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Fabric Facts: Tweed

Concise sewing and care tips for tweed.


Tweed has been around since the 19th century, originating in Scotland. Everyone from farmers to royalty has worn it. Historically, it was used mainly in the construction of suiting and coats but in contemporary society we’re not limited to such singular fashion expression.

Image credit: Harris tweed from Croft Mill.


  • Traditional tweed is made from sheep’s wool. However, tweed can now be found in blends with rayon, cotton, silk or even as a purely polyester made textile.


  • Wool based tweed is the heaviest per square yardage. It absorbs a greater ratio of moisture than other non-waterproofed textiles while still keeping the skin dry.

  • Wool blends or substitutions affect weight per yardage and add flexibility of fashion styling due to variance in drape as well.

  • Twill weave is the standard for tweed. Occasionally it is constructed with a plain weave.


Can be rough or smooth and softer, depending on the type of sheep’s wool it is made from. Harris tweed, for example, is softer than Cheviot tweed. Check individual brands of manufacture.


  • It is critical to lay flat your wood tweed yardage overnight before cutting the pattern as it needs to “settle” beforehand. Tweed is famous for changing shape during garment creation.

  • Wool tweed frays terribly during construction. Secure fabric edges as you work to counteract this.


  • Fine wool tweed is best kept to quality by dry cleaning it to avoid shrinkage.

  • Tweed made from other fibers may be machine washed in cool water. Mind individual instructions as listed on garment/fabric bolt.

  • Use a steamer to work out any wrinkles in your tweed. If you must use an iron, do not press with a dry setting as it may scorch the textile.


  • Classic tweed is a more expensive textile. Wool tweed from Ireland or Scotland are typically the priciest. Wool blends bring the cost down.

Until next time~

Yours truly,

Vivie V.

Vivie V. is a fashion enthusiast from Chicago with a penchant for handmade and vintage pieces. She holds a B.A. from Columbia College, where her passion for the creative arts was heavily cultivated. When she’s not blogging for Tailor Village she’s concocting DIY fragrances, making her own clothes, and running her consultancy, Vivie V.’s Adorn Yourself.

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