The Fjällräven Kånken backpack is without doubt the most popular item of this Swedish brand and now they come with the Fjällräven Kånken Re-Wool. That’s right, a Kånken made from recycled wool. Read the news!
Anyone who knows Fjällräven a little knows that wool has always been one of the most important materials of this Swedish brand. However, as with most outdoor brands, the material was only used to make base layers and jerseys. A few seasons ago, Fjällräven decided to use wool in other ways as well, including as lining in jackets and for a preformed back plate of a backpack. The brand was so pleased with the result that it decided to introduce wool to its most popular family – the Kånken.
Now the Kånken is not really an outdoor backpack and still I think it is worth mentioning. In the late 1970s, this backpack was Fjällräven’s answer to the traditional school bags for children that were available at the time. These school bags were heavy and, according to Fjällräven, not good for the backs of the children. The Fjällräven Kånken backpack was born in 1978, and about 400 were sold then.
Meanwhile, the Kånken is made in 54 colors and Fjällräven no longer gives figures about how much has been sold, but that the Kånken holds the record as the best-selling backpack of all time, friend and foe agree on. It is also by far the most popular and hippest backpack. Take a look on YouTube how vloggers handle the backpack. Really, there are some really nice ones. Now that it is also available in a more durable material, I think it deserves to write about. So let me elaborate on the Re-wool.
So, the Fjällräven Kånken is made of wool. Well, not quite. Re-wool is a blend of 80% recycled wool and 20% recycled polyamide. The polyamide – a nylon – is needed to give the mix the necessary strength you want from a backpack. In addition, there are also parts of G1000 on the backpack: the compartments and the back panel. The wool itself comes from Prato, in the heart of Italy, right next to Florence. This region is known for its wool production and that production leaves leftovers. Not only scraps from, for example, cutting wool suits, but also the scraps of thread that are not used after spinning. And all these pieces have different colors and textures.
Before a Kånken backpack can be made with the wool scraps, batches of residual wool must be sorted by color. These can be earth tones mixed with soft yellow, but also reddish tones. After sorting, the whole batch is thrown through the shredder and a rough type of wool is created that must be spun again into a usable thread. The disadvantage of this shredding is that wool fibers become shorter and that is not good for the strength of the thread. That is why a nylon fiber is added to the thread of the fabric for the Fjällräven Kånken Re-Wool.
The fabric that is made from the mix is called Melton wool. The term Melton naturally comes from Great Britain where – just like in Scandinavia and the region around Prato, Italy – they have a long experience when it comes to weaving wool. You’ve probably heard of Tweed. Like Tweed, Melton is a soft and very strong fabric that was also widely used and is used in coats and blankets. It is therefore resistant to wind and rain. In terms of feel, it looks a bit like felt. And for enthusiasts: the twill weave is used for weaving itself. Don’t you know what it is? Just look at your jeans; Denim is also woven with a twill weave.
Backpack with a story
So, now you know why the Fjällräven Kånken is such a success: it is a backpack with a story and that will be no different with the Fjällräven Kånken Re-Wool. There is a regular Fjällräven Kånken Re-Wool backpack (16 liters), a Kånken Re-Wool Sling (2.5 liters) which can also be worn as a waist bag and a Kånken Re-Wool Laptop 15 ”version 18 liters) . Too bad I just bought a 16 ” laptop. Price from € 119.95 / $ 95.00 / £ 110,00