The felt slipper represents the strongest aspects of Scandinavian design. The form is economic, ergonomic, functional but above all comforting. The slippers have a timeless appeal and cultural endurance: for Scandinavians they evoke fond childhood memories and from this nostalgic root has grown a modern interpretation of a classic consumer product.
Today, there are only a few dedicated family companies which manufacture felt products. Alhon Huopatehdas concentrate on slippers and socks while Huopaliike Lahtinen’s range includes insoles, boots, bags and hats. Elements of production are still done by hand but the companies are moving with the times. Traditionally colours were limited to basic reds, dark blue, grey and white; but this fall new colours will be introduced including pink and denim blue.
For years the felt slipper was seen as the province of older, northern Finnish country folk and forestry workers. Increasingly, though, they are being sought out by ecologically inclined young urbanites, as well as international fashion and design-conscious consumers. Slippers from Huopaliike Lahtinen – the oldest felt factory in Finland – are available from the Selvedge shop online or in store and cost £52.95. Shop Slippers here. We've had a new batch delivered – just in time for Christmas posting. This is an extract from Kaija Savolainen's article in the Wool issue of Selvedge. www.selvedge.org