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Our vision is to create classic high-quality products based on tradition and history. The products are inspired by Norse mythology and our intention is for the products to convey and generate an interest in our past. We control the entire production chain from where we pick up the wool until it is washed, spun, weaved and finished. It is part of our philosophy to be confident that the entire production process from the beginning to the end is sustainable and environmentally friendly. We do believe in “slow fashion”. All products are created for generations. We have been inspired to make our clothes from the Vikings.The way they made their clothes inspired us to continue old traditions in making capes and ponchos.
The story about the brand
The origin of the name Vingtor comes from Norse mythology and from a poem called "Trymskvida" where Tor fell asleep and when he woke up he missed his hammer "Mjølner". We have also used the name for another reason. The name Vingtor originates from a carton series competition run by Aftenposten Norwegian newspaper during the Second World War, which Roar Ydse won. The hero and main character in the series was called Vingtor. The series, which was published in Aftenposten during the wartime years, was heavily ironic and played on the Norwegian national character.
The birds in our trademark are the ravens, Hugin and Munin who sat on Odins shoulders when he sat in Valhalla on his throne. Every morning, Hugin (meaning ‘thought’) and Munin (meaning ‘memory’) would fly out into the world. As well as serving as Odin’s personal reporters, these birds stood as symbols of Odin’s intellectual powers. Each evening they would return to their master, perch on his shoulders and whisper into his ear all that they had seen and heard: a pre-internet version of a news agency! Viking armies would decorate their banners with a raven as a way of demonstrating that they were under Odin’s protection. Odin was known as “the God of Ravens”.
The Norwegian wool we are using is collected from all over the country. We always use the best wool from the sheep to be sure that the quality of the products is as best as it can be. After the wool has been sorted into different qualities, it is shipped to United Kingdom for washing. After the washing process the wool goes to Lituania for spinning, weaving and at last sewing. We are proud to have such a good team throughout the production chain from wool to finished products. Our wool logo "Norwegian Wool" is a visible proof of our strategy of taking care of one of our most important natural resources. There is no substitute for wool; it is an environmentally friendly natural product with unique properties. Wool can absorb moisture without losing its exceptional insulation properties and is naturally fire-resistant and stain-repellent.
Myths are narratives about gods and forces, about the creation of the world and of man, about strange happenings that took place in a time beyond time and space. In contrast to fairy tales, myths were regarded as true stories, though in the symbolic rather than the literal sense.
All the myths in a given culture are collectively referred to as a mythology and are regarded to be an aspect of religion. Mythology is religion’s arsenal of ideas which both reflect and influence a culture. Norse mythology has an abundance of colourful and fantastic stories in which gods and forces play the leading role.
These myths have followed people in their daily lives and celebrations; myths were linked to cults and to rituals for seeking help in life and in death. Norse mythology is most closely associated with the Viking Age (750-1050), an epoch in Scandinavian history before these countries were Christianised.
It was the Christian world that saw to it that these ancient myths were written down and preserved for posterity. One important name in this tradition of pagan myths is Snorri Sturluson, the Icelander who in the 13th century wrote a textbook for poets in which pre-Christian myths were the focal point. Snorre based his writings on ancient poetry, poetic eddas and skaldic poetry, which took myths for their raw material. Many of these poems have survived until modern times. This means that we can still study the myths and the religious ideas that dominated Scandinavia prior to the introduction of Christianity as the prevalent religion.
The Norse myths serve as gateways into a culture that is different, more exotic than ours; one in which traces of a different cosmology and other deities and powers lie hidden. Long after the pagan myths had become part of a living religion, the stories were retold and reused in the Scandinavian countries. The Norse myths have continued to inspire poets, artists and musicians for more than a thousand years. Even today, there is wisdom to be found in these colourful, ancient stories.
A special thanks to Gro Steinsland, Professor in History of Religion at the University of Oslo, for interpreting the illustrations.
The artist behind the Vingtor symbols
Roar Ydse (29.06.1915‒26.01.1996) drew all six of the motifs that were selected for our products. They were originally created for the book cover for Den norrøne litteraturen published by Det Norske Samlaget in 1962.
Roar Ydse grew up in Trondheim and moved to Oslo at the age of 20 to begin work as an advertising illustrator, a profession he combined with his artistic production. Already as a young student, he experimented with figurative motifs inspired by Norse mythology and rock carvings. These works express a modern sensitivity towards the symbolic language of our forefathers. He characterised his own pictures as naked and brutal. He developed his interpretation of Norse mythology through long periods of self-study.
The production team
We are a small family owned company that have passion for what we are doing.
The company was established in 2002 and has grown slowly and safely. We have one important principle that we aim for fair trade. We control the entire manufacturing process. Vingtor of Norway has business address 20 km south of Oslo, but we also have a showroom in the centre of Oslo. Our clients are from around the world.
Zero waste philosophy
Our strategy is that as little as possible of our production becomes waste. When we make our products, we use all the fabric, but sometimes something is leftover for one garment, will be for example a pocket on another garment. We call it environmentally friendly production.
We also wash all our products as little as possible. That is because we want some of the wool lanolin to remain in the garment. It also means that the garments have a natural water repellent. Lanolin is a natural substance the sheep wool and they have their natural “own raincoat”.
Several of our products are not dyed. They have natural woolcolors.