The craft

Without the wool, people would never have been able to settle in the North. People have learned countless techniques in joining fibers and threads into textiles, and today knitting has rightly become popular once again. With a few pins, a yarn you can create beautiful, practical garments that provide breathable warmth and comfort.

When woven, wool becomes even more versatile, producing cloth weights suitable for clothing, upholstery and interiors.

At Lofoten Wool we believe in small scale, localised production. Our yarns celebrate the abundance of natural raw materials available locally, and we carefully design our products to nurture and support traditional craft skills through local community production.

We continue to raise native breed sheep, which play a valuable role in maintaining a healthy landscape through traditional grazing methods that promote biodiversity. Our herd of Old Norse sheep are a hardy breed, typical of the area and have been a natural part of Norwegian fauna for hundreds of years. Saved from the brink of extinction, these animals have wool that is extremely robust and durable. In addition to our own sheeps wool, we source wool from a number of local farms that share our sustainability principles.

Processing of the yarn begins with Fatland Ull, who sort the wool by colour and quality, before it’s sent by the coastal express down to HillesvĂ„g Wool Mill to be washed and spun into beautiful yarn. Some of the yarn is sent to Krivi Vev at Tingvoll, where our fabrics are woven to be used for a range of applications.

Once it’s been spun, we plant dye the yarn at our workshop, achieving quality assured colors that date back to the Viking Age. In August, we and our friends pick the tansy flower and use this to create different shades of yellow. For red, we use madder root, whilst blue hues are developed by dipping the yarn into indigo baths. Each color batch has its own unique shade resulting from the natural variations within nature and our part within the dying process. When we colour blends of white and gray yarn we get many options for color combinations.

Our RĂžst collection consists of both natural and plant dyed yarns from Norwegian White sheep raised at RĂžst. The wool from these sheep are soft fine fibers which gives a range of possibilities both for knitting and woven garments. We use the white crossbred wool and we also include the wool from the so called black sheep, the mix of these gives us a range of grey to black/brown tones.

The other yarn collection is made from the more robust yarns result from the native breeds; our own Old Norse sheep and SpÊl sheep farmed at Flakstad and VestvÄgÞy.

Foto: Dan Mariner
Foto: Dan Mariner

Designed in-house, our Lofoten Wool knitting patterns are often suited to both genders and offer a timeless look that can be achieved without advanced skills. Our garments and products are knitted by local hands - we work with many knitters across the archipelago! The woven products we refine in the workshop with cutting, fringing and finishing. All work is done for the love of the craft.

In keeping with tradition, our mission is to use as much of the sheep as possible. Besides from the wool, yarn and skin, we make soap from the fat, liver patĂ©, lambs roll and “pinnekjĂžtt” (a traditional Norwegian dish). The close co-operation of our local slaughterhouse, Horn's, is invaluable in making this possible.