Product & Design

Shetland Wool

23 September 2022
Shetland Wool
Shetland wool’s strength and spring provide comfort and longevity in bedmaking, making it a perfect ingredient for our characteristically luxurious beds. With Shetland Wool Week upcoming, we’re shining a light on this wonderful fibre.


Wool is a textile fibre that comes from the coat of a range of animals, including sheep, goats, alpaca, camels and others.

Prior to the warmer months, the fleece is hand-shorn, then it’s sorted, processed and arrives at our factory to be used to fill our characteristically luxurious beds.

Wool is a unique fibre due to it’s ‘crimp’ and its ‘scale’, which is the wavy texture and the rough surface of the fibres.

Wool production uses far less energy than the production of artificial fibred. It is also recyclable, releasing nitrogen rich nutrients when used as a compost. Hard to ignite, wool doesn’t melt or emit fumes and keratin in the fibre makes it a natural fire retardant.

Wool is one of the key ingredients in every Vispring bed, in fact we use an astonishing 400 tons each year across the entire range.



Shetland sheep are beautiful and friendly little sheep with an extremely soft wool. These short-tailed sheep are from the Shetland Islands in the far north of the United Kingdom. The history of the Shetland sheep began with the native sheep there since Neolithic times, who were later interbred with sheep brought over by Vikings during their centuries of exploration and conquest. These sheep, in turn, were bred with sheep from the long-wooled sheep introduced into the British Isles by the Romans. A few centuries later, additional breeds of sheep were bred into the line by enterprising farmers who brought wool sheep from Scotland. Altogether, these different line of sheep produced a breed of hardy little sheep with soft wool, perfectly suited for the challenging environment of the Shetland Islands.



Shetland Sheep have been noted for their very soft and well-crimped fleece for generations. The wool is one of the finest native breeds and shows various colours and markings. There are 11 main whole colours and 30 recognised patterns and markings. Thanks to the Shetland breed’s grazing environment, the wool has naturally evolved into a very soft and breathable fibre. Its strength and spring provide comfort and longevity in bedmaking that just can’t be achieved using synthetic fibres. Shetland knitwear has a deserved respect gained from many generations of hard-working knitters and crofters producing some of the finest lace and Fair Isle knitwear.




Sourcing locally is central to our ethos at Vispring. We purchase 78 percent of our materials from UK suppliers with whom we’ve built close relationships. This includes the British farmers that supply our wool.

When we first began purchasing wool from Shetland, we learned of the wonderful heritage and pride in the wool industry there, but we also learned of the industry’s fragility due to low wool prices. Our value of not only the material itself but the incredible people behind the scenes; we pay fairly, of course, but also strive to shine a light on the incredible work that goes into producing this product, and as part of a fair-trade policy, we have vouched to buy a substantial amount of the Shetland Island crofters’ yearly clip.




Shetland Wool Week begins on Saturday 24th September, until Tuesday 4th October. Shetland Wool Week is a world-renowned celebration of Britain’s most northern native sheep, the Shetland textile industry, and the rural farming community on these islands.

Members of the Campaign for Wool since its launch in 2010, Vispring has long supported producers of wool. As part of a fair-trade policy, we have vouched to buy a substantial amount of the Shetland Island crofters’ yearly clip.