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National Tweed Day is the perfect opportunity for people all over the world to enjoy everything to do with their favorite style of tweed. Whether it’s to do with the woolen fabric made in Scotland, or something else entirely, the celebration of all things tweed is meant for this special day!

History of Tweed Day

In some circles, there may be some confusion as to what exactly National Tweed Day is commemorating – is it the corrupt American Democratic boss famous for running the Tammany Hall political machine, William M “Boss” Tweed, who also ran the “Tweed Ring” which stole between $30 to $200 million through political corruption in New York, or is it the unique Scottish fabric, usually fashioned into suits, jackets and trousers in patterns such as houndstooth and herringbone?

Which of these two very different options could it be?

The obvious answer would probably be the options for the Scottish material, although there is no record of April 3rd having any relevance to the origins of Tweed, the mistake that resulted in it being named Tweed, or even any founders’ birth or death dates as is often the case with days such as this.

On the other hand, April 3rd actually does have a special relevance to Boss Tweed though, since he was born April 3rd, 1823. So perhaps that’s a clue as to what the day is really all about.

In any case, it’s time to celebrate Tweed Day!

National Tweed Day Timeline

Late 1700s

Tweed makes an entrance but is called “tweel”

This version of woven fabric enters into the world with the name “tweel”, which is Scots for the word “twill” because it is woven into a twilled pattern rather than a plain one.[1]

1831

“Tweel” name changes to “tweed” 

All by accident due to the misreading of handwriting, the word “tweel” is interpreted as tweed, the same as Scottish river Tweed, and the fabric’s name is forever changed.[2]

1869

William “Boss” Tweed takes control of New York City 

A Democrat elected to the US House of Representatives, Tweed is a wealthy landowner with great influence who is eventually convicted for stealing tens of millions of dollars from NYC taxpayers.[3]

1902

“Tweed Days in St. Louis” article is published 

Written by Lincoln Steffens, this article became famous as the first of several muckraking articles that exposed the corruption of urban politics.[4]

1909

The Harris Tweed Orb certification is created 

As the original company to make tweed, Harris Tweed carries the oldest British mark of its kind.[5]

How to Celebrate Tweed Day

The observance of Tweed Day can be enjoyed in a variety of clever and delightful ways. Try out some of these ideas or come up with your own:

Buy a New Tweed Jacket or Trousers

One perfect way to celebrate Tweed Day is by making a purchase of a new blazer, pants, vest or entire suit made of the woven wool fabric. Actually, tweed can even be made into a delightful hat!

Tweeds are usually made in light plaid or houndstooth patterns, often in neutral colors such as beiges, greens and grays. Whether choosing to buy a tweed item off the rack or having it custom made by a tailor, this is the best time to do it!

Wear Tweed to Work

Although in some climates, April might be a bit warm for wool, in many places the early spring weather is perfect for one final display of the tweed clothing before putting it away for the warmer summer weather.

Watch a Tweed Inspired Film

Looking for some way to be entertained on Tweed Day?

One Disney film could be the perfect way. The Fox and the Hound is a film that shows the character, Widow Tweed, who was the kindly lady who took care of Tod, the orphaned fox and one of the title characters. The other important characters were Amos, the grumpy neighbor, who took care of the hound dog, Copper.

Or, for the slightly older set, try watching some Sherlock Holmes films or shows which are certain to contain Mr. Holmes donning a tweed suit while smoking his pipe at 221B Baker Street in London.

Visit the Tweed Museum of Art

Who knew that there was a museum of art at the University of Minnesota, located in the city of Duluth. The museum was named after Alice Tweed Tuohy, who donated her house and an extensive art collection to create the museum. This could be the perfect thing to do to celebrate Tweed Day!

Go Fishing or Just Visit the River Tweed

See the river that tweed was mistakenly named after, located in southeastern Scotland. This river runs eastward for 97 miles in Scotland, for 17 miles along the border of Scotland and England, and for 2 miles the River Tweed flows through England until it empties into the North Sea.

National Tweed Day FAQs

When is National Tweed Day?

National Tweed Day is celebrated each spring on the third day of April.[1]

What is National Tweed Day?

National Tweed Day is the time to celebrate everything that goes along with tweed fabric, including the Scottish landscape where it is made.[2]

What is Harris Tweed?

Harris Tweed is one of the original and most famous companies that makes tweed fabric in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.[3]

Are tweed suits hot?

Thick and made of wool, woven tweed fabrics are made into suits that are warm and long-wearing.[4]

Why is tweed called tweed?

Though it may have originally been called “tweel”, which was basically a Scots version of “twill”, a mistake in handwriting changed it to “tweed” as it was assumed to be related to the Scottish river called Tweed.[5]

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