Vík Prjónsdóttir is fascinated by natural materials, craftmanship and fair and honest production. We are based in Iceland and enjoy finding adventures where they are best hidden.
Each piece has a story, inspired by everyday magic. Vík Prjónsdóttir designs and produces creative, high-quality wool products. Our designs are inspired by myths and stories and our production process is based on working closely with traditional, local knitwear factories and producers. We work almost exclusively with Icelandic sheep's wool, a unique and sustainable resource that has evolved in isolation over 1,000 years.
Icelandic sheep's wool has a combination of fibres unlike any in the world – the result is a resource that is a warm, light-weight and water-repellent.
Established in 2005, the aim of Vík Prjónsdóttir has been to use creative design to bring the dying Icelandic wool industry into a new and exciting phase. We work closely with the staff at Glófi ehf – the largest knitwear producer and distributor in Iceland. Recently, we have also begun working in lambswool, through a cutting-edge factory in Germany.
Who is Vík Prjónsdóttir?
Vík Prjónsdóttir is a owned by the designers Brynhildur Pálsdóttir, Gudfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir and Thuríður Sigurþórsdóttir. The products reflect their common interest in applying the form and magic of everyday items into their designs.
Vík Prjónsdóttir's products have received widespread recognition and various awards, including:
2010 The local and annual DV cultural prize for design
2011 Innovation Award – The Association of Craftsmen in Reykjavík
2011 Best Product Line – The Reykjavík Grapevine Awards
Each piece has a story, inspired by everyday magic. Vík Prjónsdóttir is fascinated by natural materials, craftmanship and fair and honest production.
The Icelandic sheep has been essential to our survival. In the centuries-old struggle to live on this inhospitable island, sheep have been our greatest resource.
Vík Prjónsdóttir works almost exclusively with Icelandic sheep's wool. In using this unique,sustainable resource we are following in the footsteps of generations of Icelanders.A thread to the ancient past
Icelandic sheep have evolved over more than 1,000 years in complete isolation, influenced only by the harsh climate and rugged landscape. This has helped to create a unique combination of fibres, unlike any other in the world.
The soft, fine inner fibres provide insulation and are strongly resistant to the cold. Meanwhile, the tough outer fibres are long and glossy, making them water resistant.
So: hardy, lightweight, warm and water-repellant.
We wouldn't be here without them
The Icelandic sheep has been essential to our survival. In the centuries-old struggle to live on this inhospitable island, sheep have been our greatest resource. A source of food, clothing and protection against the harsh climate, without sheep Iceland would have remained uninhabitable.
Because of this, the tradition of working with wool dates all the way back to the Viking settlers. The traditions of shearing, spinning and carding began back then, and they continue to this day. And, in Iceland, there continue to be more sheep than people.
A sustainable resource... that grows back
The sheep's fleece grows every year as they graze in nature. This makes wool a truly renewable resource, as well as being fully biodegradable. And, this being Iceland, any energy used in the production process is drawn from 100% green geothermal and hydroelectric energy.
Pure wool – a textile with special properties
As well as being water-repellant, light-weight and strong, pure wool has other advantages: its protein properties make it hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial and odour absorbent. It can even regulate your body temperature by drawing moisture away from your body. All of which makes it an excellent and adaptable material for design.
And now... Lambswool
For one of our latest products we have begun working in high quality lambswool. The wool orginates with the family run Z.Hincliffe & sons in Yorkshire, England, who have been in operation since 1766. Lambswool is taken from the first shearing of the sheep, creating a soft, elastic yarn that is used in creating high-grade textiles.
Vík Prjónsdóttir's products represent a collaboration between contemporary design and the traditions of Iceland's once blossoming wool industry. Working hand-in-hand with our producers, the factory and their staff, is a vital part of our process. Together we strive to produce contemporary wool products.
And, this being Iceland, any energy used in the production process is drawn from 100% green geothermal and hydroelectric energy.
Our production and design process continues to be influenced by working closely with the traditional knitwear factory workers and producers. The factory machines and software are only slowly moving on from the technology of the 70s and 80s. However, the limitations of older technology demand a creative and resourceful design process. From the beginning, the aim of Vík Prjónsdottir has been to use design to bring the Icelandic wool industry into a new and exciting phase.
The wool tradition in Iceland
In the early days of Icelandic society, working with wool was an important part of life and culture. Sheep, and the wool they produced, were a perhaps the most important resource for Icelanders, and there were strong traditions of spinning, knitting and weaving. The wool and textile trade were very much at the heart of
The rise and decline of Icelandic wool production Around the early 1990s, the wool industry in Iceland was blooming, with factories all over the country. However, imports began to dominate local production, so that by 2005 there were only three wool factories still in operation. It was in this environment that Vík Prjónsdottír was formed, as an attempt to bring a new design impetus to a dying trade.
In 2005, Vík Prjónsdóttir began working with the Víkurprjón knitting factory, a collaboration that lasted until 2012. When the factory was sold, we beganour current relationship with Glófi ehf – the largest knitwear producer and distributor in Iceland.
For one of our latest products, the Arctic Sunhat, Vík Prjónsdóttir is working with lambswool with the German knitwear factory strickchic. The factory's use of cutting edge technology makes it one of Germany's highest profile knitwear production centres. The factory's dramatic history dates back to the earliest years of the 20th Century, when it was started by Emils Moths. Following enforced nationalisation during the post war era of East German rule, it is now back in the family, run by Emil's descendants.
Our production and design process continues to be influenced by working closely with the traditional knitwear factory workers and producers.
Vík Prjónsdóttir is a owned by the designers Brynhildur Pálsdóttir, Guðfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir, Þuríður Sigurþórsdóttir. Their common interest in applying the form and magic of everyday items into their designs is evident in Vík Prjónsdóttir products.
More about the designers
Brynhildur Pálsdóttir designer is based in Reykjavík. She graduated from the Icelandic Arts Academy in 2004 as a product designer, after a successful exchange semester at Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam she went back after graduating and received her second BA degree from the Design Lab department in 2005. After graduation she started to work on various projects where the main focus is to work with local materials such as food, wool and clay and local production. Brynhildur is one of the directors of Designers and Farmers, developed for the Iceland Academy of the Arts, were product designers and farmers were brought together to develop unique high-quality food products based on Iceland's traditional produce. From 2007 -2010 Brynhildur worked as a consultant for small scale food producers at Maits Iclandic Food and Bio tech R&D. She is a board member at Reykjavik School of Visual Art and has taken part in developing new program for studies in ceramics. Brynhildur has been a guest lecturer in Reykjavik School of Visual Art and the Iceland Academy of the Arts since 2007.
Guðfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir
The designer Guðfinna Mjöll Magnúsdóttir belives in curiousity as the main drive for creativity. She is interested in the challenge to work with local materials and production and wants design to be participant in society. Besides being a co-founder of Vík Prjónsdóttir, Guðfinna has worked on a wide range of creative projects for the past 12 years. Recently she designed a creative idea lab for children at the Reykjavík Art Museum, Kjarvalsstaðir. She is also one of the directors of the project Designers and Farmers (2007-2012), developed for The Iceland Academy of the Arts, were product designers and farmers were brought together to develop unique high-quality food products based on Iceland's traditional produce. Guðfinna has been lecturer for various institutions in Iceland. In winter 2008-2009 she was the program director of product design at The Iceland Academy of the Arts, were she has also been teaching for many years. Guðfinna is based in Reykjavík and graduated as a product designer in 2004 from The Iceland Academy of the Arts.
Þuríður Rós Sigurþórsdóttir
Icelandic Artist Thuridur Ros Sigurthorsdottir questions the accepted constructs of our everyday reality to produce works that are quietly poetic gestures more in line with a moment than a movement. Her sculptural installations and images reflect the sensation of a natural occurrence. One that in revealing its secrets produces keener questions for those who are its witness. After receiving her BA in Woman's Wear from Central Saint Martins in London Sigurthorsdottir worked as a designer both individually and in collaboration with the label Scandinavian tourist and design collective Vík Prjónsdóttir exhibiting her projects and pieces internationally. In 2008 She completed her MFA in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where she currently lives and works.
Vík Prjónsdóttir was initiated in the year 2005 by the above mentioned designers including the designers Egill Kalevi Karlsson and Hrafnkell Birgisson.
Egill Kalevi Karlsson
Egill Kalevi Karlsson is an Icelandic artist and designer based in New York. After receiving his bachelor's degree at the Design Academy in Eindhoven Karlsson worked as a product designer in Rotterdam. Continuing his interest in the blurred edge between design and visual arts he moved to New York in 2007 where he obtained an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. His work since explores the intersection of art and design through an interest in the hidden aura of everyday objects. Hallucinogenic musings on natural phenomena and visual perception combined with high level of technical skill he takes common objects and recreates them into something new.
Hrafnkell Birgisson was born in Reykjavík in 1969. He graduated as a product designer from the Academy of Fine Arts in Saarbrucken, Germany. His conceptual work covers the fields of product design, exhibition design and interior architecture. His work Hoch die Tassen has become a design classic, displayed in design stores and gallery shops all around the world, while the Tools You Bake baking tins and the ongoing Vik Prjonsdottir knitting-project are examples of self-initiated collaborations with fellow designers and small local manufacturers.
Hrafnkell has developed and tutored courses at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, including the De-Ikea workshop, a series of classes he also tutored at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco. His designs have been published in the International Design Yearbook 2007 and in the book Furnish from Gestalten Verlag. His work also appears in the travelling exhibition Shaping the New Century-European Design since 1985 which opened at the Indianapolis Museum of the Arts in 2009.