Shetland Oo

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Shetland Oo


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Shetland Oo: Wool, Textiles, Work.

Photography by Tom Barr & words by Kate Davies

Wool—or in Shetlandic, Oo—has for centuries figured centrally in island life. Hardy, colourful, characterful sheep have adapted over millennia to a challenging climate, and Shetlanders have always put their fine fleeces to good use, in beautiful, distinctive textiles ranging from woven tweeds to Fairisle handknits. From croft to creative enterprise, wool remains at the heart of many island industries today, and this collaborative documentary project reveals the many different kinds of work that oo supports. In these pages you’ll meet the fascinating graders, breeders, tanners, artists, designers, knitters, weavers, hand spinners, knitwear manufacturers and retailers, who, in so many different ways, have made their lives in oo. Photographed by Tom Barr, and with accompanying essays and profiles written by Kate Davies, this book is produced in celebration of the vital contemporary work of Shetland wool.

The book comprises 116 pages and is printed & bound by Bell & Bain in Glasgow.

Tom's photograph of Eiizabeth Johnston's hands spinning was recently shortlisted for an award in the EEF photography competition

Take a look at the video bringing together Tom's photographs with the sounds of Shetland wool, recorded by our talented friend Felicity Ford, aka Knitsonik

Please note: this book is a documentary project exploring Shetland wool in words and images. It does not contain knitting patterns. 

Enjoy Tom's photographic prints? Explore his gallery here