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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 June, 2004, 05:42 GMT 06:42 UK
Nike forge unlikely tweed link
Nike shop
The yarn will be used on several styles of trainers in Nike stores
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.

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.

It doesn't just have to be grandpa's sports jacket or suit that is made with tweed - it is a very versatile material
Donald John MacKay

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 fashion.

'Younger market'

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.


SEE ALSO:
Tweed sale moves closer
29 Nov 02  |  Scotland
Sale looms for Harris Tweed
29 Aug 02  |  Scotland
Cash aid for textiles industry
06 Jun 00  |  Scotland


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