This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Shetland Shawls. A variety of fine light-weight shawls originally made on the Shetland Islands, off the coast of Scotland. The wool of which the genuine article is made, is obtained from a native breed of sheep, which resemble the famous Cashmere goats of Thibet. The yarn is spun and prepared by the native women, who also knit the shawls, always by hand. These shawls have long been in favor for their warmth and lightness, but the acme of perfection seems to have been reached in one lately exhibited at Lerwick, Shetland Isles, which was entirely of hand-work, being hand carded, spun and knit, the wool for the same having been pulled from the neck of the living animal. This shawl measures two and one-quarter yards square, weighs only three ounces, and can easily be passed through an ordinary sized finger-ring. It contains 10,200 yards of 2-ply yarn of dazzling whiteness, and is knitted in intricate and varied patterns. Imitations of Shetland shawls are knitted in this country, by machinery, of ordinary wool, in various sizes and colors, and sold under the same name. The demand for the Shetland increases year by year; no other garment in the way of a wrap hangs more gracefully, and nothing for light evening wear has so soft and pleasing an effect.