WE LOVE TO BE WARM
The word “Qiviut” was originally used to refer to the inner feathers of birds as well as the inner wool of the muskox. It is valued for its use as a fiber, unlike sheep’s wool, it does not shrink in water at any temperature (however, this means that it isn’t useful for felting). It is most commonly used for hats and scarves, and is among the softest wool in the world. It is very expensive; a high quality knitted scarf can cost more than 3000 kr. but will last over 20 years with good care – price and quality are related, but muskox wool is not expensive compared to how great the quality is.
The muskox has a two-layered coat, and qiviut refers specifically to the soft inner wool beneath the longer outer wool. The muskox loses this layer of wool each spring. All of the wool there is available in Qiviut comes from hunting. The wool producers buys the skins from the hunters. The meat is sold to restaurants, markets and production. When the skins are dried and stretched on big frames, the wool is removed from the hide, a very long, laborious and demanding process. But everything is done here in Greenland and has created jobs locally.
In smaller scale the wool can also be gathered from objects the animals have brushed against; unlike sheep, the animals are not sheared.
Muskox wool is stronger and warmer than sheep’s wool and softer than cashmere wool. The Muskox have qiviut fibers approximately 18 micrometers in diameter. Females and young animals have slightly finer wool.
Qiviut means muskox wool and is the name of one of Greenland’s most successful privately owned export companies in recent times.
Anita Høegh, who owns Qiviut, is one of the pioneers of its production, so you will never get a chance to come closer to the pure production and respect of the material, than you can by visiting Qiviut. Qiviut doesn’t only produce wool and wool products to many places in Greenland – they also export large amounts abroad.