Thanksgiving Times and Christmas Wishes

The Textile Center in Blönduós in December 2021. Image: Helgi S. Guðmundsson
The Textile Center in Blönduós in December 2021. Image: Helgi S. Guðmundsson

The Christmas holidays are coming up and 2022 will be here soon. We think it is the right time to say thank you to everyone supporting us at the Textile Center and participating in the events we have done this year! 

Over 100 participants submitted ideas for our Icelandic wool-themed idea competition "Ullarþon" last spring; you can read about the winners and watch their video shorts here on our website. We were pleased to see so many guests participate in "Textile, Tryouts and Technology", the events we organized during DesignMarch 2021, including the formal opening of the TextileLab in Blönduós on May 21, and join us for the art exhibitions, open houses and workshops held at the Textile Center and TextileLab this summer.

They say you reap what you sow, which is why we make sure to always have a grant application (or two, or five) in the works. In 2021 we received funding from the Ministry of Industry and Innovation's Lóa Innovation Grant to further develop our TextileLab and start building a textile cluster in Northwest Iceland. We collaborated on exciting research projects funded by the Icelandic Student Innovation Fund ("Endurofið"; "Þráðhyggja" - more info below), and Shoplifter's summer exhibition "Boðflenna" on Hrútey island.

The Textile Residency, now known as the Ós Textile Residency, truly came back to life in 2021. As a matter of fact, we've never had so many artists stay with us in November and December, so there is plenty to be grateful for! 

Ullarþon - Wool Hackathon award ceremony in Reykjavík on May 20. President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson presented the awards to the top teams in each category. Hulda Brynjólfsdóttir, chairman of the Textile Center board stands on the left.

The Textile Lab is up and running 

On May 21, 2021, Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, the Icelandic Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation, and Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, the Minister of Education, Science and Culture, formally opened the TextileLab on Þverbraut 1 in Blönduós. The first of its kind in Iceland, the TextileLab offers access to state-of-the-art textile equipment and digital technology for makers, students and artists, including two Tc2 digital looms, a felt loom, laser cutter, vinyl printer, and digital embroidery machine. The project received a development grant from the Icelandic Infrastructure Fund and is part of the Textile Center's ongoing European collaboration CENTRINNO , funded by the research and innovation program Horizon2020. Since the formal opening we have welcomed many visitors, including members of parliament, the local community, and student groups. In August, designers Berglind Hlynsdóttir and Sólveig Hansdóttir stayed in Blönduós to work on their textile-waste focused research project "Þráðhyggja" ("Thread Obsession"), using both the traditional looms and knitting machines at the Textile Center, and the digital equipment at the TextileLab. Read their final paper (in Icelandic) on Skemman and see a video here.

At the end of the summer holidays we invited teachers from the Blönduós elementary school to participate in a workshop and held an open house weekend, art exhibition and smart textiles workshop with Milan-based educator Zoe Romano (August 27-29). In the fall we welcomed students from the Reykjavík Academy of the Arts and the School of International Training. We also taught 3rd year fashion design students from the Iceland University of the Arts for one week and held a guided tour for elected representatives participating in the fall meeting of SSNV, the Association of Municipalities in Northwest Iceland.

On October 1 TextileLab manager Margrét Katrín Guttormsdóttir joined our team and is now working on programming, teaching materials and opening hours (more info coming soon). Margrét Katrín has a Bachelor's degree in product design from the Iceland University of the Arts and a diploma in textiles from the Reykjavík School of Visual Arts. We look forward to working together and welcoming more visitors and lab users (makers, scholars, artists, students, educators ...) in the future!


Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir, the Icelandic Minister of Tourism, Industry and Innovation, and Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, the Minister of Education, Science and Culture, formally opened the TextileLab in Blönduós on May 21, 2021. Middle: Margrét Katrín Guttormsdóttir, TextileLab manager. Right: Students from the Iceland University of the Arts.   

CENTRINNO - Consortium Meeting in Amsterdam

We've been meeting with our European colleagues within CENTRINNO for over a year now, but always online due to the pandemic. We have never had the chance to meet in person. So we were of course rather excited to hear that the second Consortium meeting would take place in the Netherlands, on site and in person. The meeting was held October 11-14 in Amsterdam, the representatives from Iceland being Elsa Arnardóttir and Katharina Schneider (Icelandic Textile Center) along with Þorgerður Einarsdóttir and Laufey Axelsdóttir (University of Iceland). On the agenda were presentations from pilot projects in participating cities Milan, Barcelona, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam, Tallinn, Copenhagen, Zagreb and Blönduós, walks around project sites and work sessions at the Reinwardt Academie, Pakhuis de Zwijger and WAAG, a center for future-oriented development of design and technology. While web conferencing tools are useful and our CENTRINNO online meetings and training sessions have been very effective, it was great to see everyone, talk in the real world and visit the sites we have been hearing so much about. For more info on CENTRINNO and updates from the Blönduós pilot, visit the project website: (#H2020 #centrinnoeu) or visit us on Facebook and Instagram.


#2 Consortium Meeting in Amsterdam, October 11-14 attended by representatives from all nine pilots. Group photo: CENTRINNO. 

Ós Residency News

The Textile Center residency now has a name! Introducing Ós Textile Residency, named after its location on the banks of river Blanda, overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean (the word "ós" means estuary in Icelandic, or where a river runs into the sea). While spring was very quiet, summer and fall were delightfully busy, with over 50 textile artists from Mexico, Chile, France, Canada, the US, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the UK and the Netherlands travelling to Blönduós to work on their projects. Our Nordic-Baltic Scholarship recipient Austė Jurgelionytė-Varnė from Lithuania joined us in September and October and taught a plant-dyeing workshop for fellow artists in residence and members of the community. Victoria Manganiello, Zoe Romano, and Elisa Palomino were among the first artists in residence to try the new equipment at the Textile Lab; there's been a lot of excitement over the digital embroidery machine and felt loom in particular, and we are all thrilled for the new digital knitting machine to arrive. Please note that access to the TextileLab is not included in the residency fee. Artists can book equipment for an hour / day / week etc., and training sessions with our Lab manager if need be. If you are interested in staying at Ós Residency, we accept applications from textile artists and scholars all year round (open call). 


Austé Jurgelionyté-Varné teaching a plant-dyeing workshop at the Textile Center on October 6. 

Coming Up! 

Workshops at the TextileLab Within the next couple of months makers will be able to book equipment and training sessions at the TextileLab. Equipment includes a vinyl printer, laser cutter, digital embroidery machine, felt loom, two Tc2 digital looms, and we are waiting for our digital knitting machine to arrive. Several workshops are in development, too, and will be advertised on our website and social media.

The Iceland Knit Fest 2022 will be held in Blönduós June 10-12. Save the date! You will be able to buy tickets for workshops and presentations on our website in the spring. Until then follow Iceland Knit Fest on Facebook ( and Instagram #icelandknitfest for news and updates.

This is it from us in 2021! Stay warm this winter, happy holidays & have a good start to the New Year!