Guest speaker at the Harris Tweed exhibition opening was fashion designer Patrick Grant

From the Western Isles to Cumbria – Harris Tweed is being celebrated in a new exhibition in the Rheged Centre, Penrith, as popular photographer Ian Lawson explores the Outer Hebrides and the production of the unique cloth.

The Cumbrian landscape photographer joined forces with The Harris Tweed Authority to produce his personal narrative 'Harris Tweed: From The Land'; a 400+page book with over 250 images.

And the home of Harris Tweed, its people and places, form the focus of the Rheged Centre exhibition comprising of images, words, film and artefacts – including a Hattersley loom – connected to the island industry.


The Harris Tweed show was opened by fashion designer Patrick Grant, who spoke of his passion for the cloth; and the opening also featured Harris Gin, as well as Hebridean music from Jane Hepburn and Alasdair Maclean.

Harris Tweed Weaver Kenny Maclennan was also present at the exhibition opening to share his expertise and weaving experiences.

Posting on its Facebook page, The Harris Tweed Authority said: “We are hearing wonderful reviews so far on our exhibition with Ian Lawson, 'Harris Tweed: From the Land'.

“It was a real pleasure to have Patrick Grant share his own story with us of how he came to know and love Harris Tweed, wearing his own Clo Mor jacket of course.

“The loom is really giving visitors a true glimpse of the special production of our hand made cloth, and we were truly grateful to have our friend and Harris Tweed weaver, Kenny, with us last week to share his expertise.

“The Harris Gin and Hebridean music from Jane and Alasdair added even more to the whole Hebridean ambiance, while people viewed Ian Lawson's photographs and Harris Tweed products, and really felt like they were taken on a journey up to the Western Isles.”

And Harris Tweed is getting a further boost through the Penrith exhibition as the Rheged Centre has opened a new Harris Tweed shop, offering a range of hand-selected British made Harris Tweed products, including handbags, make-up bags, scarves, corsages, lampshades, and cushions; as well as stocking 15 different Harris Tweeds, woven in the Western Isles and available to purchase by the metre.

The Rheged Centre exhibition 'Harris Tweed: From the Land', in Penrith, Cumbria, is free to enter, opens from 10am to 5pm daily, and will run until May 15th. 

Hebridean musicians Jane Hepburn and Alasdair Maclean entertained at the exhibition opening