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Published: 29 February 2020

By Andy Ross

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The death of traditional Shetland tweed?

This month the last weaver of traditional tweed in Shetland retired from his job. Traditional tweed on Shetland no longer exists.

After a long decline, from a height of manufacture in the 1950s, traditional Shetland tweed production has finally ceased. The last mill to create the fabric, Jamiesons on the Westside of the isles, has been trying to employ weavers but to no avail. The final weaver, who had woven with other companies before moving to Jamiesons, has gone into a well-deserved retirement. 

Shetland tweed is still made off-island, and of course, The Shetland Tweed Company makes contemporary fabrics. It is sad though that a cloth which was a cause of celebration in fashion houses and tailors in London, New York and Paris is no longer being made on Shetland. Maybe it will come back some day. 

Happy retirement Brian! Your contribution to the tweed industry has been very valuable.