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Published: 10 September 2016

By Andy Ross

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Shetland linen anyone?

There have been lots of really interesting nuggets, chunks and mountains of information coming out of our tweed research project. But did you know that we used to produce linen in Shetland too?

Linen book Linen bookA few weeks ago a chance conversation with a visitor to the studio has started a very useful chain of thought. We were chatting about linen and the idea that linen could have been made in Shetland was mooted. Now a little while later we have found that someone is researching linen making in Shetland, and that there was linen made in Catfirth in Shetland in the 18th Century. Thanks to another friend, and to Alicja who is part of our tweed research project, we now know that there are photographs in the archive too. (The same friend also sent this photograph of one of her books, covered in the very linen that is the subject. Isn't that fun.)

Isn't it interesting that the more we know, the less we know, and isn't that exciting! It seems like there is plenty more to learn about the history of weaving in Shetland.