The Knitwear Of The Islands

History of the Guernsey

The knitting industry dates back to the early 16th century, when licences were granted by the crown to import wool from England.

Both Mary 1 and Elizabeth 1 owned articles of Guernsey Knitwear. Mary Queen of Scots wore Guernsey stockings at her execution.

The Guernsey sweater came into being as a garment for seamen, who required a warm, hard wearing, yet comfortable item that would resist the sea spray. The hard twist given to the closely packed wool fibres in the spinning process, and the tightly knitted stitches, produced a finish that would 'turn water', and repel a surprising amount of rain or spray.

Le Tricoteur still use yarn spun from only the best English worsted wool, whose long fibres have been combed parallel to each other before spinning, reducing the likelihood of the surface fibres being disturbed by rubbing and giving a smooth surface and clear stitch definition.

The Guernsey had become well known by the 19th century. Nelson recommened it to the Admiralty as a valuable article of naval clothing, and in 1857 the soilders of the garrison in Halifax, Nova Scotia, were issued with Guernseys as part of their winter equipment.

As the centuries have passed, Le Tricoteur has never lost sight of the traditional qualities of this practical and fashionable garment. The Guernsey will always remain firmly rooted in the heritage of the Channel Isle from which its name originates.

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