Know the secret to the immense popularity of Iceland’s unique lopi Icelandic wool yarn. Read our guide for more facts and information...
Due to Iceland’s climate, knitted and woven garments have always been a necessity. The characteristics of the Icelandic wool are a unique composition of Icelandic wool which comes in two types of fibres. One is the inner fibres which are fine and soft in material and are highly insulating. The second is the outer fibres which are glossy, long and water repellent. Both of these distinctive fibres create wool which is:
• Lightweight- they are lighter than the other wools that are available. And they keep you warm and comfortable.
• Water-repellent-perfect for Iceland’s weather as they repel rain and keep you feeling dry.
• Breathable – they will keep you comfortable while keeping you dry as the moisture passes through the fibres away from the skin.
Iceland’s history of knitting dates back to the 16th century, yet the lopi sweater is only decades old. The Lopi sweater is closely identified with Iceland’s long haired sheep whose wool possesses a combination of sturdiness, water resistance and softness. The lopi garments have received a lot of popularity because of their knitted fabric which is light, bulky and offers good insulation. The design includes the typical circular yoked sweater which has patterned borders, available in different variations.
Lopi Wool Yarn Colours
Initially the lopi sweaters were only available in the natural colours of the Icelandic sheep which are known as the ‘authentic’ shades of the lopi sweaters. These are grey, light and dark brown and brownish-black as well as white.
To accommodate all tastes, the Alafoss Lopis is available in natural tones as well as fashion shades. The garments that are knitted from the Icelandic sheep are known to be lighter than most wool and they absorb perspiration. Also, Icelandic wool is easy to wash and repels dirt; fluffing or pilling may simply be removed by combing or clipping.
Lopi is available in three weights:
Létt-Lopi: 18 sts and 24 rows = 10 x 10 cm measured over St st using 4½ mm needles.
Álafoss Lopi: 13 sts and 18 rows = 10 x 10 cm over St st using 6 mm needles.
Bulky Lopi: 9 sts and 13 rows = 10 x 10 cm over St st using 9 mm needles.
Icelandic wool has gained international recognition for its lightness and warmth. Iceland’s sheep have double layers which is why the wearers of lopi remain warm and dry just like the sheep! So head over and look for your Icelandic lopi wool yarn.