Traditional Icelandic Armor Revived For Teapots And iPads


Design firm Hlutagerðin revives an ancient technique for keeping warriors warm to protect tea and gadgets.

Brady Dale
  • 24 june 2014

Boiled lambskin is durable and tough. Coupled with lambswool, it becomes a sturdy layer of protection. Icelandic design company Hlutagerðin has sewn lambskin over a teapot, with lambswool inside the skin an insulation.

The lambskin was boiled and prepared using a method used to make armor for ancient Icelandic warriors. Designer Elín Bríta decided to try bringing back the old method as a way to insulate teapots and make sleeves for iPads, which can be fragile things.

The project arose from an assignment where the then design student was charged with making a project that drew on tea as an inspiration. The parallel of the boiling water in the case of both tea and preparing the armor stood out for them.

This isn’t the only case of traditional techniques informing modern creations. We have other stories of old ways used to make new things, such as traditional printing techniques used to make striking temporary tattoos, glassmaking techniques used to make candy, boatmaking techniques used to make sunglasses and Chinese ceramics used to make Western icons.

To take it in the opposite direction, check out this artist who used Excel spreadsheets to make stunning looking Japanese traditional artwork.

Brynja og Skjöldur



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