Ásdís Jóelsdóttir

Guest lecturer Ásdís Jóelsdóttir had many interesting things to say about the history of fashion in Iceland. I hadn’t realized how big the wool and fashion industry was in Iceland. I even found it rather weird that it had not come up before in my folklore studies because it seems to have been such a folk industry. Every woman with sewing skills was sewing and everything was handmade, both wool and skin items. There was even sewing in shifts, since these women were house wifes with young children, the women took turns looking after children and sewing. It was such a big and detailed industry that looked really good. It is sad that it came to an end because of to high wages and cost related to that.

And the production was therefor moved to Asia, wich of course is much more sad on a whole other level…

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4 thoughts on “Ásdís Jóelsdóttir

  1. I agree, this, sadly gone, industry is very interesting in the eyes of a folklorist and it can be looked at from many different perspectives. Like with so many other things from the past I found myself wishing that I had been born a few decades earlier so that I could have maybe been a part of it or seen it happen in real time.

  2. We could also think about all the sewing companies or clothing factories which wear located in Iceland in the past. In Iceland there were sewing companies or clothing factories which did not only procduce fashion clothing but a lot of different clothing, from nightwear to sea stacks. These factories are not here anymore. But in Iceland there are serval small sewing companies working and I think we can thank this to the education in dressmaking and tailoring which started in the Tækniskólinn 1978.

  3. The evolution of fast fashion has played a big role in where companies look for labor (fast and cheap). How have changing cultural habits impacted our fashion choices? Why is there such a push towards uniformity? Why don’t we embrace these traditions?

  4. I think we do try to embrace these traditions but the demand is getting bigger and bigger with increasing tourism and maybe we don´t have enough people knitting these sweaters anymore, or maybe we don´t have as many people knitting them anymore because they are being mass produced and sold everywhere around Iceland? Or beause they lack speed in which the mass production does not and the mass production is also cheaper so stores make more money from the mass production.
    I do think that Icelandic people try to but from the knitters rather than the stores to support the Icelandic made stuff but maybe not enough of us are doing that to support all of them. I also think that it is getting more and more trendy to wear the homemade sweaters so maybe we will be able to support the knitters more in the coming years?

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