Lopi Wool – Thel and Tog

Icelandic sheep have a special two-part coat. They look a bit like walking balls of wool!

Thel, a soft inner layer, acts to keep the sheep warm and cozy –  like long underwear for sheep!

Thel fibers are soft and short. Thel is used to make baby garments.

 Tog, a course outer layer, acts like a  jacket – it is water repellent and the fibers are longer and stronger. Tog is used to make rugs and industrial products.

When the thel and tog are spun together they create a versatile yarn called lopi, which is used to knit garments; including the famous lopapeysa – the traditional Icelandic sweater.

The Icelandic sheep hasn’t been cross-bred, and is very close to the original genetic stock from the Viking period.

Illustrated images of sheep for the Tapestry at the Textile Center.

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