BAKKA aims to promote the tradition and heritage of Fair Isle knitwear, with one significant difference: instead of Shetland wool, the garments use 100% extra fine merino yarn. The result is a silky soft and light product that provides additional warmth, comfort and convenience. The best traditional patterns and colours of the past are successfully married with the best yarn of the present, making BAKKA products distinguished and unique amongst other Fair Isle producers.
The designs have all been inspired from the oldest garments in the collections of the Museums of Shetland and Edinburgh. Only traditional patterns and colours are used. This is what many people around the world expect to see in a Fair Isle garment. The colours match those used before the introduction of chemical dyes: white and black are natural colours of Shetland sheep, yellow was obtained from onion skins, red from the madder plant and blue was imported indigo or woad.
BAKKA's principal knitwear collection consists of a heritage range in traditional colours, and a 2-colour version of the same patterns. Inspiration for the designs came from the oldest garments in the archives of NMS and the Museums of Shetland. The old patterns have been reworked without losing the visual traditionality; purl rows added to spread out the motifs and create movement, subtle alterations made within the patterns. However, the classic theme remains. The 2-colour range, on the other hand, is more obviously modern. There is more scope for creating new effects, all without altering the traditional individual motifs within the patterns.
Taken altogether, the whole is a celebration of Fair Isle knitwear.
BAKKA also offers knitting patterns in three sizes for traditional fisherman's hats, called haaf keps. Each pattern is offered on its own, or as a kit with the required amount of pure Shetland wool.
Finally, BAKKA has developed a small collection of hand-knitted traditional fisherman's haaf keps to complement the principal collection of knitwear. There are two versions of these hats, fully lined for extra warmth or with the traditional turn-up. They will available by Summer 2017.
Year Established: 2016
Publication "Fair Isle Knitting Patterns, Reproducing the Known Work of Robert Williamson", Shetland Times Ltd (2009)
First person to create products using traditional Fair Isle patterns knitted in a fine yarn
Launched range of 15 knitting patterns for traditional fisherman's hats to coincide with Shetland Wool Week 2016.