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Shetland Wool Week returns this Saturday

Published: 22 September 2022

This Saturday marks the return of Shetland Wool Week ‘in person’ with a packed nine-day programme of classes, tours, talks and events throughout the isles. The popular festival, which is organised by Shetland Amenity Trust, is now in its thirteenth year and will take place from 24 September – 2 October 2022.

SWW Patron Linda Shearer in her
Bonnie Isle hat


The organisers anticipate around 500 people will attend the festival, which is a reduction in previous numbers and reflects the scaled back nature of the event for 2022 having been online for the past two years.

Classes and tours will kick off on Saturday and SWW Patron Linda Shearer will welcome guests at a talk and opening event at the Shetland Museum on Sunday evening.

Cultural Heritage Manager, Jacqui Birnie said: “It’s fantastic to be back for 2022 and we can’t wait to welcome everyone for a fun and wool-inspired festival. The SWW team has been busy keeping the event going during the pandemic with a virtual programme over the past two years but nothing beats being face-to-face with our audience again.”

Whilst the programme has been reduced to reflect the ongoing unpredictability of travel and Covid restrictions, there is still plenty on offer.

Highlights include a special ‘Casting on Shetland Wool Week’ exhibition in the Shetland Museum Gadderie space. This has been pulled together by Karen Clubb, who has been working with the museum to develop an exhibitions programme, and celebrates the knitwear and weaving designs in the new Shetland Wool Week Annual publication. It includes two very special heritage patterns that have been revived for today’s knitter. The exhibition will focus on the 12 makers and the inspiration and process behind their work. Designers include Donna Smith, Ella Gordon, Unst Heritage Centre, Alison Rendall, Elizabeth Johnston and more. The exhibition starts on Monday 26 September and will run until the end of October.

Installing the new Gadderie exhibition


Shetland Museum will also host the popular SWW Hub, and Hay’s Dock by the Dowry will be introducing tasty treats throughout the day and evening meals specially for Wool Weekers. Another date for the diary is the popular ‘SWW Makers’ Market’ which will take place on Saturday 1 October from 10am to 4pm at the Anderson High School, with quality Shetland wool products on sale, many of which are not available in the local shops. There will also be a number of other craft fairs taking place throughout the isles.

Organisers of the event will also be promoting ‘SWW Fair Isle Friday’ on Friday 30 September and are asking as many people as possible around the world to get involved and wear and share their Fair Isle knitwear on this day using the hashtag #SWWFairIsleFriday.

Jacqui Birnie said: “Thanks to funding from EventScotland there will be a virtual element to this year’s programme and SWW will be working with Claire White and a local filmmaker to capture regular video updates which will include highlights, interviews, and chat with attendees to share the event with the wider SWW audience. We will also be recording footage that will be used for a SWW film to help develop and promote next year’s festival, when we hope to be back to full strength.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland, Director of Events said: “EventScotland is delighted to support Shetland Wool Week through our National Events Programme and welcome its in-person return and virtual strand for 2022. Scotland is one of the best places in the world to experience events, with the festival boasting an exciting range of activities, exhibitions and events over nine days for locals and visitors from further afield to explore and enjoy.”

SWW Patron Linda Shearer concluded: “I am really looking forward to Shetland Wool Week and welcoming folk to Shetland again. I’m honoured to have been asked to be this year’s patron and it will be exciting to see all the SWW Bonnie Isle hats and also see Whalsay knitting on the map. There are a number of events taking place in Whalsay –  come along and join the maakin and yakkin night, visit the Heritage Centre and see the amazing lace display; socialise, be inspired, make friends, learn something new and help keep Shetland’s rich knitting heritage alive and well.”

There are a number of tickets left for the event. For further details visit www.shetlandwoolweek.com