Hello. We are an Antwerp based knitwear brand. Since 1981 we have been producing quality knitwear in Scotland and in 2009 we launched our new label Howlin’ (scottish slang for smelly). The way of manufacturing remains traditional but Howlin' offers more room for fantasy in shape and pattern. At Howlin’ we strive for timeless, playful products that are made with care. So whether it is a scarf or a shaggy waistcoat; all our products are individually manufactured and hand finished by traditionally skilled craftsmen in either Scotland, Ireland or Belgium using the highest quality yarns possible. Small is beautiful.


Scotland has a long history of producing the best knitwear in the world and we are happy to be involved in it for over 40 years. Since the start of Howlin’ our goal was to bring a fresh somewhat twisted approach to Scottish knitwear while respecting its rich heritage. Keeping the best of the old techniques and mix it with new technology, patterns, colors and ideas. In an ever faster and more automated economy we are happy to slow things down and have our focus on well made products. It’s a niche, we know, but we like niche products. A lot. Just like a small record label doing hand stamped 7 inches with personal liner notes. It’s the beauty in the details. Each Howlin’ garment is handled individually and tenderly, throughout its entire production, from the first precise stitch to the delicate pressing and folding.

All our yarns are carefully sourced according to their quality and sustainability standards. Our beloved planet earth has a special place in our heart and we think it’s the best planet out there (as far as we know) so we want to have the lowest impact on it as possible. Our natural yarns come from local mills, some even complete all the stages of yarn production under one roof. This includes grading, scouring and dyeing fleece before colour blending, carding, spinning, twisting and balling to produce this unique 100% pure Shetland yarn. A quality which is often imitated but never duplicated.

Meet the Shaggy Bear


Over the years we have been working closely with a small Irish family run company established centuries ago. Together with these master crafts people we produce the highest quality knitwear with local Irish yarns. We have to admit, at first we got strange looks when we came up with our ideas but that changed over the years, now it’s simply that classic smile when they see a new Howlin’ design.

We are very happy to contribute to this unique art and craft which is not only beautiful but also important culturally to remain alive. Producing in Ireland (and Scotland, and Belgium) not only means you have a truly unique product in your hand, it also means that the people making your goods are well paid and looked after.


Next to our Scottish and Irish knitwear we are happy to create products in our home country Belgium. Together with several small factories in Belgium, each carefully chosen for their own speciality, we managed to make a diverse range of products which include lighter weight knitwear, jersey and towel fabric garments. Our goal was to create durable, functional and original products which far outlives seasonal trends.

All pieces are produced in small batches and with close attention to details. Extra special is the fact that for our jersey we don’t import fabrics but that we knit everything entirely in-house. Therefore we can proudly say that all our Howlin' products are truly 100% produced in Belgium.

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***  Here is an interview from 2016 for the Oi Polloi blog  *** Howlin' is the curious name of a curious company started by Jan and Patrick Olyslager, two brothers from Antwerp (that's Jan on the left with the guns, and Patrick on the right with the missing teeth). In the winter, they make jumpers, and in summer they make t-shirts out of towels. They've also got a penchant for giving their clothes daft names.

I sent them some questions to answer, and like true brothers, they replied back as one single entity. Read on for chat about jumpers, towels and a genre of music known as 'new beat'.

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