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Iceland facing a knitting wool shortage due to tourist boom

By Staff

  • Roaming free Iceland is facing a yarn shortage following the tourist boom. The Icelandic woollen sweather has become a popular souvenicr to bring home from Iceland. Photo/Vilhelm 

Iceland is facing a knitting wool shortage, according to the National Broadcasting Service. The recent tourist boom is to blame, people say, as hand-knitted Icelandic woollen sweaters have become popular souvenirs to bring home from Iceland.

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“Production cannot keep up with the demand. It seems as though yarn sales are up by 15 per cent compared to last year,” Jón Haraldsson, head of production at wool manufacturer Ístex, said. Ístex manufactures industrial yarns for knitting and exports its products to Europe, the US, Japan and Scandinavia.

Ullarpeysa

Photo/visindavefurinn.is

“We have added staff to our production team and are working hard to try and meet demand,” Jón added. 

The Icelandic woollen sweater dates back to the 1950’s. The garment is distinguishable by the decorative circle surrounding the neckline. The pattern is thought to have been inspired by that of the traditional costume of Greenland and Swedish Bohus knitting, made popular in the 1940’s. What makes the sweaters unique is the Icelandic knitting yarn used; the Icelandic ‘lopi’ is not spun, so it contains more air, giving it better insulation properties.  

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