Harris Tweed Waulking Song – Outer Hebrides – 1941

Harris Tweed. 1941 film of Outer Hebrides women singing a ‘waulking song‘ while finishing tweed wool. A long forgotten art. Preserved by The British Council. AI enhancement by GlamourDaze.

Waulking song - Women of the Outer Hebrides in 1941
Waulking song – Women of the Outer Hebrides in 1941

A rare snapshot of a long vanished era. Women sing and ‘waulk’ Harris tweed in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland in 1940/1941. Filmed by Jack Cardiff of Powell & Pressburger fame. AI Enhanced using Deep Learning techniques.

Harris Tweed Waulking Songs in the Outer Hebrides

A group of women filmed singing Tweed waulking songs in the Outer Hebrides in 1941

The women are ‘waulking’ or tucking the tweed wool. A form of finishing to remove oil and dirt.
Waulking singing was a social occasion for the Island women to get together.

The practice has since disappeared with industrial methods now used. If you watch the drama Outlander, you will recognize this scene, as it was recreated.

Harris Tweed waulking in the Outer Hebrides in 1941
Waulking the Tweed

Filmed in 1941 by Jack Cardiff who is best known as the cinematographer for Powell & Pressburger.
Cardiff photographed The Red Shoes (1948), Black Narcissus (1947), A Matter of Life and Death (1946) and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943).

The Western Isles – Outer Hebrides Film

Folk singer Kitty Macleod who appears in the film - The Western Isles
Folk singer Kitty Macleod who appears in The Western Isles

Original Film – The Western Isles – The British Council Creative Commons.
The historic importance of The Western Isles (1941) was lost on the UK government at the time.
UK Minister of Information to Churchill, Brendan Bracken, personally wrote to the British Council, claiming that the film was living proof that “the British are frivolous. ” We are fighting the war to perpetuate a way of living long since outmoded”

To it’s credit, the British Council preserved the film nonetheless.

Note: The film also features actress and folk singer Kitty Macleod.

You can watch several AI enhanced films on the GlamourDaze YouTube Channel.

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