The Heritage of the Guernsey Jumper
Our Guernsey Jumpers are derived from the traditional sweaters developed in Guernsey in the 17th century. Channel Islanders handknitted distinctive stitch patterns into the jumper including ribbing at the top of the sleeve, to mirror a sailing ships rope ladder; a garter stitch panel depicting breaking waves and stitching on the sweater shoulders representing pebbles, stones and sand. Many families had their own variation of the patterns in their knitwear that became a means of recognition when unfortunate sailors were lost at sea
The original sweater, styled with a “diamond” insert at the underarm for easy movement, were worn primarily by Guernsey fisherman, the jumper later became popular throughout Britain’s coastal regions where seafarers wore a “Gansey”.
Guernsey Sweaters became internationally recognized in the 17th century when Sir Walter Raleigh (then Governor of Jersey) forged trade links with Newfoundland.
Guernsey Jumpers also found favour with the Royal family; Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots both owned Guernsey knitwear. Mary Queen of Scots, is said to have worn a pair of Guernsey stockings at her execution. The Guernsey Jumper had become famous by the 19th century. Nelson recommended it to the Admiralty as a valuable article of Naval clothing and, in 1857, the soldiers of the garrison in Halifax, Nova Scotia were issued with Guernsey sweaters as part of their winter outfit.
"Guernsey Jumpers also found favour with Royalty; Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots both owned Guernsey knitwear"
400 years later Guernsey Jumpers are still going from strength to strength.
Four hundred years later the Guernsey Jumper is still going strong.
GuernseyJumpers.gg manufacture Guernsey jumpers right here in the Channel Islands using both modern equipment & traditional methods. The result is a sweater that is warm, comfortable and distinctive. Our Guernsey jumpers and Guernsey Sweaters will stand the test of time.