Þingborg Wool workshop
Þingborg wool workshop started with a group of women from the south of Iceland that went to a class in wool working with Helga Thoroddsen and Hildur Hákonardóttir. At the class they learned both old and new techniques to work wool and the qualities of wool and ways to work it.
Soon they had an idea to open a store with wool products and within a year from the first class was hosted they opened a store in the old community house Þingborg in Flóahreppur, then known as Hraungerðishreppur, and they founded a co-op to manage the store, founding members were 35.
The first years the women split the work between them in the store during the summer, but it was only open in the summer. Since a few women within the co-op have managed the store and at times two together. The store was always run by the co-op but as of January 1st 2019 there is a private company just for the store and it is managed by one woman in the group.
The store has woolen goods in commission and buys some products to sell. All knitted goods in the store are made from Þingborg lopi, but it is specially made for Þingborg by Ístex and has been since 1992. The group goes to Ístex's wool washing station at Blönduós to handpick every fleece that goes into their lopi and it is then carded and produced at Ístex in Mosfellsbær. This along with the carding machine at Þingborg are the backbone of Þingborg.
Lopi jumpers are the most popular products at Þingborg. Many in the group and those that bring jumpers design their own patterns and as a result there is a wide variation of jumpers at the store.
The wool workshop has proven to be an important part of the effort to maintain traditions in wool processing and no less to create new ones. The Þingborg group looks to the future with bright eyes as wool has a bright future ahead of it now that people's eyes are being opened to using wool and other natural materials for clothing instead of synthetics.
Since the beginning, Þingborg has had a good collaboration with Ístex.
In January the group goes to Blönduós where the wool washing station is. They get to pick quality lambswool which is then washed at Blönduós. The wool is washed with lukewarm water and then added washing soda. When the wool is added to the mixture the lanolin and washing soda turn into soap that washes the wool. In a way, the wool washes it self.
Ístex produces the wool for us and makes lopi, lopi light, one ply yarn and two ply yarn. The lopi and the yarn is then sold in natural colours and hand dyed.