Eilean hopping, pt. 2

Linen: it doesn’t grow on trees. And, even if it did, those trees wouldn’t be anywhere on the British Isles. And, even if they were, you’d need fields and fields of these trees, and certainly more than will ever be found on an island off an island off the north-west coast of Scotland.

All of which is a fairly circuitous way to introduce a new type of cloth — one made on an island so remote the only way to reach it, until about ten years ago, was by boat. It is here that a weaver sits alone in a shed of tin on the highest point on the island. It is the only one without a sea view. She peddles with grace and skill, but by all reports with cold, on a Hattersley loom built at the start of the last century, to make linen in the land of tweed.