Qiviut is the Greenlandic name of qiviut. The same word is used in other Inuit lands. The musk oxen, our wool comes from, living wild in the area around Kangerlussuaq. Here live about 10-15,000 musk oxen. The wool from the fields, and is especially good in this area, because it will be extremely cold, with temperatures down to-40 ° celsius for several months. We trade the skins from the local sealers during the winter hunt.
So begins the great work, and one thing that is very important for us is to get the wool of as clean as possible. But in order to get access to it, we must under the long black dækhår. Those rocks We therefore with a sheep's rocks. In Greenland, it is an old tradition that, out of respect for the animal using everything you can from a game. It is easy to see, if you look at animals like seal, which for centuries has been the key to human survival in the Arctic. But the Musk Ox in Kangerlussuaq has a slightly different story. It has not always lived there.
Since the musk ox came to Kangerlussuaq
The musk ox was introduced in the 1960s. Then came 17 animals to the village. The stock has grown tremendously, and in 2000 the then home rule decided that the local hunters were to make a sample hunting of animals – this year, the prisoners were allowed to dismantle 300 animals. We soon found out that the flesh was delicate, and it has become a favorite among many locals and visitors. But back then we had no clue what one could use the skins, so they were burned at the local landfill. Keep in mind that the prisoners were facing a – for them – totally unknown game. They should start from scratch. Where on your body you would shoot it here animal? If you shoot it in the shoulder, comes the ball return. If you shoot it in the forehead, comes the ball return. And how big a caliber should actually, for that it was lying?
The gold, that was burned
Anita Høegh (owner of Qiviut) thought at the time that the skins MAY be used for one thing or another. She had, along with the other women in Kangerlussuaq used many bright summer nights in the mountains to collect the wool, musk oxen had kløet of in the branches. So she knew well what the wool was and what it could be.
That is why she made a deal with some of the prisoners that she had to buy their skins. Back then, it was peanuts. But she had to put countless hours of work, before she finally got figured out how best to got the wool of – as clean as possible. By cutting the long black hair with a sheep's rocks and get direct access to the warm Undercoat.
Blood, sweat and hard work
When the prisoners are on the hunt, is the month of January. The month of January in Kangerlussuaq means dark 24 hours a day and inhumane temperatures. So of course there is a big difference in how much time they spend on taking the skin off of – and thus also how ' Nice ' it is when we get it. That can sit still adhering, blood, branches and other rubbish at the back, and the skins weighs anything between 5 and 30 kg – everything after ' delicious '.
When the long black dækhår is cut of, can we get on with it, that it's funny. And it's hard. Under the wool is now devoid of skin. But it is not of the skin by itself. It must tear-off with a comb, which is operated by hand. On such a skin sitting there around 1 kg of wool, and it takes between an hour and a half to work through it.
The wool we share into two roughly equal-sized sorts. We have become so good now, to get the wool of our A-sorting is completely pure when it comes of the skin, and it can be sent directly in the spinning. The are usually sent to Hjelholt spinning mill in Denmark.
Our B-sorting requires cleaning before it can be spun. With it we have two options. Or as we like to call it – then we have a choice between the plague and cholera.
We can choose to hand-clean the wool. In this way, we have almost no waste. But the ultimate best Purifier, we have, can cleanse 100 grams per hour, so it runs quickly up in the hourly rate.
The other option we have is that we can send the wool somewhere where they can be machine cleaning it and then spin it to the yarn we use in our knitting machines. Here we are saving a lot of man hours, but cleaning the machine is far from equally delicate, as practiced fingers. So every time the mocks a rigid black dækhår, it is not only one of the hair. It plucks a small lump of wool with every time. In this way, we have a loss of about 30 percent.
It is a difficult balancing act, and we are doing both. The raw material is limited to the wool on the animals that are hunted during the winter Hunt, but we must also have some finished yarn produced.
The meaning of madness
When we get the yarn back from the mills, we are in the process of color part of it takes place all together at home in Anitas kitchen in large pots, where she can color ten keys at a time. All the colors we use are environmentally friendly.
When it is done, we and our customers can finally come to knitting in the amazing material. And it is what it is. It's great hot, it is great easily. The trick'er not the same allergies as many other kinds of wool makes, and it gives a calm to people who suffer from chronic pain.