Working with Harris Tweed is the fulfilment of a dream for Margaret Rowan of Adabrock Weaving Company.
She arrived in the Outer Hebrides to become a Harris Tweed weaver in January 2015. She explains how she felt that she had already done a lot - raised two wonderful sons, taught textiles, written four sewing books and run a flourishing Soft Furnishings business for 25 years – but she knew inside there was something else she needed to do.
“My lifelong love of fabric and yarn, my artistic and creative abilities, art school, studying woven textiles and printmaking were all for a reason.
“The year before I moved to the Outer Hebrides my father mentioned that he had discovered my grandmother was a silk weaver in Paisley.
“Could I have inherited her genes? Are there weavers’ genes…or was it fate?
“After passing my Harris Tweed weavers test and gaining my weavers number, I was initially weaving for one of the mills on the double-width loom that I had bought with the house.
“My target was to become an independent Harris Tweed weaver within two years. It was in fact only 18 months before I bought my first Hattersley loom. Two very kind neighbours, who had been weaving most of their lives helped me assemble 'Agnes' and they have become my friends and mentors.”
Margaret says that inspiration for new tweeds arrives daily, as she walks along the beaches with her dog, Meg. “There are rocks, cliffs, shells, lichen, flora and fauna and looking out to sea from my loom, the crofts, sea and sky are constantly changing with the seasons and the weather…the patterns in nature are all around me!”
Yet, she says Adabrock Weaving Company Harris Tweeds have a contemporary feel about them. “The landscape changes through time and I feel that Harris Tweed can also change a little. I have loved herringbones, stripes and plaids all my life. I love texture colour and movement and hope that you will see and feel all of these things in my Harris Tweed and you will also be inspired to get creative with them!”
And Margaret is offering people a real Hebridean experience if they are staying in Weavers Cottage at Adabrock, by helping her with some of the weaving processes and in the spring and summer months…cutting, drying and lifting the peats for the Cottage. She has produced a range of soft furnishings and incorporated them into the cottage as well. Visitors are welcome by appointment.