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Wool jumpers, cotton cardigans, aran sweaters and other knitwear for men and women, UK sites.

Woolovers
- Quality British lambswool and cotton sweaters, cardigans, aran jumpers, gilets and other knitwear in 18 colours from only £20, with knitwear for men and women in a range of colours, styles and sizes. Check out the polo neck, crew neck, waistcoat, slipover, vee, Guernsey, Balmoral Cable, Fisherman's and more.

Jumpers, sweaters and cardigans - a buyer's guide

How do I choose knitwear?

There are a number of things to bear in mind when choosing knitwear, including sweaters, jumpers, cardigans and other knitwear items. These include:

  • The material. Natural fibres such as lambswool, cotton and silk usually offer superior comfort, insulation and "breathing properties" to man made fibres, although a natural / made made fibre mix can make garments easier to wash. Cashmere and lambswool can offer superior comfort to ordinary wool, which some people find "itchy". Cotton and silk are the most comfortable fabrics of all but, dependent upon the weave / knit, do not always have the same heat retaining properties as wool.
  • The colour / pattern. This is particularly important if you are buying a gift. Traditionally, jumpers with loud patterns are bought by mother-in-laws for ungrateful son-in-laws (think of Bridget Jones and the jumper with a moose's head on it). If you are unsure whether the recipient appreciates loud designs, it would be best to stick to something more conservative, or at least provide the receipt so that a refund can be obtained, if required.
  • Washing Instructions. If a garment is labelled "hand wash only" and you put it in the machine with the rest of your laundry, don't be surprised if it shrinks. Untreated wool or silk garments need to be washed with special care. They should be handwashed in a maximum water temperature of 30C, with the washing powder already dissolved in the water. Squeeze the garment gently, do not rub it or ring it out. Jumpers should be dried flat to keep their shape. Always look at the washing instructions on the garment itself and the follow them.

What is an aran jumper?

Aran jumpers were originally worn by Irish farmers and fishermen on the west coast of Ireland, who needed something warm to protect them from the harsh winds blowing off the coast. Unscoured wool was traditionally knitted to make these jumpers - unscoured wool is wool that is not processed in order to retain the natural sheep's oil (lanolin) within it, making the jumper more waterproof than it would otherwise be.

Many different patterns are used for the knitting of arans, and traditionally identified the families from which they came. Patterns still in use today include:

  • Cable - said to bring good luck and safety to the fisherman.


  • Honeycomb - a reminder to work hard, like a bee.



  • Basket stitch - said to help the fishermen bring home a large basket of fish.


  • Diamond - said to bring treasure and success.

What is fairisle?

The fairisle pattern originates from an island in the North of Scotland, called Fair Isle. The traditional island industry was the production of fairisle jumpers which were traded for goods with the many ships that passed by. It is said that the islanders obtained the ideas for the fairisle pattern from the clothing worn by the Spanish sailors - traditionally the pattern is made up of rows of geometric shapes, with each row containing two colours.

Fair isle gained popularity in 1922 when it was seen worn by the then Prince of Wales in a photo. (This Prince of Wales went on to become King Edward VIII and, after the abdication, the Duke of Windsor.)

 

Knitwear @ Lands' End
- Knit tops including feminine polos, stretch tees, supima tees, ribs, tunics, cardigans, jersey, fleece and cobble cloth made from cotton and cotton / lycra mixes.
Stylebop
- Knitwear and clothing from top designers including Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Missoni, American Vintage, Valentino and Paul and Joe.
Rowland's Classic Clothing
- Classic knitwear designs including cardigans, gilets, a cable jumper and a lambswool argyle slipover.
Guernsey Knitwear
- Traditional Guernsey knitwear direct from the only specialist Mail Order Firm long established in the British Channel Islands. Free T-Shirt with every online order. The range includes cable stitch, plain / cable indigo, striped, port and starboard and hats.
Ty Hanleigh
- Attractive Welsh knitwear for all the family, made using a wide selection of natural yarns such as wool, cotton chenille and a wool/silk yarn with a luxurious soft texture.