Traditional Winter Garments

To quote the song, “the weather outside is frightful" in Northern climes. Hence the northern penchant for traditional garments of dense, water-repellent wool fabrics such as German loden and Scandinavian vadmel, perfect for people who work outdoors in high altitudes or latitudes. These twill fabrics, woven from course or double-coated sheep breeds such as the Norwegian Spelsau, date back to the invention of water-powered fulling mills during the Renaissance. Most people buy commercial fabric for folk costumes these days, but if you want to DIY, you can take a class in Norway (in summer). The fulling is done in a restored outdoor fulling mill, or stampa, powered by glacier runoff, and word is that it’s a lot of fun.

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