Harris Tweed is a cloth made from a worsted wool yarn. Traditional Harris Tweed is recognizable by subtle color flecks achieved through the use of vegetable dyes. Shades of red, purple, rust, and dark-orange are commonly found on Harris Tweed cloth. In addition a twill-weave rather than a plain-weave is used for the fabric creating a distinct pattern that looks similar to a herringbone check.
The story of Harris tweed dates back to around 1830 in Scottland. A British fabric merchant received a letter from a fabric supplier in Scottland. In the letter the supplier was writing about some "Tweels" - the Scottish word for Twill. The British textile merchant however misread it as Tweed - taken from the name of the river Tweed which flows through the Scottish textile region. Subsequently he advertised the fabric as Tweed - a name that had stuck ever since.
In fashion Harris tweed is commonly found on "Country Club Style" blazers. The thicker and more rugged look makes Harris tweed an ideal fabric for country clothes.