Characteristics of traditional sweater tikkuröijy
Traditional Hailuoto sweater tikkuröijy is part of UNESCO Intangible Heritage list, and it is found in the collections of both Finnish National Museum and Finnish Craft Museum. It is also called luotolainen and tikkuri. Tikkuröijy is knit by hand from unwashed and undyed finnsheep’s wool. Grey is the basic colour of the knitting. Later it has also had natural light and natural black colours, the latter breaking into brown.
In 1950’s Hailuoto had thousands of sheep living on the island. Black sheep were scarce so their wool wasn’t used into making a sweater. It was only mixed in with the grey wool. Natural light was considered a too sensitive colour since the knitting was above all an everyday wear.
Tikkuröijy is seamless and is knit in one piece. Nowadays the sweater is knit with circular needles, but it was used to knit with ten sock needles. The name of the sweater comes from this time, because the needles are called ‘tikku’ in Hailuoto dialect.
The back wedge makes the knitting fit better. The width of the wedge is determined by the wearers shoulder width. The sweater also has elbow narrowings. One of the main characteristics of the sweater are six men’s pant buttons that decorate left side of the collar and shoulder. Tikkuröijy also has a decorative double moss stitch patterned front called västäräkki (white wagtail). It was not part of the original tikkuröijy. It is considered likely that the västäräkki-pattern was influenced by other countries’, such as Iceland and Ireland, fisherman’s sweaters.
Tikkuröijy without a collar
Originally tikkuröijy didn’t have a collar. Part of the outfit was a long scarf that protected it’s wearer from cold winds of the island. The islanders also created other use for the scarf. It was used to bandage a hurt knee of a horse, replace a broken pin of a hayrack or to tie a knee hit by an axe during lumbering.
Everyday wear and formal wear
The knitting is long lasting and can be used for decades. Worn out sleeves or collar can be unraveled and they are easy to knit again. This has been a great way to add many years for the knitting. It was common to own two tikkuröijys: one for everyday use and the other for formal events. The traditional knitting is a fitting formal wear even nowadays.
In the old tims in Hailuoto the groom got married in a tikkuröijy that his bride had knit. Old photographs also show that the men were sent to the battlefront wearing tikkuröijys. The sweater has always been an irreplaceble clothing for the local fishermen.
Children born in the island receive a pikkuröijy
The municipality of Hailuoto gifts every newborn in Hailuoto with a baby gift: traditional sweater knit in the island, a small child’s tikkuröijy called pikkuröijy (little tikkuröijy). The gift is the most traditional handicraft of the island, made by Hailuoto cooperative Luovon Puoji, and knit in Hailuoto. Every child born in the island receives the baby gift during their first visit to child health center. The pikkuröijy is wearable up to two years for the child. The child health services of Hailuoto individually support the wellbeing of every family from the beginning of the pregnancy to the last visits in the child health center.
The new coming of tikkuröijy
The sheep population in Hailuoto plummeted in the 1950’s after a new fence law. Traditionally tikkuröijy was knit from the wool sheared from the sheep living in the island. At the same time crafts were mechanized and first industrially created yarns came to market. These things strongly influenced the reduced knitting of tikkuröijy. Two decades later, in the 1970’s, the knitting was finally showing signs of recovering. In the 80’s the knitting was stored in a book about traditional handicrafts.
In 2020’s tikkuröijy has had an unforseeable popularity, and the sweaters are being ordered from all around the world. There is a tikkuröijy gathering in Hailuoto maintained by Hailuoto-seura, which during covid also started gatherings online. In 2020 Tikkuröijy gathering got it’s own Facebook-group lead by Anne-Maria Haapala and Auli Sipola. As part of versatile homeland work Hailuoto maintains and promotes the skills and know-how of making tikkuröijy.
The popularity of handicrafts and the need for meeting people have recently lifted the Tikkuröijy gathering into international popularity. There are over 3 000 members from 15 different countries in the Tikkuröijy-group in Facebook, and the community keeps growing constantly.
Tikkuröijy gathering of Hailuoto-seura
Tikkuröijy gathering is open for everyone. In the gathering you can either continue or start the knitting. Together we can get through even the hard parts much more easily.
Join the Facebook-group here.
You can also attend virtual Tikkuröijy gathering from Zoom through the Facebook group. You’re warmly welcome, online or to the old Hailuoto Vicarage!
Read more about the tikkuröijy conquering the world (in Finnish)
Tampereella, Suomen Kädentaidot messuilla 2021(12.11.2021)
Yle: Tarina harmaasta villapuserosta
Kalastajaneuleperinne Hailuodossa (Yle Areena 11.11.2013)
Tikkuröijypiiri ja tekemisen taito (Hailuodossa blogi 29.2.2016)
Paitaan kiteytyy sukumme tarina (Kodin kuvalehti 14.1.2016)
Koukussa luotolaisen tekoon (Kaleva 6.4.2016)
Hailuodon vanhan pappilan tikkuröijypiirissä syntyy silmukoita menneen ja nykyisen välille (Kaleva 4.1.2018)
Hailuodon tikkuröijy pääsi Elävän perinnön kansalliseen luetteloon – siitä on suunnitteilla myös kirja (Kaleva 4.1.2018)
Aito luotolainen (Kodin Pellervo 22.3.2018)
Kun Elsi Sipilän setä hukkui Oregonissa, hänet tunnistettiin suomalaiseksi tästä paidasta – valmistettu jo 1800-luvulla (Iltasanomat 25.7.2018)
Hailuodon Akin tikkuröijy valmistui –”Tietenkin aion edustaa se ylläni” (Rantalakeus 14.11.2019)
Tikkuröijypiiri tekee digiloikan (Rantalakeus 16.6.2020)
Unohda islantilaisneuleet ja ota haltuun suomalaiset perinneneuleet! http://www.ihanamaatuska.fi/2020/10/unohda-islantilaisneuleet-ja-ota.html
Hailuotolainen tikkuröijy elää uudessa nosteessa – Viime vuonna neule möi enemmän kuin kolmena edellisvuotena yhteensä (Rantalakeus 9.9.2020)
Tikkuröijy – Tämä on tarina harmaasta villapuserosta https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-11301835
Talvinen Hailuoto https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2020/01/03/talvinen-hailuoto
Yksi ja kolme tikkuröijyä (Mari Nurmenniemi, Helsinki Desing Weekin päänäyttely 2019 ja Galleria Luoto Hailuoto 2020)
MUSTREID MUJALT | Tuhast tõusnud Põhja-Soome kalurikampsun, mida koovad isegi mehed (Eesti Käsitöö 25. november 2020)