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Harris Tweed industry rescued by Scottish oil trader

The Harris Tweed industry has been saved by Scottish oil trader Ian Taylor, who will reopen Shawbost mill on the Hebridean island of Lewis.

Taylor has set up a new company called Harris Tweed Hebrides (HTH) which will ensure future supply of the famous tweed cloth, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The Shawbost mill on Lewis was closed last year by former owner KM Group and KM Group also sold off its other mill on Stornoway to Yorkshireman Brian Haggas. This led to concerns that future supply of the distinctive cloth was under threat and could be rationed.

Ralph Lauren is a fan of the fabric, which often features in his collections. Vivienne Westwood has also used Harris Tweed in her designs.

Taylor will encourage locals to invest in HTH and employees will benefit from a profit-share scheme.

The distinctive Harris Tweed cloth is defined as cloth which is woven in the Outer Hebrides and made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides.

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