Colours & Markings

Wool Colours in Shetland Sheep

There are eleven main whole colours in Shetland sheep, with many shades and variants in between. The eleven whole colours are shown in the images below, which are taken from photographs by the late Dr SHU Bowie. There are two samples of Shaela because of differing meanings in different parts of the Shetland Isles.

Black Dark Brown Emsket (bluish grey) Fawn
Grey Light Grey Mioget (yellowish brown) Moorit (reddish brown)
Musket (pale greyish brown) Shaela 1 (dark grey) Shaela 2 White

Markings in Shetland Sheep

More than 30 recognised markings have been identified. 

Bersugget Having irregular patches of differing colours
Bielset Having a circular band of a different colour round the neck
Bioget With a white back and darker sides and belly, or vice-versa
Blaeget Having a lighter shade on the outer part of the wool fibre, especially in moorit and dark brown sheep.
Blaget White, with irregular dark patches resembling ground partly snow covered
Blettet With white patches on nose and top of head
Bleset/Sneedled Dark coloured with a white stripe (blaze) down the forehead
Brandet Having stripes of another colour across the body (i.e. going over the back)
Bronget Dark coloured with light coloured breast, or vice versa
Flecket White with large black or brown patches (not as well defined as in Jacob sheep when in full fleece)
Fronet Black/brown spotted with white head and black/brown spots around the eyes
Gulmoget Having light underparts with a dark coloured body, white inside the ears and under the jaw (the 'Mouflon' pattern, also seen on the Soay sheep)
Ilget White with spots of a different colour (usually grey or black)
Iset Black or shaela with many white fibres, giving a bluish hue from a distance
Katmoget Having a light coloured body with dark belly and legs and a moget face. The reverse of Gulmoget
Katmollet Having light coloured nose and jaws
Kraiget Having the neck a different colour from the rest of the body
Kranset Dark coloured with white around eyes and head
Krunet Dark coloured with a white patch on the top of the head
Marlit Various shades of different colours, mottled
Mirkface White with dark patches on the face
Moget-faced Applied to the characteristic face markings of the Katmoget pattern on sheep not otherwise displaying that pattern
Mullit White with dark nose and jaws - the reverse of Katmollet
Sholmet  Of any colour, other than white, with a white face
Skeget Stripes of different colours on the sides, not going over the back
Smirslet With white around the mouth head or neck
Snaelit Light coloured body with snow-white face
Sokket With legs of a different colour to the body - giving the effect of wearing socks
Sponget Dark coloured with small white spots
Yuglet Having colour around eyes different from remainder of the body

Here is a small selection of pictures showing a few of the markings found in members' flocks. Please send us your pictures of other colours and markings to

Bersugget Bielset Bleset Bleset Gulmoget
Katmoget ewe Katmoget ram Krunet Smirslet Yuglet


Colours and Markings Poster

In 1996 a survey was made of members' sheep having recognised or other markings. Information was returned as sketches of the location, nature, and colour of the sheep's markings. Our poster shows 63 of the variations sent in. Some of these are particularly uncommon.

The poster is available as shown on the merchandise page - under Marketplace.