Blanket from Røros Tweed, Tornerose (Sleeping Beauty)
“Baby, Its Cold Outside” Frank Loesser named his famous hit from 1944. Now, you might not worry about the cold anymore.
One of the most prestigious Norwegian quality products is the Røros Blanket. It is made from 100 % wool by Scandinavia’s top designers and textile artists.
The Røros Tweed factory is located 1970 feet (600 meters) above sea level in the mining town of Røros. Perhaps a rural location for a textile factory, but it has a unique history:
Peder Hiort, who was director of the Røros Copper Works in the 1700s, bequeathed his entire fortune to the poor people in Røros. Hiort’s Testament is characterized as one of the wisest donations in Scandinavia.
According to his Testament, the less-fortunate inhabitants would be provided with wool and linen. They were spinning, knitting and weaving socks, wadmal and warm clothes – products that were very much needed in the frigid mountain air. The finished products were collected, and the workers got paid. Each year, around Midsummer, the textile products and other gifts were distributed to the poor population. Many of the workers received the products back as gifts.
The establishment of Røros Tweed is a continuation of the Hiort Foundation. It all began in 1938 with weaving classes. The textiles were woven in the worker’s home – just like the previous 150 years.
Later, the company invested in new equipment, and eventually converted into more industrialized machinery. The need for larger premises arose, and in 1952 Røros Tweed was able to move into a brand new, modern factory.
Over the years, Røros Tweed has experimented with Norwegian wool and development of textile products of high quality. For many years, the factory has worked with some of the leading Norwegian textile artists. They are known for products such as curtains, pillows, sheepskins, upholstery fabrics, blankets and tweed.
Today, Røros Tweed has reorganized their production to face the challenges of modern textile industry. The factory’s production is focusing on the high quality blankets made from 100 % pure wool with design inspired by the aesthetic cultural heritage in Røros – as well as the fascinating mountain scenery in the region.
Some of the contributors are design duo Arne & Carlos, known for their knitted Christmas balls and other yarn-related artwork.
The latest Norwegian designer who has co-designed Røros Tweed’s products is New York-based artist Bjarne Melgaard. He is known for his provocative exhibitions, and has received great critics from the art world.
Røros Tweed has won several international awards for their products because of the continuation of Norwegian culture and heritage combined with modern design and excellent quality.
In 2009, 9000 children participated in the competition to design the next Røros Blanket. The winner was an 11 year old boy from Lier, Buskerud County.
“The drawing expresses a very happy and ferocious energy. The figure spreads a certain warmth – as if the blanket is giving you a hug”, the jury announced.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Source: Røros Tweed