Page last updated at 10:50 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 11:50 UK

First ladies to get tweed wraps

Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama will be among the spouses to receive a tweed wrap

US President Barack Obama's wife Michelle and France's first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozi are to be presented with garments made from Harris Tweed.

Wraps and scarves have been specially made for the two women and the other spouses of world leaders gathering in London for a G20 summit.

Heriot-Watt University graduate Helen Finlayson, 22, was commissioned to design the pieces.

They were made by Harris Tweed Hebrides on the Western Isles.

The gifts were the idea of Chancellor Alistair Darling's wife Margaret.

'Iconic status'

Brian Wilson, chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides and a former UK Government minister, said they would be given to some "very distinguished and very beautiful people".

He said: "I don't expect them to take them out of their box and put them round their necks straight away, but hopefully in the fullness of time they will wear them, they will be seen to wear them.

"The more we can get Harris Tweed round the necks of people with that kind of iconic status the better it is for the fabric, the better it is for the industry, the better it is for the islands."

Meanwhile, fashion clothing featuring Harris Tweed was to be modelled on a catwalk at Monday's Dressed for Kilt show in New York City.

The tweed appears in designs by another Heriot-Watt University graduate, Judy R Clark.



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