Harris Tweed weaving returns to Uig after gap of 25 years
TWO LEWIS men have revived a traditional industry in their area after being inspired by their ancestors.
Domhnall Iain MacDonald from Gisla and Calum George Buchanan from Valtos, have led the resurrection of Harris Tweed weaving in Uig after almost 25 years.
Mr Buchanan’s mother, Seonaidh Buchanan, was an original weaver on the island and even recalls the first six Hattersley looms coming to Valtos in 1938.
Both Mr MacDonald’s father and uncle were also weavers.
At the industry’s peak, in the post-war years, there were 34 looms in the Valtos peninsula. In Uig as a whole, there were at least 100 weavers and, for most families, the loom was the main source of income.
The industry went into sharp decline in the 80s and the last of the Hattersley weavers in Uig retired in the early 90s.
Neil MacLeod, chairman of the Harris Tweed weavers association, said: ‘There are more than 60 people looking for looms, many of them working offshore and seeing this as a means of making their livings at home.’
The chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, Brian Wilson, who lives in the Uig village of Mangersta, said: ‘It is great to see weaving back in Uig. This sums up why the Harris Tweed revival is so important.
‘It allows weavers like D.I. and Calum George to remain in their own communities, earn good livelihoods and raise their families here.
‘We just need to keep it going and ensure a strong, stable future for the industry.’