December 19, 2023

Our textiles: Wool shoddy coating fabric from textile waste

By Iben Bergstrøm
Sjølingstad dyed sjoddi yarn

At Color Vision we aim to incorporate recycled textiles in our designs, which we currently do in two ways; through using deadstock and by recycling wool.

Maja at Selbu Spinneri sorting different fibres from the SIRKULL Plusslab project


Developing recycled wool textiles

For the past two years we have worked on turning waste into new textiles, resulting in three different wool coating fabrics. The first yarn is a mix of carpet fibre leftovers and rayon (cellull in norwegian). The second and third yarn is a 70/30 recycled wool and new wool fibre from norwegian crossbred sheep

Shoddy fibre
Shoddy fibre of torn consumer waste from Fretex

The first yarn is from the 80's, found at Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrikk. The second yarn consists of waste material from several norwegian textile companies in the SIRKULL Plusslab project. The third yarn which is pictured is spun from consumer waste donated by Fretex Norge. The entire production process of yarn and weaving the textiles has been done in Norway with Selbu Spinneri and Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrikk which is a functional museum in Mandal, established in 1894. The only part which has been conducted elsewhere is the tearing of the wool fibre by Comistra in Prato, italy by Kjersti Kviseth

Sjoddi yarn from the SIRKULL PLusslab project
Sjoddi yarn from the SIRKULL PLusslab project


What is wool shoddy?

Wool shoddy is a recycled textile material derived from discarded woolen garments and scraps. This sustainable practice breathes new life into old wool, diverting it from landfills and reducing environmental impact. The process involves sorting, cleaning, and shredding worn wool items into fibers that are then carefully blended to create a versatile and durable material. Shoddy wool maintains the natural warmth and insulating properties of traditional wool, making it an eco-friendly alternative in various applications, from apparel to insulation.

Beyond its environmental benefits, wool shoddy also contributes to a circular economy by extending the lifespan of wool products. The resulting textiles are often cost-effective and retain the character of the original wool, showcasing a harmonious blend of sustainability and practicality. As consumers increasingly seek eco-conscious options, wool shoddy emerges as a compelling choice, embodying the ethos of repurposing and responsible consumption.

Loom at Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrikk with shoddy fabric
Loom at Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrikk with shoddy yarn as weft and white lambswool warp.

Usage of the fabrics

The three yarns will become a wool coat which will be presented for autumn 2024. In the first quarter of 2024 there will also be an exhibition at the Color Vision store where you can see the finished jacket and view the process behind the textiles.

Trine at Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrikk quality controlling the shoddy fabric
Trine at Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrikk quality controlling the shoddy fabric


Interested in our textiles and philosophy on circular economy? Sign up for the newsletter to receive more information.