Useful information
LIGHTHOUSE TOUR book
1. Contract stones and Otimäe stone burial place
2. Pühalepa church
3. Suuremõisa castle
4. Suursadam
5. Soera Farm Museum
6. Kärdla
7. Hill of Crosses
8. Tahkuna lighthouse
9. Reigi church
10. Kõrgessaare-Viskoosa
11. Kõpu lighthouse
12. Vanajõe Valley
13. Sõru harbour
14. Orjaku bird observation tower
15. Exhibits building of Hiiumaa museum in Kassari
16. Sääretirp
17. Kassari chapel and graveyard
18. Vaemla wool factory
 
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Supported by European Union
 
 

VAEMLA WOOL FACTORY

Double back along the road you arrived on. When you reach the paved road, turn right and drive through Esiküla village, cross Laisna causeway and bridge to get back from Kassari island to Hiiumaa. A nice alternative is a stop in Vaemla study (bird observation tower). Before you turn onto the main road, note the sign pointing toward the wool factory.

Photo: Hanno Luukas
Photo: Hanno Luukas

This long white stone building is one of the few surviving Vaemla manor buildings that is still in use. We know that the house was built somewhere around the 19th century as a hay shed for the Vaemla manor house. Today the building accommodates the family business Hiiu Vill, managed by Tiiu and Jüri Valdma since 1992. At first glimpse, it is hard to believe that you are still in modern times. The house contains some very old machines used to turn wool into yarn. The word manufacture would probably be more suitable in describing the factory, because most of the work is done by hand. The older machinery is from Poland. Such machines have been produced there since 1860s. Presumably the local machinery also dates back to the 19th century, but the exact date is not known. These were brought to Hiiumaa from the Estonian mainland, and some of the more modern machines are from Saaremaa. The spinning machine from the Soviet era was made in Tashkent.

Although the family will very kindly explain the tasks of each piece of the machinery, they are working all the while, too. About 25-30 kilograms of yarn is the average production for one day. Combining commerce and tourist-oriented activities helps them stay competitive: in the summer they sell woollen cardigans, socks, gloves and other items, designed by the housewife who is also an artist. During the summers it is very relaxing to sit in a cool cafe, eat homemade pies and enjoy the beauty of the area.

Surroundings

Driving back from the wool factory to the main road, turn left towards Käina. Käina is the second biggest settlement after Kärdla in Hiiumaa. When driving towards Heltermaa, pay attention to the sign "Vaemla mõisa varemed" (Ruins of Vaemla Manor). In this park is a memorial stone dedicated to the famous Estonian artist Johann Köler, who lived and worked here in 1863, going on to create many works inspired by Hiiumaa.

 
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