Yuglet is born from our heritage and love for Shetland, inspired by the adaptability and character of the Yuglet sheep.
The Yuglet sheep
We take our lead from the native Shetland Sheep, some of which are known as Yuglets. This primitive species has survived for a reason.
Its relative, the Dunface died out on the mainland, Scotland, in the late nineteenth century leaving its descendants, the Shetland Sheep, surviving on the islands. The Shetland type of Dunface has been regarded as distinct.
Their survival was partly due to their adaptability. They graze the poor pasture, on high cliffs close to the sea, and are often cold and wet during the winter months. They conserve energy by retaining as much body heat as possible by the quality of their fine wool. Even when they are soaked by sea-spray they still maintain their body temperature.
This is why we have chosen this wool fiber to make our garments. We use a special process that retains and enhances the fiber so that you too can enjoy superior warmth when wearing your Yuglet.
Our tradition and expertise
We are working together with a family business in Scotland, to make our Yuglet. Since 1893 six generations of this family have exported their fine woollen goods all over the world. We too are from a long line of traditional woollen mill manufacturers. Our special blended wool, when spun gives our clothing its unique finish and 'handle'. And colours, that when combined into knitted fleece have given us the product we want to offer. We have chosen this mill because we know they understand what we mean when we say ‘Yuglet’.
Caring for our crofts
It is interesting to note that the female Shetland Sheep are usually polled which means that they are naturally without horns. The breed is classified as a landrace or an "unimproved breed" with fine wool. We will update you all again with more information on interesting wool stuff.
Each Yuglet we make will help to keep crofting sustainable and support a better future for remote rural communities.
We will endeavour to support organisations that direct financial support to environmental nonprofit groups around the world, with the help of a network of like-minded businesses and individuals.
Perfecting our fleece products
Now that we have decided that we want to use the wool of the native Shetland sheep, we are now making experimental swatches to see how the fibre and colour will finish. Extensive testing on how wool reacts during certain wash processes has already taken place. It’s taken a lot of trial and error to get the surface looking as we want it. We can't wait to share this with you and get some feedback.
We have been trying to get a different finish with a soft ‘handle’ to touch. This whole process has had to become technical and has involved some research into the structure of the wool follicle and what changes during wash conditions in order to understand our finish process. More about this special finish later!
Where we are now
Right now we are working on colour combinations and styling. We’ve been in touch again with our mills about production and to get some feedback on how things are doing. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 disruption they are weeks behind in production and are now working flat out, with a reduced team, to catch up. Our mills in are working in-line with Government restrictions. Shetland guidelines may vary from the rest of the UK. Always check before you travel.
We are working from home until things begin to change. And if anything, our commitment to this project has been fired up by the people and places we love.
Valerie Smith is from a family of woollen manufacturers, she remembers learning to roller skate between the mills spinning frames, the concrete floors were so smooth. “You could go really fast as long as you didn’t get wool tangled round your wheels!” She is a product developer, textile designer and colourist. She has a special affinity with Shetland and when she heard about how the island was being affected by COVID-19, she decided to put her knowledge and innovation thinking into a new project — and Yuglet was born.