The tweed research project ends
This weekend marked the end of the first part of the tweed research project and we held a lunch party on Saturday to celebrate.
With lunch catered by the local eaterie (Thanks LJ's!) and with volunteers helping to make the afternoon run smoothly, folk from Unst, Yell, Whiteness, Hillswick and Lerwick came to the studio to talk all things tweed and to see Alvin-the-loom working. It was a good way to end this project, and now we can move onto the next stage.
For the next part of the research we are compiling all the information we have and producing folders of information to give to the partners in the project. As time goes on we can add to the folders, and as we gather more information, so the folders can expand to fit all of our newly-acquired knowledge.
Through this project we have learned a lot about Shetland and its extraordinary tweed heritage. We know more about conditions in the factories and more about the ways in which cloths were produced. We know that Shetland was well-known for its tweed and we know where that tweed was sent to for sale; New York, Brussels, London... Best of all we have been able to work with a designer who has created some new cloths based on those traditional patterns. These cloths are going to be going into production sometime and so we hope that the unique tweed history of Shetland continues and thrives.
Special thanks to everyone who took part in the research, to the Hoswick Visitor Centre, Unst Heritage Centre and Sandisons Archive in Unst, and the Shetland Museum and Textile Museum, to Alicja, Hannah and Kirsty for interviews and other work, to our volunteers who helped out at the various events and activities that we undertook as part of this work and to the Heritage Lottery Fund who supported this work with a grant. Without all of those participants, partners and supporters this kind of work could not continue and we would all be the poorer for it.