2012 Tatiana Delany, MA History & Culture of Fashion, London College of Fashion The Yarwood Grant formerly the Yarwood Award

Summary of resesearch proposal

My research topic is a focused investigation of Harris Tweed. With the support of the Yarwood Award, I am able to visit the Outer Hebrides this summer, where Harris Tweed is produced, to see the manufacturing, weaving and finishing of the cloth first-hand, visit archives, exhibitions and carry out interviews.

This primary research will contribute to my MA dissertation, which has the working title: 'Nostalgia masquerading as Modernity: Innovation and Tradition, the use of Harris Tweed in the fashion industry'. Using material culture object-based analysis and literary analysis, I will be examining the relationship between visual, material and narrative forms at the heart of the mythologizing and romanticising of Harris Tweed. I am to investigate the intriguing interplay between past, present and future created through the fashion industry's continuous quest for novelty and simultaneous appropriation of traditional craft and textiles.

This research will contribute to a little explored, but extremely topical area of British textile history and the fashion industry. 2012 saw the highest level of Harris Tweed cloth production in almost twenty years with continuing support from designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Margaret Howell and also increasing use by the British High Street. I hope that in examining the importance and relevance of craftsmanship at the heart of the fashion industry this research will contribute to wider discourses on sustainability and the future of 'Made in Britain' textiles in the fashion industry.

  • Harris Tweed label on 1970s trousers at Museum of London
  • Harris Tweed trousers (Museum of London 85.152/45)