Shetland wool is of the highest quality. It is common knowledge that natural fibres are best whenever possible for wearing as they provide insulation, comfort and breath ability. In today’s world climate of global warming, industrial contamination and the continued over use of preservatives it is reassuring to know that Shetland wool is all natural. It has a protected status and the sheep live the ultimate ‘free range’ life. They enjoy the hills, open fields and roaming the beaches. It is no wonder then that the finished products, fleeces, wools, tweeds and knitted items have a world wide reputation for excellence.
We are proud to use genuine Shetland Tweed, spun in in the Sandness Mill for our exclusively designed bags. The tweeds, all hand chosen are a perfect example of the long history of quality the islands are renowned for. The colours and hues of the tweeds and leathers used perfectly reflect and compliment the Shetland landscape and lifestyle. They are a definite ‘must have’ fashion accessory for both tourist and locals alike.
Shetland Wool Week is all about embracing the local knitting and textile culture. It’s about meeting new friends and learning new techniques to enhance your hobby and craft along the way. To finish up with here are some fun bits of information you may find interesting. It will also give you something to think about whilst browsing our Tweed bags and fur lined boots!
Shetland sheep are never just black and white. They have magical sounding names for their markings and colours. To the non-Shetland speaker may be a little incomprehensible, but here goes….
- Bersugget – with irregular patches of colour
- Katmoget – with a light body, dark belly and legs
- Kraiget – with the neck a different colour from the body
- Blettet – with white patches on the nose and top of the head
Believe it or not there are more than 30 of these different marking combinations, each with their own Shetland name!
Once spun into wool (wirset) there are also local names for the colours, here is a selection –
- Moorit – red/brown
- Em skeet – blue/grey
- Shaela – dark grey
- Mioget – yellow/brown
With a unique local dialect which also includes many Norse words, and always at the edge of the map, a vision of an Island that time has forgotten may be conjured up .But although remote to the rest of Britain, the Islands are by no means ever pushed to the side and forgotten about!
The Fair Isle and Lace knitwear produced by some of the best knitters and designers is sought after world wide. If you ‘Royal Family ‘ watch you will see that Shetland knitwear has been worn for many years at numerous events and as leisure wear by all the royals. Maybe the next stop will be to watch out for Shetland Tweed Bags at the Royal occasions!!
Sir Edmund Hillary had a Shetland Wool insulating base layer, custom made in the Isles for his Everest ascent in 1953!
Lastly it seems appropriate then, that regarding the Isles history in wool, textiles, and knitwear that Shetland is home to the worlds fastest knitter, Hazel Tindall, who has held the title since 2004.
If you are lucky enough to be in Shetland for Wool Week, be sure to visit our shop on Commercial Street. Come view our fantastic autumn and winter range of footwear which not only includes warm, soft wool lined boots from big brand names such as Rieker, Tamaris, Remonte, but also an elegant selection of party shoes, and a wide range of comfort wear. Remember we also have all the beautiful colours of our Tweed bags in stock ready to purchase as a lovely impulse buy for yourself or an early Christmas gift for that much loved Mum or Sister.
Written by: Pauline Arthur | Lerwick Shoe Shop Manager