TWEEDS, a name originally given to a certain kind of woolen cloth, produced in the s. of Scotland, largely made at Galashiels, Hawick, Selkirk, Jedburgh, and other places on the Tweed and its tributaries. It is prepared chiefly for men's apparel, but its use and consumption for women's wear has of late been steadily on the increase. It is of an open, soft, flexible nature; differing from English superfine cloth in not being so finely spun or closely woven, and most of all in not being so thoroughly felted. The fabric of broadcloth is not intended to show any appearance of weaving, whereas in tweeds, starting from the "shepherd's plaid," the whole art of weaving is capable of being developed in novel and fanciful designs, admitting of great variety of texture. Tweeds are further characterized by their purity of color and genuineness of make— shoddy, muugo, and cotton-warp not being yet used in the production of even the cheaper kinds. It is a manufacture of comparatively recent date. Seventy-five years ago, Galashiels, a principal seat of the maufacuture, was only a small village: its few weavers individually manufacturing a species of coarse woolen cloth called "Galashiels gray," made from wool grown on the surrounding hills. About forty years later the fabric was so far improved, that its use was no longer confined to the border shepherds, but it had begun to be more or less worn by all classes in towns. The warmth, com fort, and durability of tweeds, as well as their suitability for all seasons, gradually led to their being preferred to the hard tartans, Manchester linens, and nankeens of former days; and eventually even to English doeskins. The demand for them rapidly in creased. Galashiels has become a considerable town, and many large mills are now in active operation on the Tweed and its " waters," although they have for many years ceased to furnish power enough for the machinery. Nor has the manufacture confined itself to Tweedside, but has spread northward to Aberdeen, Elgin, and Inverness; and southward to Dumfries, and into Cumberland. The wools used in the production of
tweeds are principally Cheviot, South American, and Danish for the coarser kinds; and Australian, New Zealand, and Saxony for the better qualities. The processes of ning and weaving are similar to those adopted for English woolen cloth, the machinery, in fact, being, in the main, exactly the same. A great impetus was given about the year 1858, by improved wool washing and drying machinery, and especially the success ful introduction of self-acting mules for the drawing and spinning of the yarns direct from carding-engine, condenser, and rovings. More recently, in order to a division of labor and capital, factories have been erected for spinning only, and others for weaving and finishing. This manufacture, now one of the great staples of Scotland, is rapidly increasing. The following figures exhibit the advance made in Scotland in the manu facture of fabrics of this class from 1851 to 1862: 1862.
Number of factories 72 82 power-looms 329 1069 Sets of carding-engines 225 305 Value of goods made, about £600,000 £1,600,000 As respects the progress made since 1862, it may be stated that, an estimate made in 1873, the annual value of tweeds made in Galashiels and its neighborhood amounts to about £1,500,000. The value of such goods now produced in all Scotland must therefore be nearly £3,000,000. Such has been the success of this article that it is largely imitated in the English manufacturing districts. in all aualities of material.
The jury report on the woolen goods exhibited in the international exhibition of 1862, remarks: " To the Scotch manufacturers belongs the credit of having found out what the public like, and of having led for a considerable period the public taste. So largely have their productions been imitated on the continent that many of the choicest fancy trouserings of France and other countries are easily traceable in design and color ing to their Scotch origin." See BEAN-KING'S FESTIVAL, and EPIPHANY.