On 20th October, customers of Fair Trader, the Holmfirth based community co-operative, learned more about the connection - in a fascinating talk by Peter Turner of the Peter James Company.
Based in Huddersfield, Peter James garments and accessories feature stunning Harris tweed fabrics, woven on the windswept Outer Hebridean islands. Wools including Scottish Cheviot are dyed, spun, woven and finished on the islands of Harris and Lewis.
Working in their croft homes, men hand weave the tweed fabric, following a timeless Scottish tradition, to create one of the world's most distinctive fabrics. The patterns and colours reflect the waters of the surrounding seas, the island landscape and the changing hues of the seasons.
Shona Easton designs the bags, combining the tweed and top quality leather into stylish and practical bags.
These designs are then skilfully crafted in a village a few hours from the coastal city of Chennai, Southern India.
Based in converted farmhouses, over 200 highly skilled women transform the fabric into bags. The stitchers work in good conditions and often use the stable income to fund school places for their children.
Tamil Nadu has been at the centre of much textile production, but often the mainly female workforce has been unfairly treated and badly paid.
Pramilla is the workshop manager and Masthanma is in charge of the finances. This photo shows some of the women with Shona Easton.
The two communities are a world apart. However, they share a way of life where highly skilled, fairly paid artisans continue the textile techniques and traditions of their forebears.
See the bags at Fair Trader, 32-34 Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, HD9 2JS