Highlands & Islands

Fundraiser in Harris Tweed Rye-to-Stornoway cycle bid

Kelvin Pawsey
Image caption Kelvin Pawsey plans to cycle from Rye to Stornoway on his Tweed trek

A fan of Harris Tweed is to cycle from Folkestone, Kent, to Stornoway in the Western Isles dressed in clothes made from the material.

Kelvin Pawsey said his ride, which will involve a ferry crossing from Skye, will raise funds for the Harris Tweed Authority Educational Trust and RNLI.

He plans to set off on his journey on Sunday.

Mr Pawsey will carry everything he needs - including a tent and tweed bunting - on his bike.

Describing himself as an amateur cyclist and trainee gentleman, he expects the 900-mile (1,448km) journey to take most of August to complete.

The educational trust is run by the Harris Tweed Authority.

Last month, two of the cloth's makers and users claimed Harris Tweed was being hampered by an idea that it was just for "itchy, old man jackets".

Ann MacCallum, manager of the Carloway Mill on Lewis, said more young people must be encouraged to work in the industry to secure its future.

Design student Karen MacLean, also from Lewis, said the material could be used in fashion and interior design.

The third year textiles student at Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University said: "I know how amazing the cloth is and that it can be applied to fashion and interior design.

"It is not a rough cloth. It is very pliable.

"It is not an itchy, old man's jacket cloth and I think it can be applied to a lot of things in fashion."

Ms MacCallum said young people entering the Scottish textile industry should learn the history and process of making Harris Tweed.

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