A Louse in Court: Norwegian Knitted Sweaters with ‘Lus’ on Big-Time Criminals

Ingun Grimstad Klepp

Introduction

Early one morning in 2008 I was sitting in make-up for a Norwegian television show and felt the trained hands of the make-up smooth out my face with paint. It wasn’t the first time I’d been there. With a population of 5 million there are not many clothing researchers to choose between in Norway, and with plenty of weather and outdoor activities, clothes are important. Questions such as how to dress children for physical activities outdoors are equally relevant every autumn and before every winter vacation and every Easter, when Norwegians go to their cabins, and the ideal is to spend as much time as possible outdoors. I have talked about the choice between wool and synthetic fibres and also about traditional Norwegian knitwear, but this time the subject was somewhat different.


The Norwegian Islamist Arfan Bhattis stood, as the first person in Norway to be accused of violating a new terror clause in the Penal Code. The striking thing for the Norwegian press was that he appeared in court in a Norwegian knitted sweater, a so-called lusekofte [lit: lice jacket], and he wasn’t the first. Before him, the accused in the biggest robbery in Norwegian history and the accused in the most discussed triple homicide had dressed in the lusekofte in court.

You can find this essay in the book Fashion Crimes: Dressing for Deviance, edited by Joanne Turney, here (bloomsburyfashioncentral.com).

A Note from the Editors of Fashion Practice

Kate Fletcher & Ingun Grimstad Klepp

A Note from the Editors of Fashion Practice

The general editors of Fashion Practice, Sandy Black and Marilyn Delong, would like to thank our guest editors Kate Fletcher and Ingun Grimstad Klepp for their work in developing this Special Issue on Localism and Fashion. With its focus on localism as a movement concerned with generating knowledge for change, we see an emerging concept for fashion. This reaches beyond a more familiar territory, where the notion of localism may be concentrated on marketing a place, country or region through the fiber and garments made there—for example, see the previous special issue “Fashion Made in Italy” (2014, Volume 6 Issue 2). We view this current edition as the beginning of a stimulating debate on the topic of localism.

Click here to read the full editorial (tandfonline.com).

Potential of Woolen Materials in Health Care

Kirsi Laitala, Ingun Grimstad Klepp, Marit Kjeldsberg & Kjersti Eilertsen

Paper

Abstract

Woolen textiles may have more potential use areas within the health care than what they are used for today. They have many benefits such as being self-extinguishing, flexible, and having high isolation as well as moisture absorption properties. While absorbing moisture it releases heat, and as the evaporation rate is slow, woolen materials do not give a rapid chill that some other faster drying materials have. Therefore wool can hold lot of moisture before feeling wet. Due to wool’s potential to shrink in wash, the challenge has been how to wash wool to get it clean enough for health care use. Laboratory experiments were designed in order to see woolens’ tolerance to different washing treatments, as well as their properties related to soil repellence and stain removal.


The results showed that wool tolerates to be cooked without causing additional felting shrinkage, as well as spin dried at high velocity (at least 1400 rpm), as long as there is no mechanical action that could cause the fibers to get entangled. Therefore, the acceleration and slowing-down phases of spin-drying program have to be rapid, so that the centrifugal forces will keep the garments trapped in place against the walls of the drum. Especially untreated woolen fabrics showed good soil repellence against water based soils, as the outer layer of woolen materials is hydrophobic. However, if the staining occurred it was more difficult to get wool clean than synthetic fabrics. Cotton got even more soiling, but it tolerates more efficient washing and detergents than wool does. Wool has potential to replace some of the materials that are more commonly used in health care today, such as cotton, polyester and polyamide, and improve the use properties without compromising the hygiene. The frequent washing of textiles cause wear and tear, creates extra work as well as environmental consequences. Woolen products are washed less frequently than products mare of other fibers. Therefore, an increase in the use of wool can be a way to reduce washing frequency.

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