The History of Icelandic Wool

At Buddie Sweaters, one of our favorite wools is Icelandic Wool. We love it for its strength, durability, and extreme warmth, as well as for its beautiful natural shades of white, brown and black. Knitting is an ancient tradition in Iceland, and classic sweater patterns from this tiny island country have spread throughout the world. Any place someone needs to stay warm, you’ll probably see an Icelandic sweater!

Icelandic wool has an amazing history, starting when the Vikings came to Iceland in the year 874 BCE, bringing with them hardy sheep and horses from their native Scandinavia. Historians say that without these sheep, the Vikings would not have been able to survive long enough to colonize Iceland: the sheep provided not only meat but the wool which would keep people warm through the long, harsh Icelandic winter. The sheep which would come to be called “Icelandic sheep” also have a high breeding rate, enabling them to support the growing human population in Iceland. So important were sheep to the Viking conquests that descriptions of wool shearing, carding and spinning are included in Viking sagas along with tales exploration and battle!Unlike other breeds of sheep around the world, the Icelandic sheep breed has remained pure due to Iceland’s complete isolation. The same hardy characteristics which allowed these sheep to survive sailing with the Vikings 1100 years ago causes these same animals to thrive today. What makesthe wool unique isdistinct inner and outerfibers which render thewool tough andwater resistanton the outside,but soft andinsulating on the inside. Forthis reason, Icelandic Woolis our number one choice forsweaters, ponchos, andcold weather accessories.

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