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Last Updated: Friday, 6 July 2007, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Tweed order from Germany refused
Model in Harris Tweed bikini. Picture courtesy of Norman Strachan
Outfits made from the tweed have been showcased at Cannes
The new owner of the main Harris Tweed mill has refused a large order for the cloth from Germany.

Weavers and mill workers on the Western Isles had been delighted to learn of the order - considered to be one of the biggest in almost 20 years.

Yorkshire businessman Brian Haggas, who controls the bulk of the industry, has refused to comment on the decision, saying it was an internal matter.

However, the move has led to increased fears about the future of the industry.

Mr Haggas plans to use production almost exclusively to make upmarket men's jackets and cut the number of tweed patterns to only five.

Islanders have welcomed his investment but they are concerned about a scheme to restrict sales and patterns.

Previously the cloth has been used for a ladies' trainer and in a designer bikini that was modelled at Cannes in France.


SEE ALSO
Harris Tweed in Yorkshire hands
07 Dec 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Talks on Harris Tweed businesses
22 Nov 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Workers to take mill to tribunal
19 Oct 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Shawbost tweed mill to shut down
30 Jun 06 |  Highlands and Islands

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