Traditional Crafts

Shetland's craft tradition has its origins in the distant past, long before daily requirements were met by the mass production we take for granted today.

Fair Isle Scarf enlarge Fair Isle Scarf Archaeological excavations show that the earliest inhabitants of these islands mostly made the things they needed from the materials that came to hand. They carved soapstone bowls, produced loom and fishing weights and carved pins or combs from bone.

They spun wool and wove cloth, worked metal and made pottery. Certainly, some items were imported and some were exported. Nevertheless, far more than now, local production met local needs.

Today, craftspeople in Shetland make a range of distinctive items of the highest quality. In the traditional crafts leaflet (download below), we try to capture the scope and character of their work and the enthusiasm and dedication with which it is produced.

To find out more about the arts and crafts scene in Shetland please visit:

Shetland Arts & Crafts

Shetland Arts

Shetland Heritage Shop is an online outlet for the range of traditional Shetland crafts available from Shetland Museum and Archives gift shop. All items are carefully chosen for their quality and relevance to the islands' culture. Many products are exclusively designed for the gift shop, based on items or images in the Shetland Museum and Archives collections.

Visit the Shetland Heritage Shop.

Download Our Brochure

For more information about Traditional Crafts, download our free Traditional Crafts brochure [.pdf approx. 1,5Mb]