The Guernsey

What makes a Guernsey a genuine Guernsey?

The knitting industry in the British Channel Island of Guernsey dates back to the early 16th century, when licences were granted to import wool from England. In those early days, the Island’s exports were stockings and at the peak of this trade it is believed that 10,000 pairs left the Island each week. Both Mary and Queen Elizabeth (1558 to 1603) owned articles of Guernsey knitwear. Even the unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots wore Guernsey hose at her execution.

After more than 400 years the traditional Guernsey is still going strong! 

The Guernsey sweater came into being as a garment for seamen, fishermen who ventured as far as the new world, who required a warm, hard wearing, yet comfortable item of clothing that would resist the sea spray.

What the distinctive Guernsey details mean: the rib at the top of the sleeve represents a sailing ship’s rope ladder, the raised shoulder seam a rope and the garter stitch panel, waves breaking on the shore.

So was born the now famous oiled wool Guernsey, renowned for the warmth of its tight knit and its rain resistant qualities.

During the time of the Napoleonic Wars, Admiral Lord Nelson recommended that the Guernsey be worn by the Royal Navy and it was at this time that the Guernsey, which until then had been knitted in the unscoured natural wool, was dyed Navy Blue.

It’s little wonder that my firm, located in these historic Isles, is proud to play a continuing part in this unique enterprise.

The split at the hem allows ease of movement

The knitters of these traditional, hand-finished garments live in the original cottages on Guernsey. Their commitment is to supply the finest selection of beautiful, locally knitted Guernsey Sweaters, Cardigans and Gilets in time-honoured designs. Our aim is to provide the best possible value. You will see that our range includes classic knitwear in the historic British oiled wool and also 100% cotton for men, women and children. We have a wide colour range and many of the styles can be worn all year round - we want you to look and feel good in all weathers.

The Channel Islands are free from V.A.T. but we pay it on your behalf before shipment to the UK. Please note that we will cheerfully exchange or refund any purchase, without fuss, as we unconditionally guarantee satisfaction.  Please add 4 inches to your actual chest or bust measurement, for a perfect fit. We hope you, your family and friends will enjoy wearing our Guernsey knitwear. We look forward to including you among our many satisfied customers.

Yours sincerely,

Guy Lort-Phillips