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Harris Tweed: From Land to Street Hardcover – 15 Sep 2011
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It’s the biggest fictional hero endorsement to hit the Hebridean textile industry since Sherlock Holmes chose a Harris Tweed deerstalker. Our revelation on Saturday that the jacket worn by the eleventh Doctor Who, Matt Smith, is a vintage Dunn & Co two-by-two dogtooth will, we hope, galvanise fresh interest in this great, 100 per cent new wool cloth — a material that should be as synonymous with Britain as denim is with the US.
It’ s the biggest fictional hero endorsement to hit the Hebridean textile industry since Sherlock Holmes chose a Harris Tweed deerstalker. Our revelation on Saturday that the jacket worn by the eleventh Doctor Who, Matt Smith, is a vintage Dunn & Co two-by-two dogtooth will, we hope, galvanise fresh interest in this great, 100 per cent new wool cloth — a material that should be as synonymous with Britain as denim is with the US.
Lara Platman's beautiful book celebrates the industry with a series of photographic portraits that show how deeply rooted Harris tweed is in its landscape and indigenous culture. Her ability as a photographer to get under the skin of her subject, her eye for colour, light and local identity, make this book a must for anyone interested in the iconic Hebridean textile.||
A celebration of craftsmanship, dedication and a way of life.||
A timely look at the people behind the cloth. The text presents a thorough history and the images are excellent - Lara Platman has produced a fascinating book.||
Platman outlines the journey from sheep to fabric, and from the hewbrides to Saville Row, all lovingly illustrated with her beautiful documentary photography.||
Lara Platman spent a year with the farmers, mill workers and weavers who produce the cloth, and with the tailors and designers who fashion it into some of the most stylish garments around. Her evocative portraits of the people and the place tell a remarkable story of craftsmanship and survival.||
This sense of place is beautifully captured in Harris Tweed… Via atmospheric portraits of shearers, scourers and dyers, spinners, weavers and tailors, the book follows the process from sheep's back to catwalk.||
Offering insights into a lifestyle whose continued existence may surprise many.||
With an eye for character, colour and light, and an ear for a good story, Lara has created a book of photographic portraits which celebrates these extraordinary people, complemented by evocative images of the landscape of Harris, the tweed patterns whose textures and colours seem to emerge from the land.||
A fascinating journey and one in which Platman has skilfully captured the humanity, craftsmanship, sense of place and continuance of tradition, which imbues every yarn of Harris Tweed, to create a rich and deserving celebration of a textile that should be richly celebrated.||
Platman's heartfelt celebration of craftsmanship and a way of life is captivating.||
Follows the journey of this handwoven woollen textile from Scotland's Outer Hebrides to Savile Row and the world's fashion catwalks, using a host of beautiful images. Woolly sheeep, traditional looms and, of course, some fabulous clothes are all on show.
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In a photographic description, the text is obviously secondary but I feel there is a wasted opportunity here. There is not enough technical detail for me and too many parts of the process are left unexplained. Some background on geography and more on crofting would also have been interesting and a couple of maps would be helpful. The text is large and there is lots of space; there would have been plenty of room for more words on the production processes, the lives of those involved and the islands.
However, the bigger disappointment is the pictures. Lovely as they are they do not do justice to the beauty of these islands. The big pictures on the endpapers are flat, dull, out of focus in some cases and poorly printed. One has what appears to be three power cables running across the view. The printing quality improves inside but composition, sun glare, and focussing spoil many detracting from the good ones. For example, a picture of a lamb, face centred but made purple by glare and the focus sharper on its rear end than its face. When I visited the Hebrides I was struck by the light, brightness and colour even in appalling weather but this book does not get that across.
So this is neither coffee table photography, nor a very informative read but it is interesting. It gives you an introduction to a fascinating process and an underappreciated product but it could have done so much more. It feels like a souvenir or something the featured tailors might show their customers. I will enjoy it as a reminder of my trip but I'm glad I didn't pay the cover price.
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