Little Golden Notebook

Where fiber art, inspiration, and words meet.

Traditional Shetland Blocking/Dressing

“Dressing hosiery”

The Shetland Museum and Archives has textile photo archive available. I think this particular photo is interesting because it shows sweaters (jumpers!) being blocked (dressed!) on wooden forms and I kind of wish I had a few. I wonder when these fell out of use (or have they?) and whether or not making modern versions would be a good business idea – surely someone has already considered it. Also, the shawl being blocked is pretty incredible, so fine that you can see the woman standing behind it.


11 responses to “Traditional Shetland Blocking/Dressing”

  1. Aren’t these wonderful? Kate Davies has an excellent tuturial on her site on how to build your own ( and I think possibly a few posts on the history of them as well that you might enjoy 😀

    1. Oops, I just read closely and realized it was the sweater blockers you were interested in! I saw the hap one and got excited, hehe!

      1. It’s okay – Kate Davies’ blog is actually what pointed me to the Shetland Museum and Archive to begin with. She’s amazing and I love her blog & her instagram feed!

        1. Me too! She’s such a great designer, yarn purveyor and writer … just amazing!

  2. PaperPuff Avatar

    Those forms look like a good tool for blocking. Maybe they just take up too much space now?

    1. They probably do, though I can imagine one made out of PVC pipe that could be taken apart for storage. I say imagine because I’m no engineer or carpenter or handy-person (in that way). But the more I think about it, the more do-able it seems. Maybe I’ll get Ky (Mr. madgeface) on it; he’s slightly more handy, but not by much.

      1. PaperPuff Avatar

        Might be hard to get the ratios right, maybe? Ah, someone will have made one and put it on YouTube, surely?!

        1. Another reader found a wooden one on Amazon! So I’m sure I could find instructions for making one if I actually looked!

    1. Ha!!! Thank you for finding this! I just assumed that since I hadn’t come across it before that they weren’t around anymore. Derp – never assume!

  3. Knit Potion Avatar
    Knit Potion

    Camilla Valley Farm has sweater blockers! They call them Wooly Boards:

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