Tweed garments are the traditional choice of men, women and children of all ages involved in country-side pursuits such as shooting and hunting. Tweed originates from Scotland and the colours are usually subdued greens, browns, greys, blues and heathers. This meant that tweed was useful for blending into moor lands when shooting or beating. Different estates often have their own pattern or mix of colours to distinguish their staff and to act as a uniform. Smart and practicable, it is hardwearing and protects against the elements.

Some are even coated to repel water or contain drop liners made from materials such as GoreTex, keeping the wearer dry and snug on the inside even if the tweed is soaking on the outside making it an ideal choice for professions such as gamekeepers. The warmth of tweed depends on its weight, with the thickest tweeds being up to 800 grams. Tweeds only used to be dry-cleaned but more modern tweeds are machine washable.

To make tweed, wool is gathered, washed and dyed. Traditionally, carding was done by hand to straighten the wool out before it was spun by hand into yarn. The yarn would them by woven into tweed on a loom. The material would then be stretched and dried before being used. Tweed is traditionally a rough woollen fabric with a flexible texture. Many of the more modern tweeds are softer wool mixes to provide a higher standard of comfort or some are even lined with a cotton layer to prevent itching.

A versatile fabric, it is used for tweed shooting jackets, hunting jackets, coats, breeks, skirts and hats. It is also increasingly popular with men as an informal country jacket to wear with trousers or jeans. Therefore since tweed is smart, can be waterproof and also survives the everyday wears and tears of the countryside such as brambles, it is of no surprise that tweed is still popular today.

Tweed breeks are now making a comeback in the fashion world but although they were initially intended to look smart, breeks are extremely practical as well. Any golfer or shooting person that has been out in a rain storm will tell you, tweed breeks will dry off again very quickly. Tweed breeks are often referred to as plus two's or plus four's and this is a measure of the amount of tweed below the knee, i.e. two or four inches of tweed fabric below the knee.

If you are looking for a new tweed jacket this website would be a really good choice, they also have a good range of shooting breeks to go with your tweed jacket.

A good idea is to wear the plus four's as the extra fabric creates a fold just below the knee and excess rain should run off and drip down the outside of gaiters or Wellington boots leaving the feet hopefully dry. Breeks are now capable of being manufactured with drop liners (which is the waterproof membrane between the tweed and the lining) and this is another good reason to have extra fabric around the knee so they don't act like a drainpipe!

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