- Ian Denyer
- Executive Producer
- Malcolm Neaum
Episode 2 of 3
Duration: 1 hour
Harris Tweed is gasping for breath.
Yorkshire textile baron Brian Haggas still owns the biggest mill on the islands, but he is not making any more tweed before he has sold the thousands of jackets he still has. With sales not going as well as expected he has had to lay off all the freelance weavers. Now, as the islanders finish celebrating Christmas, he flies in for another dramatic act to completely close down the mill and lay off the workforce.
At this very low point in the Harris Tweed story, a new chief executive of the Harris Tweed Authority begins work. She is charged with getting the cloth out of the doldrums and back onto the world stage.
So do the new owners of the remaining two tiny mills - the only places on earth left making Harris Tweed. Alan Bain, co-owner of the smallest operation, Carloway Mill, is making overtures to an Italian car manufacturer - will the Europeans swoon at the prospect of Harris Tweed car seat covers?
At the Shawbost Mill they are backing the young Scottish designer Deryck Walker to produce groundbreaking tweed in Mediterranean hues.
Meanwhile, a posse of London tweed fanciers comes to the islands in search of Harris Tweed to see if it is still available or gone forever. They find a fabled source of ancient cloth, the Turin Shrouds of Harris Tweed
The fight-back has begun.