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Published on March 27th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

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Regeneration of Tweed?

The return of Doctor Who not only heralds a new start for the series, it heralds a new start for Harris Tweed, the once-fashionable fabric whose fortune has seen a downturn in recent years.

The Doctor - in tweedFollowing the unveiling of the new Doctor’s ‘Geography Master’ attire, it seems that fans keen on replicating his look were straight on the phone to the Harris Tweed Authority to see if they could get a replica.

Lorna Macaulay of the HTA recalls:

“They could see it was Harris Tweed, so they wanted to find out what particular sort it is, and how to get a jacket like it for themselves.”

Although supplied by Angels theatrical costumiers, the type of tweed sported by Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith has been identified as Mackenzie “two by two” dogtooth, likely to hail from the 1960s. Ray Holman is the costume designer on the new Doctor Who – he reveals that there are multiple jackets, the one that has caused all the fuss is for best, while substitutes are worn for stunt work and pyrotechnics. The choice of tweed was apparently a simple one:

“Because he’s young and the tweed is almost synonymous with the older generation; it has an authority, the feeling of a geography teacher. Or Einstein. When Matt was looking for his version of the Doctor he was reading about Einstein.”

Originating in the Scottish Hebrides, Harris Tweed is a heavy woollen material that is spun, dyed, woven and finished. It seems likely authentic replicas will be produced by the Carloway Mill on Lewis.

(With thanks to Ian)

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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