Dale of Norway has made the knit sweater world famous. Both Ralph Lauren and Dolce & Gabbana have used Norwegian traditional patterns, and now the Dale sweaters have become more fashionable than ever. Read more about the classic Norwegian Sweater that became a fashion hit.
The village of Dale in Norway is nestled between steep mountains, waterfalls and fjords on the west coast of Norway about 50 kilometres (31 miles) west of Bergen. In 1872, the Bergen-born textile engineer, Peder Jebsen (1824–1892) traveled through the small village of Dale, located close to the city of Bergen. He recognized Dale as an ideal place to establish a premium textile production facility utilizing the valley’s potential for natural hydro power and easy access to Norwegian wool and strong knitting traditions. In 1879, when the textile facility was completed, he moved back from England, where he lived at that time, to the valley of Dale in Norway.
Related: The Norwegian Knitting Celebrities
Focus on crafting premium wool qualities
From the beginning, the focus was set on crafting premium wool qualities. The factory quickly grew to be the largest employer in the region. Skilled knitters and artisans joined the company, often followed by their family members. Subsequently, this experience and expertise was passed on to the next generation.
Starting in 1912, the operation included the production of hand-knitted yarn. Norwegian sweaters, popular among skiers, have been synonymous with the sport of skiing since early 1900s, but knitted garments found in Norway have been dated as far back as between 1476 and 1525. Some of the most well-known sweater patterns attributed to Norwegian colorwork knitting are the Setesdal Lusekofte and the Fanacofte patterns.
After World War II, Dale of Norway developed exports of its knitted sweaters, and since 1956, Dale of Norway has designed and produced official Olympic and World Championship sweaters for the Norwegian National Alpine Ski Team, with new designs for every event. Dale of Norway was later chosen to design the official sweaters for the Winter Olympic Games through the International Olympic Committee (IOC), with the rights to use the Olympic symbols.
When Dale of Norway celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2004, author and social scientist Ole Petter Lien wrote in the anniversary book: “I believe ordinary people at Dale find it hard to understand the dimensions of the brand that Dale represents.” When Arnold Schwarzenegger visited Norway in 2011, Dale of Norway was on his bucket list.
The Classic Norwegian Sweater That Became a Fashion Hit
Dale of Norway is one of the very few textile companies with production in Norway. It’s paid close attention to every garment and every stage of the production. Fast forward to 2020, not much has changed. When Thinsulate and NASA technologies commit to keeping us warm, there are few items in an outdoor enthusiast’s closet quite as classic – and timeless – as a Dale of Norway sweater.
All Dale of Norway sweaters continue to be made in the Dale Valley, where production continues to be generated by sustainable hydroelectricity. Dale’s knitwear is also crafted with 100% natural wool — a resource Dale likes to call “nature’s own high-tech fiber.”
In 2017, The French Rossignol Group acquired Dale of Norway for an undisclosed sum.
The Classic Norwegian Sweater That Became a Fashion Hit, written by Tor Kjolberg