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Jamieson’s is a family owned business, which has specialised in wool from the native Shetland sheep for 5 generations. The business was started in the early 1890’s. Set up by Robert Jamieson in Sandness, on the far west coast of the Shetland Isles. From his shop, he bought or exchanged for goods, knitwear from the local crofters. The knitted goods were then sold on to meet the public demand for fashionable Shetland hosiery beyond the island’s shores.
Over the next century, each generation of Jamieson brought their own skills and ideas to develop and progress the business. Andrew (Robert’s son) became one of the islands first wool brokers. The next generation, Bertie (Andrew’s son) expanded the business in 1952 by opening a retail outlet in Lerwick, Shetland’s capital town. This was the start of the Jamieson Knitwear brand. With the business now moving into its 5th generation, Peter, and his son Garry, continue to develop and promote their prized unique Shetland products all over the world.
At the time, Shetland wool was believed to be too fragile to be spun on industrial machinery so it was blended with wool from coarser breeds. The very best blend of 'Shetland' yarn produced was only about 60% pure. This blended yarn never fulfilled the family’s dream of 100% pure Shetland knitwear; grown, spun and knitted in the Shetland Isles.
Chasing a life-long dream, the Jamieson’s experiment with the spinning of pure Shetland yarn. When they started Shetland wool was believed to be too fragile to be spun on industrial machinery so it was blended with wool from coarser breeds. The very best blend of 'Shetland' yarn produced was only about 60% pure.
Since 1978 their efforts were successful and 100% pure Shetland yarn was produced to the delight of the family. In 1981, they opened Jamieson’s Spinning, Shetland’s only commercial woollen mill. This unique mill, built in Sandness, completes all the stages of yarn production under one roof. This includes grading, scouring and dyeing fleece before colour blending, carding, spinning, twisting and balling to produce their 100% pure Shetland yarn.