COVID-19 update: Shetland is now reopen to visitors but lockdown restrictions are in place in Aberdeen.
If you're planning a trip, or travelling through Aberdeen, please read our guidance on travelling responsibly.

Real Shetland Stories Competition

by Deborah Leggate -

The Real Shetland Project

A major competition has been launched to gather stories and visual memories about Shetland textiles.

A beautifully handcrafted Vi-Spring Shetland Superb King-size bed made of the finest Real Shetland Wool, worth £11,000, will be specially made and gifted to the entry that best captures an experience or memory of Shetland life in relation to wool.

Some of the best entries will feature in a special book, which will form an illustrated document of life in Shetland. This will ensure that the pieces of history are preserved as a document on the importance of textiles and crofting to Shetland's heritage, culture and economic development.

Entries could be about a long connection to something wool related, a person who wore or worked with wool, a single garment, a special place, or it might even be about an individual sheep.

The Real Shetland Project brings together the islands" main wool brokers, Jamieson & Smith, their parent company, Curtis Wool Direct, and Vi-Spring, with Shetland Museum and Archives, Shetland Amenity Trust and Promote Shetland.

Entries will be judged by Shetland Museum and Archives Curator, Dr Ian Tait, along with local storyteller, Davy Cooper, and Textiles Curator at the Museum, Dr. Carol Christiansen.

Dr. Tait said “We're looking for personal recollections and photos that that bring back strong memories of wool. The idea is that we gather these evocative stories into a lasting record of wool-related memories; it'll be a collective “wirsit memory bank”! We aren't looking for the next world-class author or expert photographer. It is the story of ordinary folk and the part Shetland wool played in their lives that judges will be looking for.”

Oliver Henry, Managing Director at Jamieson & Smith, said “In some way or another, textiles are part of all aspects of Shetland life. The Real Shetland Project looks at how we experience and remember stories, people and places in relation to wool and knitwear, and brings together organisations that are working to ensure a prosperous future for our wool industry.”

Entries should be 100-300 words in length and submitted with the photograph of a person, place, thing or event. Photographs may be from a personal collection, or from Shetland Museum and Archives Photo Archive. Entries should be submitted with the author's name, address and contact telephone number to one of the following:

Real Shetland Stories Competition

Shetland Museum and Archives, Hay's Dock, Lerwick; or

Jamieson & Smith, 90 North Road, Lerwick; or


Closing date for entries is 15th September 2011.

More information at

Add to
My Shetland
My Collection 0