Sheep may already have been introduced to Iceland as early as 874 by Vikings, but most historians think this only happened around the year 1300. Since then, the Icelandic sheep has physically adapted to the harsh climate and sometimes biting cold. It has a soft, dense and well-insulating underwool and an outer fleece of longer wool that protects the sheep against rain and snow. A characteristic of the Icelandic wool is that it is only rarely dyed and that the natural wool colours white, black, grey and brown are used.
Sheep are not kept intensively in Iceland but they roam practically free. Icelandic sheep are unique, there are about 400.000-500.000 of these animals. The typical Icelandic sheep farm has a herd of 200-300 animals. Mulesing doesn't exist in Iceland and the farmers estimate that, compared to Europe, 30 times less antibiotics are used in Iceland because the sub-arctic climate is unfavorable for pests like lice.
Warm spring or geyser water is used to wash and degrease the wool. It is so gentle that very little soap or degreasing agents need to be used.