The Icelandic Wool

An Introduction to the Icelandic Wool

The Icelandic sheep is a unique breed. For over a thousand years, total isolation and absence of contact with other breeds have protected the purity of the strain. Icelandic fleeces are among the rarest in the world, grown only in the high mountains. The rugged sheep brought over by the Vikings in the year 874 A.D. have maintained the same gene pool, making them truly one of the purest breeds in the western world. The number of sheep in Iceland decreases every year, making this exquisite fiber increasingly more rare.

photolink (sheep)                    
The Icelandic wool is made up of two types of fibers, coarse and fine. While the former are long, glossy, tough and water resistant, the latter tend to be softer and more insulating, providing a high resistance to cold and possessing a unique texture and natural colors. Not only is Icelandic wool wonderfully light and flexible, but also tremendously warm. No other wool is lighter, warmer, or more water-resistant.
                    
Iceland's unique yarns are Alafoss lopi, Lettlopi and Plotulopi. The best known Icelandic wool brand is Alafosslopi from Istex. Wool sweaters and wool accessories are very easily hand knit from Alafosslopi. Until the late nineteenth century, Icelanders processed all their wool by hand. The fleece was washed the wool in volcanic hot springs, separated the tog from the during the long summer evenings, and carded and spun and knitted during the winter. Everyone in the family was involved, from the smallest to the eldest. Children as young as four were taught to knit, and the men were expected to card and spin.

Icelandic wool
has a wide range of natural colors that include white, brown, gray, black, and a mix. When spun these yarns     become a beautiful tweed that accepts dye readily. However, the variety of natural colors in Icelandic wool is so rich that there is little need to use dyes. Nothing matches the richness of natural-colored wools, which the Icelanders prefer.

Washing Instructions

All wool sweaters and clothing knitted from wool yarn can shrink from exposure to water and heat. The only way to maintain a wool garments original size is to let it dry in a cool area and block or stretch out the shingles when the fabric is still wet. Hand wash only in lukewarm water (40°C maximum) and mild soap or detergent. Turn the knit-wear inside out to protect any loose fibers on the surface. A short soak of less than five minutes will help to dislodge dirt before gently squeezing the liquid through the knitwear. Never rub the garment!

Rinse first in warm water, then cold. Either roll the knitwear     between clean towels or use a washing machine short spin cycle (never wring). After spin drying, make sure the knitwear is pulled back to shape while damp. Dry flat if possible. Line drying knitted garments is not recommended. Nordic Store has been leading the household produced Icelandic wool market for the many years
                       
Nordic Store has set out to become one of the nation's leading manufacturers of woolen products. It now has over 100 Icelandic knitters that hand knit wool sweaters and wool accessories that are sold online at www.nordicstore.net and www.nordicstore-wool.net as well as in the shops in center of Reykjavik Iceland.

We provide high-quality wool and we're here to serve you. We take special care to bring you the highest quality products. Our products are made of only the finest Icelandic wool.