Barneblad: Norwegian wool


Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

Wool. Ull. Every child in Norway wears it. Every child has at least one pair of strømpebukser (wool leggings or tights), many pairs of strømper (handknit wool socks), and at least one handknit wool genser (sweater). Every child has ullundertøy (long underwear tops and bottoms) in many different colors and patterns. Children even run around in their long underwear when they are inside during the winter.

Wool is important to keep warm when you are cold and wet. It helps so you don’t stink when you sweat. There are different kinds of wool clothing for the winter and the summer. Here are three of the most popular Norwegian wool brands for kids.

Wool Joha

Janus Wool
Janus wool started in 1895 in a place called Espeland (Bergen) in Norway near a waterfall. The owner, Anton S. Stephansen, laid all the stones in the factory himself. He also built a railway station outside the factory to transport goods to and from the factory. You can find Janus Wool almost everywhere, even in the grocery store. What is the best thing about Janus wool underwear? It doesn’t itch.
You can order Janus wool from their website.

Joha Wool

Joha wool is made in Denmark. They started in 1963 and make wool clothes and underwear for babies and children. If you go to their webpage and look under vores uld (that’s Danish) you can see a little animated video about where the wool comes from. They have products in over 900 stories in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Island, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, English, Russia, and Japan. Can you find all those countries on a map?
If you want to order Joha wool, here a couple places on-line that carry it (or Google Joha Wool English):

Devold of Norway

Devold of Norway is in Langevag. It was started in 1853 by Ole Andreas Devold. They are the oldest maker of knitted clothing in Norway. Their clothing is both for everyday life and for outdoor sports. You buy it in a sporting goods store. Their clothing helps protect against cold and fire. One of the first things Devold ever made was called a Rødhua (a red knitted cap people wore on special occasions). They also make clothes for workers. Their first garment for workers was a sweater called the Islender (Icelander). It was popular with fishermen. Devold has lots of information on their website including more information about wool (look at: Devold outdoor/Useful tips/facts about wool).
You can order Devold wool products from their website.

And now a song to sing with the kids!
Bæ Bæ Lille Lam
Bæ Bæ Lille Lam is a song every Norwegian child knows. It is the Norwegian version of Baa Baa Black Sheep. Here are the words. You can also hear many versions if you Google the song. (Lyrics from

Bæ bæ lille lam
Har du noe ull?
Ja ja kjære barn,
jeg har kroppen full.
Søndagsklær til far,
og søndagsklær til mor,
og to par strømper til bitte lille bror.

Baa baa little lamb
Do you have any wool
Yes, yes, my dear child
I have a body full
Sunday clothes for father
Sunday clothes for mother
And a pair of socks for the littlest brother.

This article is a part of Barneblad, a monthly feature by Heidi Håvan Grosch to share with kids and grandkids.

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 26, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

The Norwegian American

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