Saturday, 11 December 2010


A recent short article in The Economist highlights the all too familiar issues surrounding the production of Fair Isle garments. Here are a couple of choice quotes:

'Only 70 people live on Fair Isle itself and only four of them knit. Each sweater takes about 100 hours; the island's annual production is about 30 sweaters, 200 hats and 30 scarves. These are sold only in the island shop, which is cleared out when the summer's first cruise ship calls, says Mati Ventrillon, a French-Venezuelan who runs the craft co-operative.' (The Economist)

'My ladies are in their 70s and 80s. They learned it from their grandmothers, but no one is learning from them.' (Ms. Teresa Fritschi, an American who runs a Scottish luxury-goods website and believes the island's knitters could earn much more if Fair Isle products enjoyed the same legal protection against imitation as Harris Tweed.)

Image from Reel Knitting