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Scotland's Harris Tweed Hebrides eyes Korean market
Jan '12
Harris Tweed Hebrides, the largest producer of Harris Tweed is now setting eyes on South Korea.

The Scotland's Shawbost-based firm, which expects the industry to retain its growth momentum this year, is now looking eastwards for expansion.

The firm which contributes over 80-90 percent of the world Harris Tweed production bagged the Scotland's Textile Brand of the Year award in 2011.

Harris Tweed Hebrides has already booked 25 percent higher orders this year compared to orders booked by the same time last year, when they refused to accept more work owing to weaver capacity limitations.

The firm is of the view that it is very essential to convey it to the weavers and their families and also their own employees that prospects for Harris Tweed are quite bright and the company is expected to witness another growth year.

According to the company, most of its customers have understood that it is wise to order in advance, rather than when they need it, like they used to do earlier.

The firm had no idle period or mill lay-offs last year and straight way started piling stocks for next season after executing orders placed last season.

For the first time, last year Japan surpassed Germany as company's leading export destination.

Though uncertainty prevailed as to whether demand from Japan would prop up in view of the financial conditions of Japan, the firm said none of the orders were cancelled. A company delegate even paid a visit to Japan in November 2011 to disseminate the 'order early' message, and has met great response.

Over some time South Korea has also started turning up as a big market, and hence the company is planning wide-scale expansion there this year.

South Korea fashion has a tendency to trail on the path of Japan, and hence the company is eyeing steady growth there.

The shift in buying pattern – from ordering as per requirement to early buying – has for the first time resulted in removal of seasonality-based buying orders placed with Harris Tweed Hebrides in years.

With a 25 percent rise in orders, the company sees this as a very positive start to the year and is quite assertive that the same trend would sustain throughout the year.

Harris Tweed is recognized as the best of the fabrics, and also the only fabric in the world governed by an Act of Parliament.

The law requires that the genuine Harris Tweed be made of pure virgin wool that has been dyed and spun on the islands and hand-woven by home based weavers in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Such woven cloth is then sent to mills for finishing.

The fine fabric, which is best recognized as a fashion fabric, is also being increasingly used by designers for preparing furnishings,interiors and accessories.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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