Very few producers are granted the opportunity to personally accompany the production process of their goods from beginning to end. We are not just present but are a part thereof. On the Faroe Islands we also climb up the mountains in the summer when the wild and free-range sheep are driven down to the valleys for hours on end by people and dogs. During the shearing process we are also inside the gates as part of the group and with our hand shears, with calm and prudence, patiently shear raw wool, one sheep after another. The Faroe Island sheep are small, tough, and are part of the Nordic Short-tailed Sheep breed. Their fantastic wool is long-maned and thick. The high lanolin content and the denseness of the fibre provide the wool with exceptional weatherproof properties. The rain beads off the sheep so to speak. Especially the topcoat is extremely water repellent and keeps the fine undercoat dry for hours. We use all of the wool. Nothing is thrown away. The beautiful vibrant colours of the Faroe Island sheep range from wool-white to grey to reddish brown and all the way to black. The Faroese language even has its own name for the many sheep’s wool patterns and markings. A fantastic raw material which we have again provided with value.
The Rider on the White Horse, vast green pastures behind the dykes, horses, cows and sheep and – not to forget – two seas. Since none of this existed in Berlin and since everything else suited us we eventually left the big and loud city and made North Friesland to our new German home. The very charming and most northern district of Germany is part of the German-Danish border region. This is a cross-border economic and cultural region which thrives on exchange. Friendly people, all kinds of maritime flair and time for small talk on every corner. We enjoy that. This kind of life much better fits the decelerating rhythm we had found on the Faroe Islands. There are also sheep in North Friesland. Most of them are used as landscapers. As dyke and salt marsh sheep. With the brand Frisian Tweed we focus on the undyed wool of the North Frisian sheep and support the work of regional shepherds. Many of them are fighting for their survival. Why wool? Because it is a fantastic, renewable, and natural product free of micro plastics as well as long lasting. In the end wool is also biodegradable.
When brushing over the finished product it feels almost like silk or a little bit like touching hand-made paper, only that the presumed paper has a textured fish scale pattern. Fish leather is a material we have fancied for quite some time since it is such a great idea. Fish skin, which is obtained when producing the popular fish meat, is not carelessly discarded as is usually done but is processed to luxury leather from the sea by means of careful manual herbal tanning and entirely without the use of chromium. We obtain our salmon fish leather directly from a producer in Northern Iceland. The leather is tanned with the use of tree bark (Mimosa). It is odourless, light weight but nevertheless amazingly robust. Renewable energies such as hydropower and geothermal warm water from hot springs are used for its eco-friendly production. It is unknown how old this idea is to make fish skin durable and use it for clothing, shoes or the covering of tents. However, it is known that peoples from Alaska, Canada and Siberia have developed techniques a long time ago. There were centuries in Iceland when people wore fish leather shoes from wolffish. Prior to tanning our salmon leather all fat, remaining meet, scales and oil is removed from the fish skin. The skins are then immersed in tanning liquor and stretched out to dry. The details are best kept secrets.
Washed up to the beaches by surging waves and swirling vortexes of water caused by relentlessly lashing storms. The never ending interaction of wind and water takes its course. The ocean churns one more time and masses of seaweed wash up very close to us on the beaches of the Danish Baltic Sea islands. Untreated material, kissed by rain, sun, and wind, harvested by hand, washed and sorted. For centuries seaweed has been used in coastal regions as insulation and upholstery material as well as for covering roofs. We are reviving this beautiful old tradition and use local natural seaweed as filling material for our Skattakista pillows. Seaweed is perfect for allergy sufferers, free from synthetics, will not get mouldy, rustles pleasantly, and provides our pillows with comfortable firmness and volume.