No single item is more emblematic of Scandinavian tradition, heritage, workmanship and attention to detail as the Norwegian wool sweater. These beautiful items, many of which are handcrafted, have defined the Scandi look at home and abroad for centuries.
Knitting has a strong tradition in Norway, and the stitching techniques used in the wool sweaters of today had already been put into place by the ninth century, when the garments were the simple colours of natural wool. The best-known traditional design – the bespeckled black, grey and white lusekofte sweater – dates from the nineteenth century and hails from the Setesdal region. This sweater, traditionally worn by men, translates as “lice jacket” on account of the black and white diagonal check pattern.
Today, a number of shops in Oslo sell everything from poor-quality, machine-made discount sweaters to hand-knitted gems; the best ones are the hand-made items from the Dale of Norway brand, the best known in the country. Other respected names include Devold, Norway’s oldest knitwear producer, and Nordstrikk, a company based out of Ålesund whose products employ a combination of durable Norwegian and soft, nimble Australian wools.