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Who we are

Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS is an award-winning and innovative textile manufacturer that specializes in wool. With the entire production process under one roof, from raw material to finished product, we can guarantee flexibility and superior quality.
GU factory

Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS is currently one of Europe's leading suppliers of furniture fabric. Design is our passion, the very core of our business, and by cooperating with a dynamic network of global designers in different areas, we remain constantly innovative. 


As the only vertically integrated manufacturer of design fabrics in Scandinavia, we have the entire production process under one roof. This means that we are flexible with our technical abilities, in addition to working with an unlimited colour palette.

The best textile manufacturer in the world is from Lillehammer, Norway.

Our history


  • 1887
    Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS was first established in Lillehammer in 1887, under the name Gudbrandsdalens Uldspinderi. This modest spinning mill at Nedre Mesnafoss evolved to become one of the cornerstones of the city, and a leading textile manufacturer in the country.
  • Andreas Svarstad dy

    1912

    In 1912 there was a change in ownership, when Andreas R. Svarstad took over the company. Today the owners of Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS are fourth generation Svarstad's. 


  • 1914
    In 1914 there was a diversion from hydropower to electricity. The list of new buildings, extensions and investments in Andreas R. Svarstad's time is impressive. The results were growth in production, number of employees and revenue.

  • 1920
    In the 1920's clothing fabrics became an important aspect of production, and coat fabrics was a great article in the 1930's. The store in town had, among other things, fabrics for suits, dresses, costumes, blankets, shawls, and yarn for knitting and weaving.


  • 1950
    In the 1950's, production was targeted at the clothing industry, especially for ladies. Gradually the production specialized on upholstery fabrics. Quality, good design and reliable delivery were traits the business was known for, and worked as guidelines for the new strategy.


  • 1960
    Hans Hosak – the first Chief of Design – was appointed.

  • 1964
    In 1964 Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS went over to buying wool from New Zealand, as this was cleaner and had a smoother quality. Price-wise there was no difference, since the prices of woolen fabrics followed international models. The Commissioner System ended the same year.

  • 1965
    Hallingdal was launched for the first time. In addition, Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS had its first delivery to cruise ship M/S Sagafjord. There was also introduced a new generation of weaving machines - Sulzer Projectile weaving machines - in the building. These had significantly higher quality and efficiency.

  • 1966
    It was decided that the production of clothing fabrics were to be closed down, with the exception of costume fabrics and blankets. Production of blankets ended shortly after.

  • 1976
    Arne Svarstad transferred his shares to his son, Ragnvald.

  • 1980
    The Family Svarstad Foundation was established to promote education within the industry.

  • 1987
    The 100th anniversary was celebrated with a new Plys-building.
  • Andreas Svarstad dy

    1992
    Andreas Svarstad transferred his shares to his son, Frode Svarstad.

  • 1994
    The Lillehammer Winter Olympics increased the need for national costume fabrics (the bunad) dramatically. Over 100 000 meters delivered in one year. Large investments in machinery.

  • 2002
    Marketing of the bunad was separated into its own department.

  • 2013
    There were big investments in machinery within dyeing, spinning and weaving.

  • 2015
    Property rights to Mandal Veveri acquired.

  • Idag

    Today Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS is one of the leading manufacturers of textile in Scandinavia. For more than a century we have developed the many unique abilities wool has to offer. A solid knowledge of its journey from nature to natural product is why our fabrics are known for their considerable high quality.

Key figures

  • Every second bunad in Norway has fabrics from GU.
    Every second bunad in Norway has fabrics from GU.
  • GU produces 500,000 meters of  fabric annually.
    GU produces 500,000 meters of fabric annually.
  • GU has received the Award for Design Excellence 18 times.
    GU has received the Award for Design Excellence 18 times.
  • Environmental management

    ISO 14000 Certificate

    This describes our environmental management system, which is part of our management system. The goal is to continuously improve ourselves in relation to external influences of the environment, in terms of pollution of air, water or land.

  • Quality management

    ISO 9000 Certificate

    This describes our quality assurance system, which is part of our management system. It consists of routines that are necessary to control our work quality, to ensure product quality and to ensure continuous improvement. This includes quality management, product design, customer management, document control, internal training, internal audits and management evaluation.

Press releases

View archive

Board of Directors

  • CEO
    Bjørn I. Gjethammer
    Bjørn I. Gjethammer (1961-) is the CEO of Cernova AS - FK Agri and has previously held several top management positions in Nortura, Møller Group, Joh Johannsson and Aker RGI.
    Read more
  • Board member
    Svein E. Skorstad
    Svein E. Skorstad (1948-) is a former CEO of Coop Norden AB, VD Coop Sverige AB, CEO of Coop Norway BA and CEO of Gilde Norsk Kjøtt BA.
    Read more
  • Owner and board member
    Ragnvald Svarstad
    Ragnvald Svarstad (1950-) started at Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik in 1976. He was production manager for years and then general manager for a time.
    Read more
  • Eier og styremedlem
    Frode Svarstad
    Frode Svarstad (1965-) is quality manager at Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik AS. He has held several manager positions in the company within sales, production and design, and started as a production assistant in 1991.
    Read more
  • Employee Representative
    Unni Johansen
  • Employee Representative
    Dag Kristiansen

More about us

  • dummy
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    Patch – acoustic panels

    In 2014, we approached the young design firm StokkeAustad to design our booth for the 2015 Stockholm Furniture Fair.
  • dummy
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    New: Prinsdal

    Prinsdal is an exclusive and innovative upholstery fabric with super stretch, made with a clear structure and depth.
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