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ShetlandOrganics 'outworkers'

An outworker is defined as a home-based, non-commercial individual who carries out a low-risk, dry process.

Examples of this are sewing on buttons or knitting a jumper.

Outworkers are not inspected and incur no additional charge to our licence. 

As the licensee, we are responsible for ensuring that our outworkers understand the following conditions:

  •  The product was marked as organic when it arrived
  •  Organic materials have been stored and processed separately from non-organic materials and are identifiable at all stages
  •  Only non-organic materials that have been supplied by the licensee are used
  •  No machine lubricants, cleaning substances or pest control substances have been allowed to contaminate organic materials
  •  The organic status of finished garments has been identified by either individual labels or by marking the container
  •  Materials have been stored hygienically

Debbie Briggs

Debbie learned how to knit as a child and has always loved to work with different textiles, especially wool. She has always sought out natural fibres to work and she fell in love with Shetland wool when she came to Shetland several years ago. When she and her husband rebuilt an ancient croft house in Fetlar, Debbie began to work with Organic Shetland wool and has never looked back! She believes that the Organic wool is not only the most pleasant yarn to use in any project, it produces a final product that blends natural colours together in an exquisite manner that cannot be achieved with dyed yarns.

Debbie produces hats, gloves, scarves and other products using the Organic Yarn from ShetlandOrganics and has recently completed a Master Weaver course in the UK.

Belle Gregson - Belle’s Makkin

Belle was born in Mid Yell and has lived there all her life. She learned to hand-knit Fair Isle as a child at her mother's knee and then went on to other hand- and machine-knitting. She started hand-knitting Fair Isle again when her husband bought her a kit at Shetland Wool Week a few years ago! She was suffering from arthritis and he thought that hand-knitting might help her. Since then she has made a variety of hats, headbands, scarves, gloves, fingerless gloves and dags using traditional patterns as well as her own designs; knitting has certainly helped her deal with arthritis too. She uses only Organic Native Shetland Wool and loves the colours, feel and finish of the wool from Shetland Organics.

Sheila Fowlie

Sheila’s granny taught her to knit when she was four years old and she has been knitting ever since – a long time! Having always being more interested in lace than Fair Isle, she started her own internet business www.shetlandlaceshawls.co.uk three years ago after taking early retirement. She likes mixing and matching traditional patterns and loves creating beautiful heirloom pieces such as wedding and christening shawls in both 2-ply lace and cobweb. At the moment she is knitting a lace wedding dress, to the customer’s specifications, which is certainly a challenge, but one she relishes.

Doreen Brown - Shetland Collection

Shetland Collection is a small knitwear business, established in 1980.  The knitwear, which includes original designs - as well as traditional - is hand-knitted, hand-framed and hand-spun in pure new wool from the native Shetland sheep which are famous for their lightweight fleeces and renowned for its softness and warmth. 

The knitwear is produced in the Shetland Islands to the highest standard. Doreen's achievement is however due to the demand today for Shetland knitwear which retains the highest quality and reflects the skill, creativity and colours of our lovely Islands. 

"This is still a thriving cottage industry where the knitters’ fingers are never idle and you can see some of their beautiful work here."

Jean Keith

Jean, working from her home in South Nesting, has been knitting lace scarves for over 50 years!

The traditional hand-knitted cockleshell patterned scarf shown here is her own design.

Such is her expertise that it takes Jean just 12 hours to knit one of her scarves!