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
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.
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