Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Factory Visit - Leiftur / Sp/f. Sjóklæðir

A couple of days ago, I stopped by Sp/f. Sjóklæðir to make a surprise visit, hoping to get a look of the production, sewing machines and have a chat about the company. I was greeted by a sincerely friendly lady, Bjørg Nólsoy, who was happy to show me around.

This morning there was very little activity in the white painted, rather anonymous looking house, which serves both as Sjóklæðir's storage and workshop. This was due to the fact because the shipment with new supplies from Belgium unfortunately had taken a detour to Latvia and therefore was expected to arrive later that day.

The company is situated up a hill in the biggest fishing community of the Faroe Islands, Klaksvík. The past 50 years It has been providing Faroese fishermen, farmers and the fish industry ashore with work wear the.

Initially the garments were branded 'Mammut', but it was renamed 'Leiftur' meaning baby whale, because a factory in Denmark, more or less similar to Sjóklæðir, also called itself Mammut.

In its early days the factory also manufactured a range of everyday apparel including jeans and jackets. Today the company is run by Bjørg, who is the daughter of the founders. Nowadays the company employs six people. In the golden days as many as 40 people worked at Sjóklæðir.

Very little has changed in the production. The customers are the same people wanting exactly the same things when the previous are worn out.
Sometimes small adjustments are being made, when a number of fishermen have proclaimed that a hood or sleeve is too wide or narrow for instance.
This is also why Bjørg has no website and why she doesn't advertise. ”People know we're here and what we're about”.

All words and photos by Fríðgerð á Hálvmørk


  1. Great feature - thanks for sharing.
    As for work wear in general I am still a bit puzzled sometimes as to why we have so many brands in Denmark: Kansas, Mammut, FE Engel, Elka, Ocean, J.A.K. and probably more. Unfortunately I don't think any of them produces out of Denmark anymore?
    Respect to Leiftur for keeping it made in faroe islands.

  2. What a great post from the Faroe Islands! I really love the picture with the green fabric. Hope to hear more from that quarter...

  3. At Rasmus: Thank you for commenting. I'm about to write Bjørg in order to hear if it's possible to buy some Leiftur. I think a lot of it looks beautiful. And if I'm not mistaken I might have a little something from Leiftur coming my way already.
    I would also like to hear, if she could put together a pair of jeans for me. Nothing big scale of course, but it looks like it's a possibility.

    At Anonymous: Thanks for chipping in. Much appreciated.
    As far as I know, and I'm 99% sure actually, none of the brands you mention manufacture anything in Denmark. Most of them have moved production to the Baltic countries. Quite sad, really. And I don't think anyone makes as much as Leiftur does. I think I have mapped pretty every maker in Denmark and none of them makes as much as Leiftur does. That's also why, they are so damn interesting from my perspective. And why I'm really considering making a trip to the Faroe Islands.