Fair Isle makes its mark at textiles museum exhibition

The Shetland Textile Museum will officially open its doors for the season on Saturday at midday.

The museum, based at the Böd of Gremista in Lerwick, holds a collection of Shetland textiles which shows the heritage skills unique to these isles.

Anne Sinclair with some of the exhibits in the new exhibition.
Anne Sinclair with some of the exhibits in the new exhibition.

The full collection comprises several hundred items. It includes Fair Isle knitting, Shetland lace, Shetland taatit rugs and woven tweed.

Tools associated with the production of Shetland textiles, and papers and patterns are also held in the collection. The date range covers 1870 to the present day.

The museum’s latest exhibition, Fair Isle Makes Its Mark, is focused on garments made and knitted in Fair Isle from various points in the island’s history.

Local historian and exhibition curator Anne Sinclair said: “The history of Fair Isle knitting tells a fascinating story.”

The exhibition details several pieces and photographs from the 19th century up to the present day depicting garments made in Fair Isle and their past.

Mrs Sinclair said: “My ancestry goes back through many generations in Fair Isle. It’s amazing to see the level of skills that was present in the past of knitters from the isle, particularly since knitting was one way to put food on the table.

“Putting this exhibition together has enabled me to visit old friends and stories and I really hope folk enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it all together.”

The Fair Isle Makes Its Mark exhibition will run until October.


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