Back in the day, Lopi was a product of Reynolds Yarns, a company that is now part of JCA, Inc. But Lopi still lives, as a product of Ístex, the Icelandic Textile Industry, a company formed in 1991 to continue the Icelandic wool tradition and provide a market for the unique yarns made from the wool of traditional Icelandic sheep. Ístex buys the wool directly from farmers, scours it in the northern town Blönduós and takes it to the mill in Mosfellsbær, near Reykjavík. In addition to handknitting yarns, Ístex also produces fibers for industrial use in knitting, weaving and carpet manufacture.
The handknitting yarns, however, are what we are interested in at River Colors Studio. The Icelandic sheep produce a fleece with two types of fiber: a soft, warm, insulating undercoat, and a long, glossy, water-repellent outer coat. The combination makes a lightweight, breathable, water-repellent yarn ideal for an island nation just south of the Arctic Circle. At the studio, we stock Alafosslopi (a chunky to bulky weight single ply yarn), Lettlopi (a worsted weight single ply yarn), Einband (a lace weight single ply yarn), and Plotulopi (unspun new Icelandic wool). Lopi yarn is a great option for all your felting and stranded colorwork needs!