Member Spotlight: The Shetland Tweed Company
UKFT member The Shetland Tweed Company specialises in the use of Shetland wool to create Limited Edition and bespoke cloths inspired by the islands’ dramatic weather and scenery.
The only mill remaining in Shetland, the Company is based on Yell, one of the North Isles of the Shetland archipelago, where it hand-warps and weaves up to 30 metres of each unique cloth with a 24 shaft AVL Dobby Production Loom. The cloth is sold by length or made into wraps and throws and sold from the company’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/TheShetlandTweedCompany.
The Shetland Tweed Company also offers a design service, creating palettes and samples and generating ideas for cloths for fashion houses and interior design companies.
Andrew Ross, founder of the business, started The Shetland Tweed Company in 2015 because there was the potential to make tweeds that were rooted in the past but with a contemporary sensibility.
“I am absolutely delighted that our production has been so successful over the past few years and I look forward to continuing that success,” he says. “I want to build a business in the North Isles that will celebrate the production of cloth in Shetland and that will benefit our communities, not just in Yell but across the whole of Shetland.”
“By focusing on native wool from the isles we want to support the local wool industry and by using that material to create contemporary tweeds we want to help people understand that Shetland is not just about knitting but has a rich and proud heritage of weave too.”
Andy is completing a Master of Research Degree with Glasgow School of Art, looking at the history and heritage of Shetland Tweed, and its potential future.
“The research I do has inspired The Shetland Tweed Company’s production. In the studio we use hand-warping and hand-winding of pirns and that slows the process of production down. Yet it means that we have better control of colour and design, and is much more akin to the way tweeds were made when they were called “homespuns”. It is satisfying to work in this way, surrounded by the peace of the islands and, thanks to the internet, able to reach our customers efficiently. Thanks to ongoing research we are able to create tweeds that acknowledge an illustrious past and embrace a positive future.”
Get in touch with The Shetland Tweed Company: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Shetland Tweed Company is a Textile Scotland member, part of UKFT. Interested in membership? Find out more here.