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The story of Ottar the Viking’s epic voyages into the great unknown northlands – Norvegr – still fascinates even today. Unlike many great sagas, however, it happens to be true.
In 870 AD, a traveller arrived at the court of King Alfred the Great, in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex. One of the most powerful men in Norway, Ottar the Viking came not to raid but to trade, and like all travellers he was all the more welcome for entertaining the court with stories about his journey. As the fire blazed in the great hall, and the wine was passed around, he started with the simple motive for his quest: “I wanted to find out how far north my country ended.”
Ottar set sail from his home port of Hålogland, near the Arctic Circle, and headed north. Navigation was simply a matter of keeping the uninhabited coast to his right, and he sailed this ‘North Way’ – or ‘Norvegr’ as it was called – until the coast curved steeply to the east. Undeterred, the intrepid Ottar and his Viking crew kept sailing east until they came to the land of the Bjarmers, in what we now know as Russia. No one had ever sailed that far north before, but Ottar was as pragmatic as he was inspired.
All along the route he collected fur pelts, feathers and precious down, for in those days a man’s wealth was measured by what he could trade. Many months later, his voyage home took him south along the Norwegian coast to the market at Kaupang, then on to Hedeby in Denmark for more trading, and finally to the court of King Alfred, where he knew his treasures would be eagerly received.
Sable and eiderdown were marks of high rank for several reasons. Royalty and the nobility knew that these merchant goods were not only hard to obtain, but of exceptional quality. They knew that arctic seabirds develop the best down to insulate their small bodies against the bitterly cold polar nights, just at arctic mammals develop the warmest pelts. And as bluebloods themselves, they demanded only the warmest and the very best.
For our company Norvegr, the story of Ottar the Viking is of more than historical interest. It authenticates the legendary Norwegian tradition of trading luxurious down products that underpins our business today. Centuries after Ottar’s journeys, power still commands privilege, and there are few truer privileges than the bliss of a perfect night’s sleep. At Norvegr we continue to pursue the time-honoured tradition of creating superlative bedding for an exclusive, international clientele.
Our family started out in this trade in the 1950s, producing down duvets and down pillows, and also maintaining and restoring these products back into their original shapes. With the unique knowledge we had gained during our decades in the business, we wanted to put our skills to use for something extraordinary and uncompromising, and we therefore founded Norvegr. We are proud to carry on the ancient Norwegian traditions stemming back to the Viking ages, and to Ottar the Viking in particular.
Norvegr down products are filled with the finest and most exclusive down, and covered with the softest casings in pure Egyptian cotton. Many of our duvets are privately commissioned and tailored to meet individual requirements. With time, we have added more products to our business. But we have done so only once we have felt as confident about their successes as we are when it comes to making our duvets and pillows.
We remain as passionate about genuine craftsmanship as the day we set out on our journey, over sixty years ago.
Download our brochure and read about the company Norvegr and the products we offer.
Are you curious about what people say about us? Here are a few quotes from some of our dear customers.
How to care for your Norvegr down products, and the Norvegr repair service for the event of accidents.
Norvegr Down Duvets AS
Østre Rosten 84, N-7075 Tiller, Norway
Organization number: N 985 184 321
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Appointed quality suppliers to the Relais & Chateaux.