A new Harris Tweed designer range, born entirely of island skill, design and weather, is to be launched for orders at Hebridean Celtic Festival 2020.

Kiltmaker and designer Netty Sopata of Diggory Brown is not only creating and stitching the designs, but originated the wool from her family’s flock of Hebridean sheep on their croft in Ness.

And her idea of creating a zero-waste, sustainable designer range has pulled in talents in Lewis, Harris and Uist to complete the whole process, from fleece, to cloth and into beautiful clothing.

Netty said: "I have been using Harris Tweed cloth in my work for nearly 14 years, but through weaver Sheila Roderick of Scalpay Linen I first became aware of Hebridean sheep and the feasibility of using their wool for weaving yarn.

“I initially worked with Rebecca Hutton of Taobh Tuath Tweeds in Northton, Harris and with Hebridean Yarn from Uist Wool. Through this project I became aware that there would be an opportunity to send fleeces from Lewis to Uist, to be processed into yarn, woven and then returned to work with in my studio.

“I convinced the shepherd in the family that we should experiment with our own flock of Hebridean sheep. Over the past four to five years the flock has grown and we can now send enough wool to be processed into weaving yarn at Uist Wool and then woven into Harris Tweed cloth by Rebecca.

“The flock is based in Ness and the whole family is involved in maintaining them. Our first bolt of Harris Tweed was created last year. This year we've experimented slightly with dividing the colour shades of the wool during the sorting process, so a subtle pattern can be created without being dependent on dyes.”

The finished cloth is being made into a range of zero-waste garment designs, to be launched at HebCelt in July and then available for order, while the Harris Tweed itself will also be available to buy in lengths.

Netty said: “The colour and texture are beautiful to work with and the ability to make decisions on yarn specifications with the technicians at Uist Wool is enabling us to create a really unique range of tweeds – all within the Harris Tweed specifications of course!"

The pictures show the Hebridean sheep at the family croft in Ness and a prototype of the finished designs for waistcoat and kilt, made entirely within the Western Isles (Diggory Brown).