Harris tweed is an iconic fabric, steeped in history. It's production is governed by an Act of Parliament, passed in 1993 which decrees that it must be made form wool dyed, spun and woven on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. You can identify Harris Tweed by its Orb trademark which authenticates all Harris Tweed Woven. Harris is the second largest island of the chain, which includes fourteen other inhabited islands, there are also more than 50 other islands which are uninhabited. The inhabited islands have a total population of around 26,500. Weaving, including the production of Harris Tweed, is one of the main industries found on the islands alongside tourism, crofting and fishing. Across from the mountainous North Harris lies South Harris, presenting some of the finest scenery in Scotland with wide sandy beaches. In the mid-19th century, the Isle of Harris was owned by the 4th Earl of Dunmore, John Murray and his wife, Lady Charlotte. Both were born into wealthy Scottish families: he was an Earl and an officer, she was the daughter of one of Scotland's leading families. They saw the potential for selling, Harris Tweed produced by their tenants - to their acquaintances in London . Lady Dunmore in particular was instrumental in promoting Harris Tweed through her connections in the upper classes, particularly the hunting and fishing set. This marked the beginning of Harris Tweed as a commercial product. By the end of the nineteenth century, Harris Tweed was firmly established and much sought after, it had even become popular with members of the royal circle. As the popularity of Harris Tweed grew weavers began to produce their own versions and legal protection was sought to protect genuine Harris Tweed. The Harris Tweed Association was set up in 1909. In it's second year of operation it created the Orb trademark which is still used to authenticate all Harris Tweed. Harris Tweed Hebrides uses a range of more than 100 yarns which can be made up into thousands of patterns. There are a number of tweed weights: the heaviest is medium - weight used for furnishings and interiors. The most commonly used weight is the feather - weight which is popular for jackets. The lightest weight is superfine which is often used for ladieswear This year Harris Tweed received a boost with the accreditation of 100 Western Isles weavers. Thanks to two projects established by Cardonald College in Glasgow, a twelve week, course resulting in an SVQ qualification in Harris Tweed weaving was delivered in Stornoway, producing ten new weavers, most of whom have begun careers in the industry. The second stage of project recognised the skills of the existing workforce by means of an audit, to create an industry standard. A target of delivering one hundred accreditations has now been achieved and another twenty-five weavers have enrolled in the next course.