This year’s Wool Week may have been a victim of the Covid crisis, but Shetland Amenity Trust has highlighted an online taster taking place instead.
The event, which normally attracts a global audience helping generate £2 million to the economy, was originally due to start on Saturday.
But it was called off following the coronavirus pandemic.
In place of the physical week of attractions is a programme of online events and activities.
Head of Engagement at Shetland Amenity Trust Sandy Middleton said: “Locally, Shetland Wool Week is a really important date in the Shetland calendar and is worth over £2 million to the local economy each year.
“Whilst we cannot have a physical event this year, we are committed to maintaining the support and interest of our audience for future years. Our online audience has continued to grow throughout lockdown and we are keen to mark what would have been Shetland Wool Week in some way.
“We have been careful not to call it ‘virtual’ Wool Week, as it is by no means a replacement for the real event, but we hope it will reflect the ethos of the festival and give a taste of the week, the people involved, Shetland wool, the skills shared, the landscape and of course the sheep.”
Online content will include podcasts, short videos, interviews, tours, an insight into
some of the typical class content, crofting life and a look behind the scenes.
The programme of activity is now available on the Shetland Wool Week website and will be promoted to a global audience with new content being added over the coming days.
The amenity trust will be hosting a ‘Virtual Makers Market’ throughout the week, which will have links to individual textile maker’s online shops.
“The vast majority of the online content will be free with a few paid for classes by local
tutors,” added Ms Middleton.
“We will be encouraging people, however, to support the future of the event by making a donation online. We are also encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in ‘Fair Isle Friday’ on Friday 2nd October. It was really popular last year with lots of people, groups and schools getting involved and wearing their Fair Isle and sharing their photos on social media using #SWWFairIsleFriday.”
The trust have also announced provisional dates for Shetland Wool Week next year. Provided there are no restrictions in place at that time, the event will take place from Saturday 25th September to Sunday 3rd October 2021.