Shetland Textile Museum moves to Bod of Gremista

by Deborah Leggate -

Shetland Textile Working Museum Celebrates temporary move to Böd of Gremista

The Shetland Textile Working Museum is holding a grand opening this weekend, 01/05/10 - 04/05/10, to celebrate their move to a temporary home at the Böd of Gremista.

Visitors will be among the first to see the Textile Museums 2010 exhibition "New from Old (changes in fashion)" which shows Shetland's traditional heritage through knitted garments and accessories, illustrating how fashions have changed over the years.  Members of the Shetland guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, will also be demonstrating the skills used in traditional Shetland spinning and knitting throughout the weekend.  The whole weekend is part of the Show Scotland programme and is supported by a Museums Galleries Scotland Grant.

The 18th century fishing böd was the birthplace of Arthur Anderson, and the story of the building and the man will still be told.

The Textile Working Museum has been without a home since 2006 and the guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, who manage the museum, are working with Shetland Amenity Trust with a view to creating a home within a derelict listed building at Voe House, Walls.  While this project is under development, the need for a base to explore Shetland's textile heritage, especially in the 2010 Hamefarin year, was identified.  Therefore, the decision was taken to provide a temporary home in one of the buildings already managed by the Trust, the Böd of Gremista.

Frank Robertson, Chairman of the Trustees of the Shetland Textile Working Museum, commented: “After four years, we are really looking forward to opening our collections to the public again and welcoming everyone to our temporary home for this celebratory weekend.  We also hope to see many locals and visitors over the summer, especially during the Hamefarin period.”

Members of the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers will also be in the böd every Wednesday and Saturday, demonstrating the traditional spinning and knitting techniques involved in producing the word famous Shetland textiles.

Frank continued: “We hope the demonstrations will not only show the textile skills still in the islands but encourage others to take up this craft, and build on the recent interest in local knitting circles.”

Entry to the Böd of Gremista and Shetland Textile Working Museum is free of charge, with donations welcome.  The building will be open 1st May - 11th September, Tuesday - Saturday from 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm.