Tweed originated in Scotland in the 18th century and is traditionally a coarse cloth woven from pure virgin wool, usually in earthy colours. Scottish weavers wished to make a denser and heavier cloth, and by developing the "twill" (the diagonal line running through the fabric) they produced what is recognised as tweed today. The generic term came from a London cloth merchant mis-reading "tweel", the Scottish version of twill.
Tweed continued to be used throughout the 19th century, primarily for outer wear, as the fabric was hard-wearing and everlasting. Even today tweed is synonymous with men's suiting and coats.