A Family Tradition
Harris Tweed Isle of Harris and Harris Tweed and Knitwear are the continuation of a family tradition. The original Tweed and Knitwear shop was located in Plocrapool, a small crofting village on Harris which was (and still is) home to the Campbell family.
Marion Campbell BEM 1910 - 1996 is remembered as an icon of Harris Tweed weaving. She first sat at a loom at the tender age of 14. Before turning 21, she had won a Harris Tweed Association design competition, beating off older more experienced weavers to pick up first prize and a handsome reward of 20 guineas. Her gift for design and colour ensured this was only the start of Marion's success and rise to prominence as an exemplar of the craft of Harris Tweed weaving. You can read more about Marion in her autobiography which is available via our online shop.
Marion continued working in the traditional manner of the Harris Tweed weaver until into her eighties. She died on January 6, 1996 at the age of 86.
**She can be seen in the video below at her loom.
Alistair (M'or) Campbell 1924 - 1995 was Marion's nephew. Originally a fisherman he took to weaving and like his famous Aunt had an eye for design. Alistair along with his wife Katie enjoyed running the original Harris Tweed and Knitwear shop in Plocrapool where they often held weaving displays for visitors and bus tours. Alistair continued weaving till he was 71, but sadly died in November 1995.
Katie Campbell 1935 - 2011 continued running the family business along with daughter Catherine. Katie also came from a weavers family, she had an eye for design that brought the tweed into the modern era, her designs are still a favourite with designers and crafts people throughout the world. Katie was frequently photographed at her loom in Plocrapool, where she gave weaving demonstrations. Visitors had the opportunity to buy her tweed cloth and tweed items along with home spun wool, the latter often could be seen drying out on the garden fence!
"Grannie had 11 girls who all spun. My mom died young. There were 4 of us girls and Dad bought a Hattersly Loom. We went to sleep to the click clack of the loom. It was lovely. It was safe."
Katie Campbell (**Video of Katie talking to Ben Fogul in 2009 )
Jane Morrison 1911 - 1945 is featured as the beautiful young weaver on the Harris Tweed Authority's Heritage and History page. Jane was Katie's mother, Catherine Campbell's grandmother. Tragically she died when Katie was only twelve, Jane was only thirty four.
Catherine Campbell is the daughter of Alistair and Katie. Catherine has inherited her family's passion for Harris Tweed and is continuing with the family tradition. She has opened the Harris Tweed Isle of Harris shop in Tarbert which she has developed into possibly the largest stockist of Harris Tweed in the Hebrides. Catherine is also continuing with the original Harris Tweed and Knitwear company, moving it to the Old School in Drinishader where it is much more accessible for visitors. Here, during the summer months she holds an exhibition of Harris Tweed and has weaving demonstrations daily.
Catherine has taken over the reins of responsibility in maintaining her family heritage, she says "Sometimes it's very hard to continue the work without the ones who brought you up to learn, love and live for it. However if you give up, then you give up all that inspired them and yourself"
**Marion Campbell at her loom.
**Countryfile video from You Tube. Ben Fogle talks to Katie Campbell and interviews Catherine Campbell. Filmed in 2006. The fashion show and weaving demonstration by Katie were taken in Plocrapool at the old shop.