Loome Fabrics   01477 270828
(0) Items
£ 0.00
Shetland Wool Weaves

Shetland Wool Fabric

Around 4500 years ago early farmers of Shetland grazed small flocks of agile hardy sheep which lacked the type of fleece we recognize today but were nevertheless used for wool by the Shetland people.

By the 5th and 9th centuries, Norwegian and Viking settlers had integrated with the native Shetland population, and crossed the native sheep with other short-tailed Scandinavian sheep, resulting in longer wool, heavier fleeces, and a wider range of colors for which the Shetland breed is renowned today.

The sheep that roam Shetland's open hills and shorelines are exposed to the elements year-round, from warm summers to cold, snowy winters, with little shelter beyond cliffs, caves, and crevices. Consequently, these sheep developed a fleece capable of withstanding the changing seasons.

Shetland wool features a distinctive crimp that imparts elasticity to the fiber and loft, unique to Shetland. This crimp makes the wool ideal for yarns and woven goods, while the loft provides volume without adding weight, offering excellent insulation properties. The wool is soft to the touch and grows to a decent weight relative to the sheep's size over the year.

Hand spinners appreciate using the wool in its natural, greasy form to create custom yarns, and textile manufacturers find the short-staple length perfect for making tweed fabrics.

Shetland wool's renowned quality has left its mark on history, from Viking longboat sails and traditional fishermen’s jumpers to Shetland Tweed and specialized climbing apparel worn by Sir Edmund Hillary on his 1953 Everest expedition.

Throughout history, Shetland wool has been highly regarded by hand spinners and knitters. Traditional yarns used for Shetland lace and Fair Isle knitting have remained popular for generations of knitters worldwide, not just in Shetland.

Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Sagepay

© 2023 Copyright Loome Fabrics / Links