The knitwear thread

The Shooman

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Once in a blue moon you'll see some very special cashmere moments on ebay. Now is such a time. There is a person selling 4 brand new 1980's Ballantyne cashmere cardigans for women. WOW!!!!!

I wonder where these people get these types of things. Who would have ever thought something like this would pop up. Actually, l might even message them and ask.

Ballantyne new 1.jpg
Ballantyne new 2.jpg
Ballantyne new 3.jpg
Ballantyne new 4.jpg
 

Swiss

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46
I recently purchased a lovely Hermes (made in Great Britain. Which I believe means Corgi, but I am not 100% sure).
This was an online purchase and the colour was not well represented in the pictures... Upon receiving it, I realised it is exactly the same as one I have owned for many years...
 

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Swiss

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I just saw this Pringle vicuna cardigan on ebay.
It doesnt ship outside of the US though...
 

The Shooman

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2,601
I wish these cardigans were for men...
They never sold.
I recently purchased a lovely Hermes (made in Great Britain. Which I believe means Corgi, but I am not 100% sure).
This was an online purchase and the colour was not well represented in the pictures... Upon receiving it, I realised it is exactly the same as one I have owned for many years...
I was eyeing that. Nice turtleneck.

I just saw this Pringle vicuna cardigan on ebay.
It doesnt ship outside of the US though...
I know a bloke who has been trying to sell a vintage Pringle vicuna for over 2 years for $5,000 U.S.

Aha, here it is...my old mate S Mart. He once sold me a beautiful Pringle burgundy cardigan, stunning quality.
 

Swiss

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46
I have seen this cardigan... True it's been around for a while.
The price has gone up and down...
It's tempting of course...
 

The Shooman

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2,601
I wish these cardigans were for men...
She is selling 6 brand new Ballantynes from the 80's and a Barrie (makes for Hermes). All are the best of the best.
Ballantynes - all new 1980's 1.jpg
Ballantynes - all new 1980's 2.jpg
Barrie cashmere - new.jpg



I asked the seller where they found them because l was curious who would have brand new old stock Ballantynes hanging around for 40 years, but they didn't write back. Maybe they thought l was trying to move in on their stuff, but that was never my intention.
 

güero

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617
Had a very unpleasant experience with Berk. I put in a large order, paid by credit card, received an order confirmation and then never heard from them again.

Called them multiple times, sent emails, no reaction whatsoever. A brief research showed that they basically never made any money and were already close to insolvent in mid-2019. It looks like they are largely short-selling their stuff, ordering at the manufacturer only after they have received cash from the client (which is generally ok I guess). So after waiting some more I reclaimed the money with my bank, before they dissapear and go into receivership.

Berk or at least their payment processor then told my bank I had actually received the goods, leading to more unnecessary and annoying correspondence. It seems to be settled now, after a few months of back and forth.

Anyone planning on ordering should probably use PayPal, because I'm told they are easier to deal with in case of chargebacks (less paperwork).

It's a shame because I actually want them to succeed, since they claim to sell the orgininal Ballantyne quality. Can't understand why they didn't even send a quick email with whatever excuse they could come up with. Anything like "it will take some more time" or the always popular Corona excuse would have been sufficient. But not reacting at all is just so dilletante. Very dissapointing.
 

ballmouse

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165
Sorry to hear that. The fact that almost all the quality British/Scottish knitwear firms have either closed or moved to cheaper means of production is very disappointing. It seems that any that are still around are attempting to live off their former reputations since they're clearly run by owners who want money and not terribly passionate about the work.

I tried contacting one of the manufacturers to create a sample ages ago. Not only was the communication roundabout, but that they had zero sweater samples in size 38 they could share was frustrating to say the least. I got the hint that it was going to be more trouble than it was worth and wound up using someone else.
 

The Shooman

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@ güero güero

Thanks for the report, wow.

I notice Berk have changed their website and taken down all the mentions of using old Ballantyne workers etc. AND what is more, there is no mention of it being made in Scotland anymore, however it does say:



It must be made in the time honoured tradition of the Scottish artisans who produced the first garment 300 years ago, knitted tightly and washed in pH neutral water to develop the luxurious touch and feel of real cashmere.

To connoisseurs there is no cashmere better than Scottish spun bare finished cashmere™ - that is what we sell.


but it doesn't say that the jumpers are made in Scotland. See...gotta be careful, clever marketing people try to give illusions to make people think the jumpers are made in Scotland. I am good at reading through the lines because clues could be there, ie, no mention of Ballantyne workers or made in Scotland anymore. Even if the cashmere is Scottish spun, where does the cashmere come from?...from inner Mongolia or just China or somewhere of lesser quality? See, they are now being vague, and this usually shows they are offering lesser quality and trying to cover it up. I usually know marketing puff when l see it.


https://berkcashmere.co.uk/collections/cashmere/bare-finish-cashmere?sort_by=manual

I've tried to contact a firm that sells knitwear multiple times over the years, not once have l ever heard back from them. I really don't understand humans sometimes.
 
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belinmad

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125
So where do you buy cashmere from today, if not eBay? Lockie? Pringle? no one at all?
 

Journeyman

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So where do you buy cashmere from today, if not eBay?
I have a couple of jumpers from Piacenza Cashmere, and they are lovely - dense, very warm and so far (after about 10 years) resistant to pilling.

Of course, there's also Cucinelli, but you'll pay a definite premium unless you're buying from the store in Cucinelli's village.
 

güero

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617
@ güero güero

Thanks for the report, wow.

I notice Berk have changed their website and taken down all the mentions of using old Ballantyne workers etc. AND what is more, there is no mention of it being made in Scotland anymore, however it does say:



It must be made in the time honoured tradition of the Scottish artisans who produced the first garment 300 years ago, knitted tightly and washed in pH neutral water to develop the luxurious touch and feel of real cashmere.

To connoisseurs there is no cashmere better than Scottish spun bare finished cashmere™ - that is what we sell.


but it doesn't say that the jumpers are made in Scotland. See...gotta be careful, clever marketing people try to give illusions to make people think the jumpers are made in Scotland. I am good at reading through the lines because clues could be there, ie, no mention of Ballantyne workers or made in Scotland anymore. Even if the cashmere is Scottish spun, where does the cashmere come from?...from inner Mongolia or just China or somewhere of lesser quality? See, they are now being vague, and this usually shows they are offering lesser quality and trying to cover it up. I usually know marketing puff when l see it.


https://berkcashmere.co.uk/collections/cashmere/bare-finish-cashmere?sort_by=manual

I've tried to contact a firm that sells knitwear multiple times over the years, not once have l ever heard back from them. I really don't understand humans sometimes.
Would be even worse if you were right and you probably are... I ordered a.o. the 4-ply cardigan and there it says made in Scotland in the description.

They told Crapton some years ago that they don’t source from Barrie, which I understand took over some staff and assets from Ballantyne and now belongs to Chanel. To me their cardigan looks identical to the Windsor model from Lockie, but who knows. I think there is also Corgi (but I think it’s England not Scotland, they used to produce the Cardigans for T&A until at least the last season) and Hawick Cashmere, don’t know if there is anything else left in Scotland.

For other products, it just says the yarn is spun in Scotland. So why wouldn’t they say made in Scotland if it were the case.

Would be very disappointing if they indeed try to mislead their customers, as far as they have any.
 

The Shooman

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2,601
Would be even worse if you were right and you probably are... I ordered a.o. the 4-ply cardigan and there it says made in Scotland in the description.
You are right, they are made in Scotland, l just found it, BUT they no longer mention the Ballantyne workers etc, so who makes their cashmere knitwear now??? You say they have become insolvent, so are they going to restructure the company and start cost cutting??? These types of things never have good endings.

güero said:
They told Crapton some years ago that they don’t source from Barrie,
Yep, definitely not Barrie, Berk had their own special skilled workforce. Barrie does make for Hermes' however, and the quality is fantastic. Barrie also took over Glenmac, and it seems like the quality is similar to the Hermes in that they use an extra thick ply of exceptional quality.




güero said:
which I understand took over some staff and assets from Ballantyne and now belongs to Chanel.
I have never heard that before, interesting.

güero said:
To me their cardigan looks identical to the Windsor model from Lockie, but who knows. I think there is also Corgi (but I think it’s England not Scotland, they used to produce the Cardigans for T&A until at least the last season) and Hawick Cashmere, don’t know if there is anything else left in Scotland.
Outside of those there is not much left, but of course there is Johnstons of Elgin, but l hear the cashmere is sourced from China and not inner Mongolia. There is also https://stillmadeinbritain.co.uk/clothing/scott-charters.

Pringle has been made in India, China and Italy. So sad that the country of great cashmere Scotland has so little gems left. China has taken the jobs and sold us inferior products in return, and some have gotten rich capitalising on this absurd situation. Humans are silly, so this situation has been allowed to happen. Why would one want cheaply made products when one can have beautiful high quality products instead, but the China situation has created greed and cheapness, and has produced masses of ugliness, and created a throwaway society.


güero said:
For other products, it just says the yarn is spun in Scotland. So why wouldn’t they say made in Scotland if it were the case.
There are companies that go on about their Scottish heritage but they manufacture in China. Pringle of Scotland is one of them. None of these companies ever show their labels or mention where their knitwear is made. Ballantyne is the same, they avoid showing their labels at all cost, and trying to find out the manufacturing country is like pulling teeth. They don't want questions or to provide customer service, they just want money from suckers who ask no questions. What awful companies, but that is how things are today.


Good cashmere makers? There are good makers, but they aren't like they used to be when `made-in-Scotland was leading the world IMO. You won't find nice plush 2 ply cashmere jumpers like used to be made in Scotland except from perhaps Barrie/Hermes/Chanel, nor will you find 6 ply's anywhere like Ballantyne used to make, but you can still get nice thick Italian multi ply jumpers made in great designs for high prices, but they aren't built like the legendary Scottish stuff in my experience, but they aren't as expensive either.

As l have said before, Ballantyne used to make a 6 ply that sold for 1,500 GBP 13 years ago, and yet these days even the 12 ply's sold by Scott & Charters/Kabbaz etc are still cheaper. Lockie is also much cheaper, and l have to ask myself why, are corners being cut??
 

ballmouse

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165
China has taken the jobs and sold us inferior products in return, and some have gotten rich capitalising on this absurd situation.
I would say that it's more so the brands have accepted China's labor rather than China purposefully restricting their options. There's always been a cheap option, even before China there was Eastern Europe and Hong Kong. It's that brands, even supposedly exclusive and premium ones, now choose the cheap option that's the problem.
 

güero

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617
You say they have become insolvent, so are they going to restructure the company and start cost cutting???
Careful, they were close to insolvent as of mid-2019, when they last published financials. They haven't filed for bankrutpcy, I'm sure that would have shown up where I looked.

I have never heard that before, interesting.
I'm pretty sure I read that Barrie took over stuff from Ballantyne in one of the articles posted in this thread. Can't find it right know (there are lots of articles about Barrie/Chanel though). Apparently by the end of the 90s a lot of Scottish cashmere (at least Ballantyne, Barrie, Pringle, Braemar + Todd & Duncan) was owned by Dawson. So when you read articles about Dawson selling off everything over time, you imho can't really be sure what was actually sold anyway. Might well be that they transferred staff and equipment between the companies while under joint ownership (e.g. some machine from a Pringle factory later got sold as Barrie, etc.).

In any case, it would have been nice to get a thick shawl collar cashmere cardigan. I think now I'll either just buy the one from Lockie or else wait for Frans Boone to do another one of their improved Lockie Windsor cardigans. The 12-ply cardigan(s) made in Scotland do seem a bit dubious, how come they are not significantly more expensive than the 4-ply cardigans from Lockie?
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,601
Been eyeing this for ages, and it has been listed then disappear and then listed again. It's in my size and l thought l would buy a fun jumper. I am looking forward to getting it, it has lots of good character.

Vintage corgi cashmere intarsia.
Made in Wales.
Corgi cashmere intarsia 1.jpg Corgi cashmere intarsia 2.jpg


You don't see this type of thing anymore. Never had a jumper made-in-Wales either.

Eyeing off another intarsia, but l don't want to pay the $$$ at the moment. Temped though.
 

The Shooman

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2,601
Look at what just bought. It took a bit of bidding but now they are mine:









How old are these?
You are very lucky, and congratulations, a once ion a lifetime purchase. They are from my favourite era of Ballantyne, the 1980's.

I have been watching those for over a week. Lucky they weren't my size, l would have bid high and snagged them all.

One lady got a brand new 80's from the same seller for only $160.00. No women have been bidding on them.
 

robertito

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Messages
900
Nice... How do you know they are from the 1980's? I have one on watch list one ebay with the same label at GBP 50.00 but pre-owned.

I think I am going to buy it to compare with what I have that is Allan Paine but from 10/15 years.
 

The Shooman

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2,601
Nice... How do you know they are from the 1980's? I have one on watch list one ebay with the same label at GBP 50.00 but pre-owned.

I think I am going to buy it to compare with what I have that is Allan Paine but from 10/15 years.
If you get the jumper please post it, would be good to see what stuff you like.

I can tell by the labels. Different labels for different periods.

Best of Scottish > best of English cashmere jumpers. No comparison. No-one makes a jumper like the Scottish, not the Irish, not the aussies, not the English and not the Italians IMO.

My legendary wool turtleneck
I have a wool 1940's jumper from Scotland that puts anything else l have ever seen to shame, it is knitted so tightly that l can hardly see any light through it when held up to the sky. It makes any Aran look so low end and insignificant, yet l have the best Arans on the market. The brand? Abercrombie and Fitch. It is extremely heavy and bulletproof. I don't know who the maker was, but no-one makes any jumpers like that anymore. It's not the type of jumper you wear for great comfort because it is like a suit of armor, and it is thick and stiff and hard. It is a jumper you wear in a blizzard or when you live in a big castle.
 
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Journeyman

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^I'd love to find a good Fair Isle jumper, preferably at a price that isn't outrageous.

Most of the ones that I see are in colour combinations that (to me, at least) are just not quite what I want. RL Polo was selling one that was actually precisely what I was looking for, but I utterly refuse to pay $400 for a jumper that was made in China.

I really should remember to keep an eye out for Jamieson's Fair Isle jumpers during the sale season...
 

The Shooman

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2,601
I like this type of thing. Why? Because it symbolises old style humans back in a time when people were for the most part decent. These jumpers are for family men who aspire to be good. They have an innocence about them that oozes a lovely human spirit. Traditional things are good because man is at his best when he is steeped in tradition.
 

fxh

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I don’t have a date but it must have been during their Sgt Peppers Era as he has a beard.

it strikes me that his hair is pretty short tho. At least compared to mine at the moment. Went to get a cut today but the queue was 14 people long. So I’ll keep my shoulder length curls for another week.
 

Kingstonian

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I like this type of thing. Why? Because it symbolises old style humans back in a time when people were for the most part decent. These jumpers are for family men who aspire to be good. They have an innocence about them that oozes a lovely human spirit. Traditional things are good because man is at his best when he is steeped in tradition.
Nostalgia? You might have a romanticised view of the past.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,601
Recently a nice vintage Pringle shetland shawl collar cardigan was listed. Was my size but reluctantly passed because they wanted $500 for it. If l am going to folk out the $$$ I would rather put the money towards a 12 ply and do the job properly. Still, a very nice cardigan, and l wish l owned it.
Pringle shetland cardigan - red 1.jpg Pringle shetland cardigan - red 2.jpg

There was also a stunning Scottish shawl cardigan with a rare double thick collar for sale too brand new. It was in my size and it sold very quickly. Never mind, because l am saving for some very special clothes.

Those double thick collars are amazing, but l passed because it was lambswool where-as l only do cashmere.


Glen Oak Shawl Collar cardigan - wool 1.jpg
 
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aristoi bcn

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391
The other day I found a picture of dark green cashmere turtleneck made by Jamieson's. As far as I knew, Jamieson's only does Shetland's nowadays.
 

zala

New Member
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2
Hi ,this is my first post.
any experiences with high quality camel hair sweater manufacturers?I have one from Calvin Klein and it is very warm(not densely knitted ) in comparison with my 1 ply william lockie cashmere rollnecks ( more densely knitted) .
a quick research on internet did not show anything only camel hairs from William lockies 4 ply or 2 ply and ESK(10 ply ) knitwear camel hair cardigan (but now the side does not work ). Generally speaking i found camel hair more resilient to odor and durable than cashmere at least to the low number of plys 1-4
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,601
This was is astonishing. Do you find them on eBay? I've been moderately successful finding some decent vintage Pringle here in the UK.

belinmad belinmad These are from ebay.

Btw, l was eyeing this off. It is a rare Ballantyne intarsia made from cashmere. Used to see golf intarsia's semi regularly, but haven't seen one in years. This was in my size, and l passed. It seems to have sold, and l now have big regrets. Definitely should have bought it.

Ballantyne intarsia - polo design 2.jpg Ballantyne intarsia - polo design 1.jpg
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
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2,601
This lovely piece arrived today.
I am really pleased as this is something I had been hoping for for quite a while.
WOW, where did you get that? Can't believe l didn't see it until now. Those are rare as hens teeth. It's a 6 ply isn't it? Surely not on ebay?
 
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