. Once seeing a surge amongst the gentry and being manufactured on a more industrial scale, the demand for wool went up, therefore not being a readily available fabric to the working class now. Tweed became popular with mainly landowners that enjoyed sports such as shooting, horse riding, golf and fishing.
Estate tweeds also became a popular avenue for the fabric, as wealthy estate owners would get their own tweeds commissioned in personal colours, weights and textures that were recognisable to them. The Queen still wears the Royal Stewart Tartan to this day although theoretically, this tartan cannot be worn without the express permission of the Queen. However, the Scottish Register of Tartans observes that in practice, due to its popularity, it has become a universal tartan, which can be worn by anyone who doesn't have their own clan tartan.
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