The sheep, the wool and the jumper

I flew in to the classroom through the window distraught and confused. Now I can’t read a thermometer but let me tell you the air was freezing. I recognised a girl in the middle row from a house I like to visit, she is kind of lazy so I knew sitting on top of her glasses would only cause a soft groan but she wouldn’t brush me off until she left the room. Where are my manners, I haven’t introduced myself, I am Capricious Guacko the third or better known as Dusty the dust mite. Yes, I am but a humble speck of dust in awe of the lecture I listened to by Ásdís Jóelsdóttir that fateful Monday afternoon. ImageHandlerNow her lecture was really good and gave us a good overview of the evolution of who used wool and how in Iceland over the years. Now unfortunately a lot of companies producing wool and encouraging the usage of wool in fashion fell under. But a company called Ístex revived the wool jumpers in the 2000’s (this was of course to their benefit because they sell wool) and it worked! The patterns on the jumpers was Icelandic design and some was even put on fleece jackets by 66° north.

Ásdís also mentioned that today not a lot of pricey high-end clothes were being bought in Iceland but the wool is being bought in such quantities that you might think we are running out of sheep. but what stuck with me the most is her line about the Icelandic wool jumpers being our national dress. Now this I liked because let’s be real, most Icelanders can’t afford to buy the Icelandic national dress laced with gold and difficult sewing techniques, making it worth a couple of millions. but most own or can get wool jumpers. Then my thoughts went to the girl behind the glasses I dared sit on. She was knitting a wool jumper at home, in the traditional colour from the Icelandic sheep. Now this is a task that has taken her two years, she isn’t quite finished but getting there. That can’t be practical, why doesn’t she just go out and buy a wool sweater? Maybe it is pride? Maybe it is a part of her identifying herself as an Icelander. She is an Icelander and is making a traditional Icelandic sweater. It could be tradition or heritage driving her to finish. Maybe she is a influenced by the Zeitgeist, the DIY, do it yourself and thus must not give in to consumerism and buy it. Or maybe she’s just stubborn.

But what do I know, I am but a speck of dust. I’ll tell you though, in the spring I think I’ll travel to the country side, find myself a nice sheep to rest on and watch as the little lamb’s will make they’re first journey into the world.

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One thought on “The sheep, the wool and the jumper

  1. If you haven’t read Karl’s dissertation yet, I highly recommend it!

    How much does marketing of raw or finished materials affect fashion? The cotton industry has spent many dollars and hours marketing cotton, which seems very similar to the Icelandic wool situation!

    On an unrelated note – the sheep print is amazing.

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