Spinning finer and finer yarn probably became something of a challenge in Unst and certainly a matter of pride among the ladies. To that add some ladies who enjoy creating intricate lace patterns and you end up with works of art that have become treasured family heirlooms. The Victorians in particular were very fond of lace and so the knitters found a ready market for lace shawls, stoles, or whatever fashion decreed.
The Heritage Centre is fortunate in having one the best collections in the country. A cache of fine lace garments, over 100 years old, was found and kindly donated to the Centre. The items were very fragile but fortunately Unst still has ladies with the skill to replicate these garments and rescue long lost lace patterns.