The original name of the cloth was tweel, Scots for twill, it being woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern. A traditional story has the name coming about almost by chance, in about 1830, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm, Wm. Watson & Sons of Dangerfield Mills about some tweels. The London merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders textile area. Subsequently the goods were advertised as Tweed, and the name has remained ever since.
Tweeds are an icon of traditional British Country Clothin being desirable for informal outerwear, due to the material being moisture-resistant and durable. Tweeds are made to withstand harsh climate and are commonly worn for outdoor activities such as shooting and hunting, in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. In Ireland, tweed manufacturing is most associated with County Donegal.