What is Tweed Fabric? Explained by Chanel Fabric Makers!

I spoke to Linton Tweeds to learn about tweed fabric. They’re been designing and manufacturing couture fabrics since 1912. In fact, they were the original Chanel fabric makers! They’ve also worked with Burberry, YSL, Balmain, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, and many other luxury brands.

What is Tweed Fabric? And what is it made from?

“Tweed is a type of woven fabric, first made in the UK during the 19th century. Typically, it is made using primarily wool. However, in recent years, other man-made fibres like acrylic and polyamide have been added.

Tweed is normally woven using a series [of] patterns, most notably, plain weave, twill, check and herringbone.

Linton tweeds for instance, has become renowned for our ability to take classic patterns and reimagine them using a variety of new, innovative yarns that you would not typically find in a classic tweed style fabric.”

lots of tweed fabric sample cards on a rack
Photo by Linton Tweeds
closeup of blue tweed fabric being touched by a hand
Photo by Linton Tweeds

What are the characteristics of tweed fabric?

“Tweed is generally rough and closely woven making it hardy, moisture-resistant, and durable. It is therefore a popular choice for outerwear like jackets and coats. It is well insulted so it suits colder or temperate climates better.” It “often requires an inner lining to make it more easily wearable.”

“Tweed, depending on the yarns, varies greatly in weight. This is typically dictated by grams per metre squared (g/m²).

As a rough guide, fabrics under 280 g/m² are more for summer attire, while those over 280 g/m² are for winter. Fabrics with weights over 400 g/m² would be better suited for coats as opposed to jackets.”

What are the uses for tweed fabric?

Here’s what I’ve seen luxury brands use tweed fabric for:

  • Jackets
  • Coats. Fabrics that weight over 400 g/m² are ideal for this.
  • Structured dresses
  • Structured pants with a loose fit
  • Structured skirts
  • Structured shorts
  • Flat cap hats

Guy from Dashing Tweeds adds that “I have several ski and alpine suits made up in our heavier tweeds and have never felt cold even when going cross country on alpine passes between Austria and Switzerland.”

Don’t forget to line your custom garments so they’re more comfortable. Tweed can feel quite rough.

different tweed pants, trousers, shorts and skirts.
Featured Net-a-porter and Mr Porter clothes made using tweed: Rowen Rose trousers, Andrew Gn shorts, Chloe skirt, Kingsman 2-piece set.
men and women wearing tweed coats and jackets in different colors and styles
Tweed jackets and coats from Net-a-porter and Mr Porter: mens APC coat, brown Purdey coat, purple Saint Laurent coat, Lagence blazer, white Valentino jacket.

More about Linton Tweeds

Linton Tweeds have been designers and manufacturers of fabrics for the fashion industry since 1912. We are renowned as the original Chanel fabric makers, and to this day we continue to produce fabrics of the highest quality for designers and sewers around the globe. We launch all new limited edition couture woven fabrics weekly on our website – on a Tuesday and Friday at 1pm.”

specification design sheet for tweed fabric being written on.
Photo by Linton Tweeds


Email correspondence with Jonathan from Linton Tweeds on 2 July 2021.

Email correspondence with Guy from Dashing Tweeds on 18 June 2021.