Each Qiviuk sweater is hand made. While
some styles are available to ship immediately, many will take 3-4 weeks to
deliver to you. If you are in need of a sweater immediately,
please contact us and we will let you know what we
can do to help.
What is Qiviuk?
Once a year, when the long rays of sunlight gradually begin to pierce the
Arctic's winter darkness, the frozen tundra transforms into a landscape of
luxury as rumbling herds of Muskox begin to show their downy undercoat called
Qiviuk (kiv-ee-uk or kiv-ee-ut). A fiber softer than cashmere and warmer than
wool. This exquisitely soft undercoat is an exceptionally fine and precious
fibre that protects this prehistoric mammal (that once roamed with the mastadons)
against the extreme cold of the Canadian High Arctic.
The average merino wool fibre is nearly twice as thick as qiviuk. But even
better, under a microscope, a strand of qiviuk has almost none of the scales
apparent on nearly every other animal fibre - including the most luxurious.
"It's softer than cashmere," says Fernando Alvarez, founder of Qiviuk. "It's
lighter. It's warmer."
We have combined the most dedicated and experienced craftsmen with advanced
technology to carefully reach the finest products possible. Every step is
patiently executed without compromising attention to detail.
The Muskox story begins 600,000 years ago when millions of these
short-legged, shaggy behemoths walked across the Bering Land Bridge during the
last Ice Age and managed to survive an era that most animals (including the
wooly mammoth) did not. Fossil records indicate that the muskox traveled as far
south as Tennessee, although they now live exclusively in the Canadian Arctic,
Alaska, and Greenland. The global population is estimated at 180,000.
Peru, where the most advanced textile techniques were developed in
pre-colonial times and where precious fibres such as vicuna and pima cotton are
found is where our story begins. Knitting was always a tradition to the extended
family of our founding members. The foothills and highlands of Southern Peru are
an important textile production center of noble fibres. This environment was not
only inspirational but the basis for the development and expansion of our
After relocating to Western Canada, the opportunity and challenge of starting
a knitwear business became evident, resulting in a wholesale and distribution
operation under Nando Sweaters Inc. headquartered in the beautiful Banff
National Park. With emphasis in hand knitting we were able to successfully
develop several beautiful lines made of the finest yarn and fibres of the world.
These included vicuna, guanaco, and our own trademarked Heavely Alpaca and Suri.
Jacques Cartier Clothier (named after the French explorer of Canada) was
incorporated in 1995, as part of our retail strategy. Our Qiviuk flagship store
was created in 1999 in the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise, as part of our group
of boutiques, and in fall 2008 opened our new location at the Plaza in New York.
We are proud to have our garments in the wardrobes of heads of state and
celebrities, such as the Queen of England and Canada, Francis Ford Coppola, and
Sarah Jessica Parker. We are a small company with a large commitment to exploring and preserving
rare and fine fibers in a sustainable and socially conscious way.
Qiviuk shops are located in some of the
most prestigious locations in the world, including the Plaza in New York,
Chateau Lake Louise, and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Now we at Hansen's
Clothing are proud to be able to bring these products to you online.
We recommend you dry clean or hand wash your Qiviuk product. Special care is
needed in washing, drying and ironing your Qiviuk garment..
1. Wash by hand in cold water (maximum 30 degrees) using only the mildest
2. For drying, spread garment out on a towel-covered, flat surface in the
shade. Remove towel when garment is damp.
3. Steam-iron, pressing down shortly and delicately on the garment.