Eiderdown: Eiderdown is the most expensive and lightweight of all downs.
The principal native products exported are live sheep, horses, salt meat, wool and hides, to which must be added the fish products - cod, train-oil, herring and salmon - eiderdown and woollen wares.
But for an English trade, which sprang up out of the halfsmuggling, half-buccaneering enterprise of the Bristol merchants, the island would have fared badly, for during the whole of the 15th century their trade with England, exporting sulphur, eiderdown (of which the English taught them the value), wool, and salt stock-fish, and importing as before wood, iron, honey, wine, grain and flax goods, was their only link with the outer world.
Cod-liver oil and salted fish are exported with some reindeer-skins, fox-skins and eiderdown; and coal and salt for curing are imported.
The chief articles of export (together with those that have lapsed) have been already indicated; but they may be summarized as including seal-oil, seal, fox, bird and bear skins, fish products and eiderdown, with some quantity of worked skins.