A weaver on a remote Scottish island is celebrating after one of the world's
biggest sportswear firms incorporated his tweed design into its trainers.
The yarn will be used on several styles of trainers in Nike stores
Donald John MacKay's design, produced on a loom in a shed behind his house on Harris will soon feature on thousands of pairs of Nike women's training shoes.
Unable to cope on his own, Mr MacKay has enlisted the help of a nearby mill to meet the firm's massive order.
Experts described it as a massive boost to the ailing cottage industry.
Mr MacKay was first contacted by Nike last September and was asked to send
several pieces of his hand-woven yarn.
Just a few weeks later the firm came back to request more small samples, then
in March this year they contacted him with an order - the size of which left
both he and his wife Maureen stunned.
He said: "I was in the weaving shed when Maureen came in to say Nike had placed an
order for 950m to be done by the end of May.
"I thought that was a large order for us, then she came back in and said she
had got it wrong - they actually wanted 9,500m."
Mrs MacKay said that after he and his wife had got over the "sheer panic"
which initially struck them, they contacted the Kenneth Macleod mill on Lewis,
which agreed to help them with the order.
Those in the industry believe the new product will take tweed to the height of
Mr MacKay said: "It was a fantastic order and we have had more, larger,
orders come in since then.
"I was very surprised when they first suggested the idea but it's a good
thing for the industry and will hopefully capture a younger market.
"It is a good way to introduce younger people to the quality product that is
Harris Tweed and show that it doesn't just have to be grandpa's sports jacket or
suit that is made with tweed - it is a very versatile material.
"It will also carry the name around the world - not only will the trainers
carry the Nike logo they will also bear the Harris Tweed label," he said.
It is understood the yarn will be used on several styles of women's training
shoe which will go on sale later this year.