The knitwear thread

florisgreen

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Some details that show how much care and precision is in those old Ballantynes:
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Arnathor

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I thrifted a red cashmere jumper from N. Peal for a few bucks. I have no complaints. The only knitwear I am willing to spend on is a Submariner sweater made with British wool.

It is fun to read how particular you gentlemen are. That is the whole point of this forum.


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florisgreen

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I thrifted a red cashmere jumper from N. Peal for a few bucks. I have no complaints. The only knitwear I am willing to spend on is a Submariner sweater made with British wool.

It is fun to read how particular you gentlemen are. That is the whole point of this forum.


View attachment 36940
That solid, manly, even somehow rough style has undeniably its charm.
 

florisgreen

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These are Ballantyne made in Italy. Pretty decent quality, but even not remotely comparable with that of the made in Scotland jumpers, about material and finishing. By the way the ligh pink one is quite different, noticeably drier and less susceptible to pilling, whereas the others two are fuzzier and more subjected to.

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florisgreen

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Thoughts on the shaggy dog sweaters from J Press?
I had never heard of. I took a look and have to say that the style doesn't appeal to me: it looks to be a strongly brushed (therefore the name) shetland. I surely prefer a dry look like that of the McGeorge cardigan shown by The Shooman The Shooman in a previous post.
 

The Shooman

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N.Peal is a brand that doesn't seem to be mentioned much here - what are your views?

N.Peal was once a respected brand made in England and Scotland, but now it is made in China as Panama stated.

I have some N Peal stuff and a wonderful 6 ply cashmere cardigan that hasn't pilled one single pill since i've owned it.

florisgreen florisgreen Which jumpers do you want me to post? Give me some details. Had a very busy two weeks, but l haven't forgotten your request.

You've been buying lots of jumpers of late. I know what it is like to have the jumper bug, the shoo bug and the sock bug.
 

florisgreen

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N.Peal was once a respected brand made in England and Scotland, but now it is made in China as Panama stated.

I have some N Peal stuff and a wonderful 6 ply cashmere cardigan that hasn't pilled one single pill since i've owned it.

florisgreen florisgreen Which jumpers do you want me to post? Give me some details. Had a very busy two weeks, but l haven't forgotten your request.

You've been buying lots of jumpers of late. I know what it is like to have the jumper bug, the shoo bug and the sock bug.

The Shooman The Shooman

Thank you for not having forgotten my request. I would like to see the second McGeorge cardigan in bone shetland and possibly a side by side comparison between your Hermes and Ballantyne turtlenecks. ;)
 
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Panama

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Has anybody experience with Cervelt, as a jumper or in general?

http://cervelt.com/the-fabric

Cervelt is not inexpensive



 

florisgreen

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Cervelt is not inexpensive



I know, but it's apparently comparable with vicuna. Curious if somebody owns something in this material or has seen it in person.
 

florisgreen

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Natural Cervelt Scarf

Spun from red deer hair, the Cervelt scarf is a truly unique piece. Softer than the purest cashmere, its superfine texture brings both lightness and warmth. Made in Scotland, the Connolly Cervelt deer hair scarf is finished with raw edges. Explore scarves and knitwear online.
www.connollyengland.com
www.connollyengland.com
Thank you, I didn't know this company: looks really high-range. Have you bought anything from them?
 

florisgreen

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They are expensive to be expensive.
It's always a matter of value and satisfaction: if you get something really ditinguished that makes you happy, then also a high price can be worth, but it's certainly absolutely subjective.
 

florisgreen

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They used to make leather for Rolls Royce and the House of Lords. I would imagine they just commission products now.
I took a look: it seems that they are somehow inspired by Hermes in their style. Some nice things, but overall too casual to me. And, as you say, overpriced. That cervelt scarf is beautiful however.
 

The Shooman

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The Shooman The Shooman

Thank you for not having forgotten my request. I would like to see the second McGeorge cardigan in bone shetland and possibly a side by side comparison between your Hermes and Ballantyne turtlenecks. ;)

Lets talk about the Hermes v's Ballantyne v's William Lockie turtlenecks.

The Hermes and Ballantyne in this picture are almost identical, both pill a little bit, and the only difference between them is that the sleeve cut is slightly different at the join (Hermes is cut more square while the Ballantyne is cut more rounded). The Ballantyne is a good solid 3 ply and really luxurious and made in the 90's. The Hermes is even softer and more plush and the most luxury feeling knitwear l own.

The Ballantyne is made by Caerlee Mill. While the Hermes feels very similar to a really upmarket Johnstons of Elgin in that is it plush and soft, it is not because the Hermes lacks the silky over-processed feel of Johnstons of Elgin, and the Hermes joins at the sleeves are completely different with the Hermes having the square type of cut v's the rounded cut favoured by Johnstons of Elgin. The JoE used to make for Hermes, but not anymore. Indeed the Hermes maker is Barrie of Scotland, because my newest cashmere jumpers from Hermes have exactly the same square cut, but the cashmere with the orange turtleneck is more soft and plush than my other Hermes by Barrie.

Sky blue Ballantyne v's orange Hermes Scotland (I also have a deep rich red Ballantyne exactly the same).
Very significant pieces of knitwear in my collection, very solid luxurious and well made.
Jumpers 1.jpg

The brown William Lockie 3 ply cashmere turtleneck (not pictured) looks almost identical to the Ballantyne 3 ply turtleneck, and despite it being a fantastic and enjoyable piece of knitwear, but the quality is not in the league of Ballantyne...it wrinkles more, pills noticeably more and feels less luxurious and substantial despite it being a solid piece of knitwear.


vintage McGeorge made-in-Scotland shetland shawl cardigans.
Jumpers 2.jpg

The bone one if the best of all. It is a 1960's with a double thick 6 ply collar (so like a 12 ply) with double thick plackets. It provides a great knitwear experience, and the quality is impeccable. A landmark piece.
Jumpers 3.jpg

The darker brown shetland doesn't have the double thick collar and plackets, and it is not as luxurious as the bone cardigan, but it is still an excellent cardigan of very good quality. I treat the darker caridgan as a muck around one where-as reserve I my lighter cardigan for a treat, but still I wear a treat regularly. Jumpers 4.jpg
 
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florisgreen

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Lets talk about the Hermes v's Ballantyne v's William Lockie turtlenecks.

The Hermes and Ballantyne in this picture are almost identical, both pill a little bit, and the only difference between them is that the sleeve cut is slightly different at the join (Hermes is cut more square while the Ballantyne is cut more rounded). The Ballantyne is a good solid 3 ply and really luxurious and made in the 90's. The Hermes is even softer and more plush and the most luxury feeling knitwear l own.

The Ballantyne is made by Caerlee Mill. While the Hermes feels very similar to a really upmarket Johnstons of Elgin in that is it plush and soft, it is not because the Hermes lacks the silky over-processed feel of Johnstons of Elgin, and the Hermes joins at the sleeves are completely different with the Hermes having the square type of cut v's the rounded cut favoured by Johnstons of Elgin. The JoE used to make for Hermes, but not anymore. Indeed the Hermes maker is Barrie of Scotland, because my newest cashmere jumpers from Hermes have exactly the same square cut, but the cashmere with the orange turtleneck is more soft and plush than my other Hermes by Barrie.

Sky blue Ballantyne v's orange Hermes Scotland (I also have a deep rich red Ballantyne exactly the same).
Very significant pieces of knitwear in my collection, very solid luxurious and well made.
View attachment 37225

The brown William Lockie 3 ply cashmere turtleneck looks almost identical to the Ballantyne 3 ply turtleneck, and despite it being a fantastic and enjoyable piece of knitwear, but the quality is not in the league of Ballantyne...it wrinkles more, pills noticeably more and feels less luxurious and substantial despite it being a solid piece of knitwear.


vintage McGeorge made-in-Scotland shetland shawl cardigans.
View attachment 37226

The bone one if the best of all. It is a 1960's with a double thick 6 ply collar (so like a 12 ply) with double thick plackets. It provides a great knitwear experience, and the quality is impeccable. A landmark piece.
View attachment 37227

The darker brown shetland doesn't have the double thick collar and plackets, and it is not as luxurious as the bone cardigan, but it is still an excellent cardigan of very good quality. I treat the darker caridgan as a muck around one where-as reserve I my lighter cardigan for a treat, but still I still wear a treat regularly. View attachment 37228
Thank you, I was waiting for it.

What do you mean with square joint? Possibly that typical angular seam, often seen in old Scottish jumpers? You also wrote that the Hermes has very big sleeves: in wich extent (just at the joint or all along, how many centimetres)? So Barrie is now producing for Hermes: how old are your most recent made in Scotland Hermes?

From your previous pictures of the McGeorge beige cardigan I have the impression that the shetland is quite different from what you normally see today, drier, silkier and more lustrous: would you confirm this?

P.S. The blue of that Ballantyne turtleneck is gorgeous.
 
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The Shooman

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Thank you, I was waiting for it.

What do you mean with square joint? Possibly that typical angular seam, often seen in old Scottish jumpers? You also wrote that the Hermes has very big sleeves: in wich extent (just at the joint or all along, how many centimetres)? So Barrie is now producing for Hermes: how old are your most recent made in Scotland Hermes?

From your previous pictures of the McGeorge beige cardigan I have the impression that the shetland is quite different from what you normally see today: drier, silkier and more lustrous: would you confirm this?

P.S. The blue of that Ballantyne Turtleneck is gorgeous.

Just a quick post for now. Let me say that the deep red Ballantyne and the blue here are stunning colours.

Will post a pic of the square v's round joins to demonstrate and may take a pic of the blue v's red ballantynes.

Good question about the sleeves. The wide sleeves are all along, and l will measure them soon and compare.

I haven't seen modern day shetland so l can't say.

Will get back to this later.
 

florisgreen

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I took a look at Barrie's website and I'm anything but impressed. Of course I'm not able to judge the quality of the material (that could be excellent), but their style doesn't appeal to me at all. They have a French creative director who seems much influenced by street wear, so the style is definitely more casual than classic. I don't condemn some innovation, but it's senseless not to rely on the great Scottish tradition to follow modern ephemeral trends.
I find it sad that historical, traditional brands like Barrie and Pringle nearly disown their prestigious past with their current production.
 

güero

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I took a look at Barrie's website and I'm anything but impressed. Of course I'm not able to judge the quality of the material (that could be excellent), but their style doesn't appeal to me at all. They have a French creative director who seems much influenced by street wear, so the style is definitely more casual than classic. I don't condemn some innovation, but it's senseless not to rely on the great Scottish tradition to follow modern ephemeral trends.
I find it sad that historical, traditional brands like Barrie and Pringle nearly disown their prestigious past with their current production.
Iirc Barrie took over some of the Ballantyne equipment and many of their workers, when their Scottish operations were liquidated for real. It’s somewhere in this thread, some articles from local newspapers. Barrie is now owned by Chanel and the quality is supposed to be excellent (while the styling is debatable, as you say). It might be the most legitimate current producer of Scottish knitwear.
 

florisgreen

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Two of my recent cashmere Johnstons Of Elgin:

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They're 4-ply knit with tubular construction (without side seams): a nice, consistent material, even though not even remotely as sturdy and tough of that of my Ballantynes, The vee-neck is too high for my taste, thus it's better to wear them without a tie.
 

The Shooman

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Iirc Barrie took over some of the Ballantyne equipment and many of their workers, when their Scottish operations were liquidated for real. It’s somewhere in this thread, some articles from local newspapers. Barrie is now owned by Chanel and the quality is supposed to be excellent (while the styling is debatable, as you say). It might be the most legitimate current producer of Scottish knitwear.

I am glad Barrie took ownership of some of the Ballantyne equipment, and it would make sense that they did, none-the-less all of those old hand made looms were smashed up.

Some more history of Ballantyne and the Caerleee mill they owned.

The Ballantyne, Caerlee Mill, Innerleithen​


Tweeddale's History: The rise and fall of Caerlee Mills


The old mill before it was renovated into modern housing.
Caerlee Mill 1  -2017.jpg


When it was constructed, the original five-floor block of Caerlee Mill was one of the earliest industrial textile units of its type in the Scottish Borders.
It was built between 1788 and 1790 at the behest of Traquair-born Alexander Brodie for £3,000 to manufacture woollen cloth.
He hoped it would provide a good living for local people and bring the benefits of the industrialization to Innerleithen and Traquair.
To begin with, the enterprise was not a commercial success.
This was due mainly to inexperienced management and a lack of skilled hands used to working in factory conditions.
Brodie, who had made his fortune supplying stoves to the British navy and who was based in London, left his nieces and nephews in charge of the mill, which they inherited after his death in 1811.
The factory was rented out to David Ballantyne in the 1820s and here his 18-year-old son, Henry, started his first weaving business.
In the 1830s the Dow brothers manufactured tartan material and fancy shawls for the Glasgow market but this venture ultimately failed.
When the Second Statistical Account was compiled in 1834, 50 people were employed in the mill.
Working a 10-hour day, weavers earned only 14s (70p) per week; slubbers also 14s per week; piecers 3s (15p) and shawl-plaiters 4s (20p).
The mill remained the property of Brodie’s estate until 1839 when it was sold to the Galashiels company Messrs Gill & Sime.
Robert Gill, a knowledgeable and innovative textiles manufacturer, took over, modernized and enlarged Caerlee Mill, adding steam-power to that provided by the water-wheel.
By the 1860s the mill contained six sets of carding machines, 30 power and 20 hand looms, 4,200 spindles and employed more than 100 people.
Exclusively Australian or foreign wool was used to make tweeds, tartans and flannel shirtings.
Caerlee Mill was sold in 1868 to J W Walker & Co and, in 1886, to John, James and Henry Ballantyne, sons of Henry Ballantyne of Walkerburn, later becoming part of D Ballantyne & Co of March Street Mills, Peebles.
In 1919, it was amalgamated along with Waverley Mills and March Street Mills under D Ballantyne Brothers & Co.
After the First World War, Caerlee Mill switched over to the production of knitted hosiery goods using fine cashmere wool.
Over time, Ballantyne Sportswear, later Ballantyne Cashmere, came to rival factories in Hawick in the production of a whole range of cashmere and intricate intarsia garments, gaining a worldwide reputation for quality and awards for enterprise.
After the high point of the 60s and 70s, the textile industry in Innerleithen went into decline.
The 21st century saw frequent changes of ownership and a diminishing workforce at Caerlee Mills.
Even the Ballantyne name was sold to an Italian company and in 2010 JJ & HB Cashmere Mills was replaced by Caerlee Mills Limited.
More than 400 workers had been employed at the mill in the 1960s, many of them supremely skilled.
In 2010 there were just over 40.
The end came just three years later when the cost of maintaining the large factory complex, most of it unused, became too great a burden and the liquidators loomed.
Apart from the listed Brodie’s Mill building, boiler house and chimney, the knitting flats that had seen the production of world-class intarsia cashmere garments were razed to the ground in 2015


The old Caerlee mill today:
Caerlee Mill 1.jpg

 

The Shooman

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I finally took the plunge and got this little beauty! It is a 3 pound boiled jumper by Dachstein, a very significant piece of knitwear. Funny enough, the sizing seems the same as in the 60's. I suspect nothing has changed about this brand for the last 100 years. It is probably still the best quality stuff. Is that right Thruth Thruth ?

I find that they need to be ordered 2 sizes bigger and longer than normal for them to work, otherwise they'll be too small. Ordered this to work with my dark brown bespoke 23oz corduroy trousers and soon to order dark brown tweed trousers.

No-one in the world makes jumpers of that quality imo. I have this amazing 1940's Scottish turtleneck that is the next closest rival, but this is by far the winner. It is handmade in small batches by some families, and the materials are top notch. Probably a jumper that can last a lifetime or two. One of the great clothing gems of the world. None of the clothing forums talk about this brand.
Dachstein crewneck 1.jpg

Thruth Thruth how does the sizing work for the sox again. Do l size up 1 size?
 
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florisgreen

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I finally took the plunge and got this little beauty! It is a 3 pound boiled jumper by Dachstein, a very significant piece of knitwear. Funny enough, the sizing seems the same as in the 60's. I suspect nothing has changed about this brand for the last 100 years. It is probably still the best quality stuff. Is that right Thruth Thruth ?

I find that they need to be ordered 2 sizes bigger and longer than normal for them to work, otherwise they'll be too small. Ordered this to work with my dark brown bespoke 23oz corduroy trousers and soon to order dark brown tweed trousers.

No-one in the world makes jumpers of that quality imo. I have this amazing 1940's Scottish turtleneck that is the next closest rival, but this is by far the winner. It is handmade in small batches by some families, and the materials are top notch. Probably a jumper that can last a lifetime or two. One of the great clothing gems of the world. None of the clothing forums talk about this brand.
View attachment 37488

Thruth Thruth how does the sizing work for the sox again. Do l size up 1 size?
I won't question the quality of the material, it seems pretty solid, but do you really like that rustic style? To me it looks very German (Austrian)=functional, consistent, not aesthetic, refined. Also that horizontal knit looks pretty odd. How would you like to combine it? In my opinion it's a purely casual garment not suitable to any match with classic, elegant clothing.
 

Thruth

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I won't question the quality of the material, it seems pretty solid, but do you really like that rustic style? To me it looks very German (Austrian)=functional, consistent, not aesthetic, refined. Also that horizontal knit looks pretty odd. How would you like to combine it? In my opinion it's a purely casual garment not suitable to any match with classic, elegant clothing.
It is casual by design. Everything is not about classic elegant clothing here is it? Paper thin deep v necks are not everyone’s cup of tea either.

The Shooman The Shooman can easily combine it with his heavy corduroy and big butch bluchers and he will still well turned out.

You are exhibiting iGent Knitwear poisoning. Less fatal than mercury poisoning

This chap has no issue looking good in it.

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The Shooman

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The exact Dachstein jumper l had on tonight when l was outside. Wore it with a turtleneck exactly how the bloke is (top of page). This knitwear is serious stuff. I only ever need two.

From a 1979 Yak Works catalog apparently.
Dachstein jumper.jpg


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