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Article: How to Choose Your Perfect Wool Sweater Lopapeysa - The Ultimate Guide

How to Choose Your Perfect Wool Sweater Lopapeysa - The Ultimate Guide

How to Choose Your Perfect Wool Sweater Lopapeysa - The Ultimate Guide

In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to assist you with finding the perfect handknitted Icelandic sweater made from pure wool from Iceland. Prepare to discover the wonders of this natural and sustainable material that has been keeping Icelanders warm for centuries.


We’ll walk you through the essential factors to consider when selecting the perfect pure wool sweater. Understanding different types of sweaters, the quality indicators and we’ll assist you with the knowledge to make an informed purchase that guarantees both durability, coziness, and authenticity. Wool is a completely renewable fibre resource. By opting for a pure wool sweater, you’re not only investing in quality but also making a conscious choice to support sustainable fashion.

Why wear woolen sweaters?

Wool is a warm and lightweight fabric. Wearing wool sweaters has several benefits and they are comfortable to wear in a variety of temperatures. They can last longer and are your eco-friendly choice.
Wool is an excellent insulator, providing warmth in cold weather. Despite being warm, wool is breathable. It allows moisture vapor to pass through, preventing the build-up of sweat and moisture. It is particularly useful for active individuals or those who wear sweaters for extended periods. Purchasing a hand-knitted woolen sweaters you support local Icelandic artisans and traditional craftsmanship.

The distinctive designs of wool sweater Lopapeysa

The traditional Icelandic wool sweater, known as lopapeysa, are known for their distinctive patterns, types and styles, showcasing a rich diversity of designs that reflect both cultural heritage and contemporary fashion. The sweaters have distinctive features and come in different colours, designs, and patterns. Design of the Icelandic wool sweater is characterized by a yoke design, the wide decorative circle, a geometrical pattern, surrounding the neck opening. The sweater is knitted in a non-varying circle, meaning that there is no difference between the front and the back, unless a zipper is added.
The lopapeysa is also often considered to be a symbol of Icelandic culture and heritage, and it is widely popular both in Iceland and around the world as a traditional handcrafted garment. The wool sweaters have never been out of style, if anything, it has become an even bigger trend in recent years.
Let’s look at some types of sweaters that will give you options when you buy Icelandic wool sweater.

Traditional Icelandic wool sweater

Jumper or pullover sweater is a hand knitted long-sleeved upper woolen garment that you put on over your head and it does not have an opening in the front. Majority of the Icelandic wool sweaters have yoke patter; intricate patterns of stranded colorwork and the use of natural, undyed wool. The sweaters often feature intricate and colorful designs, with iconic patterns that are unique to Iceland and often inspired by traditional heritage Icelandic motifs such as folklore, cultural symbols, and nature representing mountain peaks and lava. The traditional lopapeysa sweater is made in muted natural color's, such as grey, brown, black, beige, and white, but today they are made from a range of brightly colored wool.
This woolen knitwear is a perfect layering piece that offers both warmth during winter and a touch of style. Are perfect when paired with jeans or skirts for a more casual look.

Fair Isle wool sweaters design

Many Icelandic sweaters, including lopapeysa, incorporate the Fair Isle technique, showcasing a harmonious fusion of traditional Icelandic knitting styles with the intricate colorwork characteristic of Fair Isle. This type of sweater comes from the Fair Isle in Scottland, and it is a design that fishermen and farmers used during cold days to protect themselves against cold temperatures in the 19th century.

Crew neck wool sweater

Crewneck types of wool sweaters have a rounded neckline and no collar and is the most common of the Icelandic Lopapeysa sweater. This type of sweater features a classic round neckline that sits at the base of the neck.

Shawl neck collar sweater

A shawl collar sweater has an extended collar that wraps around the neck like a shawl. The collar is typically wider than a regular crew neck or V-neck, and it often folds over itself, creating a distinctive and stylish look. Shawl collar sweaters can be both cardigans to pullovers. The collar can be buttoned with zipper or simply left open.

V-Neck pullover or quarter-zipped sweater

This type of wool sweater has a V-shaped neckline or a quarter-length zipper on the neckline with buttons. Also there is a wool button-placket sweater that has a placket on the center front that opens up just above the chest and is fastened with buttons.

Cardigans wool sweater

Cardigan, has long sleeves, an open front sweater or jacket. Cardigans are with buttons or snap closed. Cardigans are often knitted longer and some are with pockets on the side. Full zipper or full-zip sweater with an opening on the center front. These sweaters are great to wear with layers, a cute top or t-shirt, and comfortable pants. Cardigans are a great alternative to pullovers.

Hooded wool cardigans

A hoodie is a type of sweater that typically has a full zip-up or button up front. Hoodies may also have pockets, depending on the style.

From locals to global fans: Lopapeysa in every wardrobe

Lopapeysa is a garment worn by people of all ages and walks of life in Iceland. It is not only a practical choice for braving the country's cold weather but also a symbol of Icelandic identity and pride. You will see Icelanders sporting Lopapeysa in various settings, from everyday wear to special occasions. It is not uncommon to spot politicians, musicians, and even celebrities donning these iconic sweaters. Lopapeysa truly transcends fashion trends and has become deeply ingrained in Icelandic culture.

Warmth meets style: The fashionable appeal of Icelandic wool sweaters

The lopapeysa holds the status as a fashionable garment in Iceland and this iconic sweater is recognized as a stylish representation of the country's cultural heritage. While the traditional design remains cherished, contemporary designers have revitalized it with vibrant colors and bold patterns, ensuring its relevance and appeal to a new generation. The Icelandic wool sweater's popularity has transcended national borders, captivating a global audience who appreciates its warmth, comfort, and distinctive style. Embraced by many Icelanders, the lopapeysa is not just a seasonal choice but a cherished attire worn year-round and during special occasions.

How to spot if the Icelandic sweater is real and not fake?

Since March 2020 a knitted Icelandic sweater may only be called Lopapeysa if it meets the following criteria:
The sweater must be handknitted in Iceland and is made using wool from Icelandic sheep and not recycled wool. The sweater shall be knitted from select types of wool, including thinner léttlopi wool, Álafosslopi wool, and unspun plötulopi wool. The sweater shall have a circular knitted yoke with pattern shapes and/or pattern benches from the shoulder area to the neck. It’s knitted in a circular fashion with no seams. Its design is either an open front or a whole sweater.
The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority has now given the Lopapeysa sweater a sought after Designation of Origin status which makes it legally protected.

Handknitted authentic Icelandic wool sweater, Lopapeysa

Where is the authentic Icelandic Lopapeysa made?

Icelandic Lopapeysa sweaters are made in Iceland, by experienced knitters, mostly retired and nice elderly Icelandic women, who use traditional techniques and materials to create these unique and beautiful garments. Historically, Lopapeysa sweaters have been hand-knit by women in Iceland, who used their skills to create warm and durable clothing for themselves and their families in the harsh weather conditions.
Today, Lopapeysa wool sweaters are still hand-knit by skilled artisans in Iceland and you can get your handknitted Lopapeysa at The Icelandic Store. When buying an original handknitted lopapeysa sweater, you will support traditional craftsmanship and help to preserve this important part of Icelandic heritage.

Luxury in every fiber; Why Lopapeysa sweaters are considered pricey

How much are Icelandic sweaters in Iceland? When buying a handmade wool sweater from The Icelandic store you are supporting the local artisans and the traditional craft of knitting and helping to keep the tradition alive in Iceland. This allows you to support the local economy and helps to preserve the traditional techniques and practices of Icelandic wool crafts.
All the sweaters are made of 100% Icelandic wool, and it takes over 20 hours to make one. The sweaters are handknitted by an Icelandic local in Iceland and are individually produced. So, each sweater is basically unique. There is no doubt that Icelandic sweaters are of good quality and one of the warmest, most durable pieces of clothing you will ever own.
The cost of a Lopapeysa sweater in Iceland can vary, depending on several factors such as the size, design, and material. However, on average, you can expect to spend between 50.000 to 80,000 Icelandic Kronur (ISK) for a traditional Lopapeysa sweater.
We always have limited amount of handknitted Icelandic sweaters available in stock so we encourage you to get "Lopapeysa" for you now or for a loved one before someone else does.

Best places to buy Icelandic wool sweaters in Iceland

There are several online retailers in Iceland that sell the Icelandic traditional sweaters, but The Icelandic store has for sure the authentic Icelandic wool lopapeysa that are handknitted by nice Icelandic retired ladies. The Icelandic Store offer a wide selection of sweaters for purchase online and you can find a variety of sweaters in different sizes, colors, and designs on the website. You can browse and purchase the products from the comfort of your own home. And if you are in Iceland and want to buy a lopapeysa as a way of taking a piece of the country's unique culture and heritage home you can find us at Miðhella 4 in Hafnarfjordur.

1 comment

My friends, I spilt some coffee grounds on my lopapeysa sweater, leaving two rather thick and sticky “blobs.” I doused the stains with water, but they are still there—stiff and ugly. What process do you recommend to remove them?

Mary Bricker-Jenkins

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