When it comes to UK imagery, you don’t get much more British than Bentley and tweed fabric, so it seems only fitting that the former incorporate the latter into its latest offering.
Traditionally, tweed was considered an upper-class fabric used for the shooting jackets and other clothing worn by the elite in their leisurely pursuits, and it’s that connotation and heritage that Bentley was aiming for when it added the fabric to its Continental GT Convertible roof.
Today’s tweed is a combination of heritage and modernity, offering a treasured fabric that conjures up images of long, luxurious drives and relaxing country sojourns. Again, the perfect combination for what Bentley was trying to achieve in the addition of the Tweed Hood to its existing palette of paint, veneer and lifestyle options, which includes 17 exterior colours and six other roof colours, 15 interior leathers, 15 carpets and eight veneers.
Here, too, the creation of the Tweed Hood is a modern interpretation of the classic fabric, balancing yarn colours and a unique look.
“We wanted to create something that hadn’t been done before and we had never seen a Tweed effect hood,” said Cathy Bass, Bentley Colour and Trim designer. “We felt confident that tailoring and heritage fabrics would become a significant trend with longevity, and we decided that was the right direction to pursue.”
The desire was to capture the look and “feel” of tweed and the challenges came not in the colours (though Bass admits to many rounds of dying to get the right blend) or even the yarns themselves, but in the way they were weaved together because there were engineering requirements in the construction of the Z-folding roof.
“It was an intuitive sense that this was exactly what I was looking for,” says Bass, “the only problem was that it was made with completely the wrong weave structure as our hood material has a very specific woven construction to meet technical and engineering requirements.”
The end result is a product that looks dark beige from a distance, but changes up close to reveal the technical intricately woven strands of the fabric.