Since 1887 we have been through an incredible journey. Here you can read about the highlights.
This was a year in which the world took a deep breath as nothing really happened. But during a snowstorm in Montana, USA, the biggest snowflakes fell from the sky. They measured a staggering 38 x 20 cm! At the same time a young Dane sailed into the picturesque Norwegian town of Larvik. His name was Jacob Jacobsen. Being the youngest of 20 he was sent out to carve his own path. But coming from Jyllands leading textile family, he soon dug into his vast experience from spending his childhood years in the factory. He, his knowledge and Norwegian Wool got of to a flying start, and soon a factory was followed by a local wife and kids. Till this day the family is still in charge and running the show.
At that time wool was a precious material. But it was not at all soft and comfortable. To make it last and stop it from sucking up water and sweat it was knitted stone hard. It was not for the fainthearted. Ever since the Viking ages everyone had searched for ways to make wool useful. This search eventually led the Jacobsen family and Captain Henrik Brun together.
Officer Brun had before the war come up with the idea of making big holes to solve the sweat / drying / transportation problems. Nansen had used some fishing-net lookalikes. But now they tried to mesh cotton. Jacobsen solved the production challenges with his machines while Brun tested it extensively. It worked wonders! They got their heads down and registered the name Brynje. The resemblance between their shirts and the Viking’s ‘Brynje’ was startling. A ‘brynje’ was a warrior’s ‘coat of chain mail’, and much lighter, better ventilated and more comfortable than European solid armour. They were more efficient. Exactly the same applied to the Brynje underwear; it was tailor-made for the fight – the fight with nature.
Brynje had made people sit up. Not only in the Norwegian snow, but all over. When John Hunt planned his Everest assault, he stunned the conservative climbing community by opting for new theories like light weight, comfort and efficiency to speed up his men. All set out fully dressed in Brynje mesh, and, on the 29th of May 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay took us to the top of the world. – We were the first shirt up at 8850 meters and made his famous first remark our own: We nailed the bastard. Since then we’ve had numerous visits up there. Everest did wonders for the export as the Brynje became synonymous with all sorts of athletes. We even sponsored the world heavy weight champion Ingmar Johansson with a staggering $250, - and lots of shirts!
The ‘holy’ shirt became exceedingly popular while we worked on the next step. From the mid-seventies synthetic fabrics hit the market. This fitted perfectly to our mesh shirt’s philosophy. And with Super Thermo we rewrote the physics of how well a shirt could work on moisture, drying, insulation and functionality. Into the eighties more and more athletes joined us as the cyclists on the continent woke up. Their reality of sweaty uphill’s followed by ice-cold descents had been solved by plastic bags and newspapers. They now embraced our ‘holy’ (mesh) shirt. The list of Tour de France superstars that we have sent packages to is as long as the race itself.
We reached the South Pole with the Unarmed Expedition. This was the first time anyone had reached a Pole dressed completely synthetic. The theory was to get all moisture away from the skin while labouring hard as the mesh air pockets insulated against the bitter cold and constant wind. Today we doubt any other company have more Greenland crossings and Poles than us. Hunters had the same revelation. Mesh was the optimal choice for long marches, cold waits and heavy burdens heading home.
The idea to our prizewinning Arctic Double came out of a tink-tank with numerous “cold expeditions”. Synthetic mesh underneath with a soft wool layer strengthened the characteristics of wool and deleted the wet-wool feeling for good. Arctic Double was designed for the worst, but soon became a cuddly favourite – just for pleasure.
Into the new Millennium Arctic Double has become our bestseller and we introduced several new dual products as we discovered that wool-, fleece- and other garments function a lot better when matched with our mesh. And looking around, others also start to understand that air is the answer to increase the functionality of modern fabrics. Love is in the air, they say. But, to get air, you need mesh!