The Icelandic wool has kept the nation warm for more than 1100 years with the sheep originally brought here from Norway by the settlers. Due to the isolation and absence of contact with other breeds the Icelandic sheep still carries characteristics long disappeared from their relatives in the neighbouring countries.
In order to endure the cold and harsh arctic climate the sheep have developed several specialities. The fleece is divided into two layers, tog and thel. The tog consists of long and coarse hair with water repellent qualities. The inner layer, thel, is shorter, softer and fluffier providing insulation and warmth. Combining the two provides an exceptional thread for producing clothing that gives warmth in spite of getting wet.
The fleece differs depending on the age of the animal with lamb’s wool being the softest and finest but old rams bearing the roughest. The four basic colours of the Icelandic breed are black, white, yellow and moorit with numerous combinations and color patterns, such as badgerface, grey or moorit mofloun and other bi-color variations. Although many will admit to having a soft spot for various color patterns, the white wool is the most sought-after, and therefore the most common sheep color in Iceland.