Wool of muskox and sealskin
Qiviut brings unique clothing from Greenland to the world market
Qiviut is the name of a company in Greenland with shops in Sisimiut and Nuuk. It’s also the Greenlandic name of the undercoat of the musk ox.
“Our products are what makes Qiviut special,“ says Mia Chemnitz, the daughter of the company’s owner. “We have two lines of products and we produce them all ourselves. One line is made of the wool of musk ox and the other is made from seal skin. Everything is made in Greenland by local women. We focus on quality; everything is prime quality and all our materials have to be really good.”
Musk ox wool—8 times warmer than lambswool
The wool of the musk ox is considered to be one of the warmest and most luxurious fibres in the world. “The quality is absolutely amazing. The wool is eight times warmer than lamb wool, so it’s one of the warmest natural fibres you can get in the world and it’s almost weightless.”
Qiviut mainly designs and produces accessories made with musk ox wool such as hats, gloves, wrist warmers and scarves but they also make unique pieces like large ponchos with hand-dyed colours. “So every piece in this big collection is one of a kind; it adds to the exclusivity.”
Making sealskin modern again
Regarding the sealskin production, Mia says they focus on trying to make seal skin popular again. “We are trying to figure out how we can inspire young people to want to wear Greenlandic materials again.”
Qiviut produces two lines in sealskin. “First is our basic line, which carries classics like sealskin slippers, headbands and a lot of different mittens. We also have modern handbags and we are currently working a lot with mixing good quality leather and sealskin in our designs.
“The second line is our attempt to make young Greenlanders fall in love with sealskin and make it modern again. So we are mixing a modern cut with memories of our traditional Greenlandic and Inuit garments. You can see this in our jackets, vests and anorak coats.”
A worldwide webshop
Qiviut has a webshop, www.qiviut.gl. “I think I have shipped products to almost 40 countries now and we send almost every day to Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany.”
What about the goals for the future? “Our goal is to be the best in muskox wool production.We want to keep the production local. It is important to us that the wool is of the best possible quality and that our products are as good as they can get. We have a lot of clients who come back year after year because they know that what we do is good.”
Text: Svava Jónsdóttir