For the two and a half years that Thistle & Broom has been in development, there was always to be Thistle & Broom tweeds. My vision was to produce something that would make a man or woman catch their breath when either gender chose to wear something made of them. Our tweed would be elegant and sophisticated and eliminate any preconceived notions about kilts being made exclusively of tartan - Hunting, Ancient, Dress or otherwise. Assuredly it would be a twill weave and based upon Scottish Estate Tweeds, gorgeous though they might be, there are not many of us who work (or play) in the woods as a gamekeeper these days so it would need to be half the normal weight of these tweeds.
The Scottish landscape would be found in the warp and weft of the T&B Tweed. Her sky and the mists that linger in her glens and forests, her peat bogs, lichen covered stones, and the waters which surround and cover her, all the nuances of colour as experienced each day by those who love Scotland would be 'captured' for individual interpretation. When made into a kilt an element of surprise would reveal itself in its wearing; a fine chalk stripe a mere 4 threads wide would open in the folds of the pleating when walking and the stripe would be the colour of the Flower of Scotland.
Predictably, there is a tactical path to realise woven cloth. The Thistle & Broom Tweed is a physical manifestation of my love of, and troth to, Scotland and the survival of her textile industry. True partners are needed to actually take such a complex design brief and bring it to life; people whose capabilities and creative energies and passions mirror your vision and whose standards for excellence are equally uncompromising. In naively following a path now unfulfilled, at a place in time of seemingly impossible odds to overcome, I was gifted with uncommon commitment and responsiveness in these partners. Extraordinary people who provided the skills necessary to bring my vision to fruition with the breathtaking results you see here.
No one in their right mind would believe that these people accomplished all of this from late in the evening on the 18th of February to finished tweed on the 18th of March. The final stage was to hand off the fabric to Ruthven Milne, and his company of Piob Mhor (Scots Gaelic for "bagpipe maker" and pronounced "peeb vor"), the man whose hand-stitched kilts are absolute perfection, to work his magic on two lengths of cloth in less than six business days and assure our entries in Dressed to Kilt.
35,000 jobs have been lost in the textile industry in Scotland during the last decade to consolidation and the Far East. Together, with your purchase of Thistle & Broom Tweeds, we take a tiny step to stem the hemorrhaging and rightfully restore Scotland's superiority in the textile industry.