Morgunblaðið / Icelandic Newspaper October 17, 2014
Interview in the Icelandic newspaper, Morgunblaðið, with the owners of the Alafoss Wool Store: Guðmundur Arnar Jónsson and Gerða Gunnarsdóttir.
Icelandic wool sweaters (lopapeysa) have become very popular in the recent years. “I think the vast majority of the Icelandic population owns more than one and more than two “lopapeysa” and they are diligent to wear them at all kinds of occations” says Gudmundur Arnar Jonsson, the CEO and owner of the Álafoss Wool store. With him in the picture below is Gerða Gunnarsdóttir, the co-owner of the Álafoss Wool Store. Both tourists and locals buy Icelandic wool products in the store.
The Icelandic Wool Sweater (Lopapeysa) is still going strong…
The Icelandic wool sweater, Lopapeysa, has kept Icelandic people safe and warm throughout the centuries, and no wonder that this ancient garment is still a part of the wardrobe of people in the 21st century. The natural colors of the Icelandic sheep have survived all fashion trends, are classic and warm colors, and the attributes and characteristics of the Icelandic wool are ideal for colder weather climates. Gudmundur Arnar Jónsson is the CEO and owner of the Álafoss Wool store and runs two stores the company operates, one in down town Reykjavík at Laugavegur 8 and the main store in the Álafossvegur in Mosfellsbær. He says Icelandic wool products are by far the most popular products in the store. All the wool sweaters that Álafoss sells, are hand-knitted by local talented knitters from all across the country, with 100% quality Icelandic wool from Ístex.
More than one and more than two…
“Around the financial collapse in Iceland, the interest in Icelandic wool clothing grew enormously, but instead of buying sweaters already made, many started knitting their own wool sweaters and we noticed a big difference in our yarn sales. Our hand-knitted sweaters that we have in our store are still very popular, and our customers are impressed by the developments taking place in the design, patterns and colors,” explains Gudmundur. “I think the vast majority of the population has now multiple Icelandic wool sweaters and they are diligent to wear them at all kinds of occations. Grandparents of the country are busy knitting this term and drawers in the childen’s and grandchildren’s wardrobes are being filled with warm sweaters, socks, hats and scarves.”
The popularity of the Icelandic Lopapeysa can be attributed to the changing times but also to a growing interest in the outdoors activities.” With a good raincoat over a wool sweater, you can hardly find a better outdoor clothing than the Icelandic wool sweater. Our rescue team members know this and they rarely are seen without their wool sweaters. If you get too hot for comfort, you just take off the outermost layer and the lopapeysa is warm, lightweight, breathable and water-repellent.”
The traditional patterns are always classic, but Gudmundur says that the knitters are very creative in coming up with new patterns and designs. “As a result, the Icelandic lopapeysa is becoming more of a fashionable product and offers more options for those who want the sweater in unusual colors and design. The new neon colors that were recently added to the collection are very popular. Ístex has been efficient in introducing new knitting patterns with innovative designs.” The Icelandic wool sweaters either come as a pullover, with zipper, or buttons or even with a hood. “The open wool sweaters (zipper / buttons) are the most popular today, with more ease of use and easier to take on and off.”
Warm and cozy Alafoss Blankets on a cold winter night…
The Alafoss Wool Blankets are also very popular. They are a quality product, Icelandic design and made with 100% Icelandic wool. In our store we offer a great selection of blankets, the classic horse blanket in mix with other more contemporary designs. “One of the newest editions is the Landscape-collection which is a simple design but features a captivating color pattern that is inspired by the beautiful colors that characterize the Icelandic landscape and nature.”
Gudmundur says that the Alafoss Wool blankets can be found in most Icelandic homes as they are essential on a cold winter day. “What’s better than to cuddle up in your couch in front of the TV or with a good book, with a cup of coffee and maybe some Icelandic chocolate, and get warm and cozy with an Alafoss wool blanket?”