Shetland Wool Week, established in 2010, is an international event dedicated to the islands' textile traditions. The northernmost archipelago in Scotland is home to the native Shetland sheep breed and place of exquisite textile heritage, namely Fair Isle knitting, knitted lace, taatit rugs and handwoven tweed.

Textile enthusiasts from all over the world come to Shetland each year in the end of September to celebrate textile traditions by participating in workshops, talks, exhibitions, demonstrations, open studio events and tours. For 9 days fiber activities happen across the islands, including smaller ones like Bressay, Yell, Unst and Whalsay. Workshops are focused on knitting (Fair Isle and lace), handspinning, dyeing, felting, fleece processing and themed-jewellery making. Local masters and guest tutors from the UK and other countries generously share their knowledge with those who want to learn new skills what is always good fun and a great occasion to make new friends. Pictures below show Wool Week hub at the Shetland Museum and Archives gallery space, where participants meet in between classes.

Each year new Wool Week patron is announced in the early springtime. The patron’s role is to promote Shetland textile heritage throughout the months before Wool Week and to prepare knitting pattern for the official Wool Week hat. The idea behind the hat pattern is to spread the knowledge of knitting further and bring Wool Week participants together – they can recognize their colleagues in the public space instantly. Everybody is welcome to bring their hat to the official opening ceremony to show their creative approach to the pattern and colours used. 

I had an honour to run weaving demos and workshops in 2015, 2016 and 2017 in two fantastic textile spots: Vaila Fine Art gallery (Wool Week headquarters of Shetland Organics CIC) and Bressay Lighthouse, which turns into Shetland Textile Museum's extension during the event.