The knitwear thread

Panama

Well-Known Member
Messages
910
Monaghan's website states that their products are produced in Scotland as mentioned above and Italy...
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
4,299
Barrie is one of the oldest cashmere knitting manufactures in Scotland that makes for Chanel ,John Laing

Got my first Barrie the other day, a polo with horn buttons. Wow, what a beauty! Beautiful thick geelong lambswool. Barrie is a wonderful maker, but time will be the real test.
 

Swiss

Well-Known Member
Messages
101
This arrived today.
It seems unworn

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Elote

Active Member
Messages
30
¡Wow! what a gem Swiss, an 1950's Ballantyne Vicuña. Great score. What size it is?
¡Wear it in good health!
 

Swiss

Well-Known Member
Messages
101
¡Wow! what a gem Swiss, an 1950's Ballantyne Vicuña. Great score. What size it is?
¡Wear it in good health!
There’s no size indication but it is either 44 or 46.
It fits me perfectly. I wear a 44 in ballantyne sweaters but I like cardigans a bit looser
 

kneeshuh

Well-Known Member
Messages
57
Just received my Lockie jumper in'flannel', and I have to say that the grey is far more yellowish than expected.
 

Great White Snark

Well-Known Member
Messages
794
From the .... that wears zipped hoodies...
Leaving aside his alleged clothing choices, I think his point being that you seem to carry on like some lottery winner who has just discovered clothes and is now going round on an extended shopping spree spending money like a drunken sailor on multiples of everything and posting pics of your purchases here, but with zero context (how they fit, what they were combined with, where you wore them, etc.)

It is of course your prerogative to post however you wish, but to what end? The result is at best a facsimile of In Sitiches during his prolific “where to kop?” phase on SF, and at worst a thinly disguised flex letting us all know how much money you have to throw around at acquiring an enormous and seemingly indiscriminate pile of clothes.
 

Panama

Well-Known Member
Messages
910
Leaving aside his alleged clothing choices, I think his point being that you seem to carry on like some lottery winner who has just discovered clothes and is now going round on an extended shopping spree spending money like a drunken sailor on multiples of everything and posting pics of your purchases here, but with zero context (how they fit, what they were combined with, where you wore them, etc.)

It is of course your prerogative to post however you wish, but to what end? The result is at best a facsimile of In Sitiches during his prolific “where to kop?” phase on SF, and at worst a thinly disguised flex letting us all know how much money you have to throw around at acquiring an enormous and seemingly indiscriminate pile of clothes.
Throwing money around on £12.00 sweaters. The extravagance. I have around 12, they fit perfectly...

Screenshot_20221103-220137_Outlook.jpg
 

belinmad

Damn Tacky Big Collar Daddy
Supporter
Messages
2,056
Throwing money around on £12.00 sweaters. The extravagance. I have around 12, they fit perfectly...

View attachment 45396

Leaving the point on disposable income aside, I would say that the feedback that posting pics of new, folded clothes and their labels is rather pointless and adds little to the conversation has been given to you before.
Why don’t you just post pics of you wearing them? Other than acknowledging that now you own said pieces, there’s not much more to be said otherwise…
 

Panama

Well-Known Member
Messages
910
Leaving the point on disposable income aside, I would say that the feedback that posting pics of new, folded clothes and their labels is rather pointless and adds little to the conversation has been given to you before.
Why don’t you just post pics of you wearing them? Other than acknowledging that now you own said pieces, there’s not much more to be said otherwise…
You do realise that in a few posts you will be contradicting yourself getting all excited about an image of a Vintage NOS Ballantyne folded intarsia with labels...
 

belinmad

Damn Tacky Big Collar Daddy
Supporter
Messages
2,056
You do realise that in a few posts you will be contradicting yourself getting all excited about an image of a Vintage NOS Ballantyne folded intarsia with labels...

1. I hate intarsias - you’re confusing me with Shooey

2. If you think a unique vintage nos piece w some almost lost technique is in the same category as a lands end jumper, a pair of Uniqlo shorts or the latest John Medley on sale, you are missing the point of this forum.

3. Dont get defensive - no one is criticizing your spending habits or style choices. But there is zero addition value added between the image of a brand new folded piece you post and what can be found on the manufacturers website. You are more than able to bring more to the table - I am politely suggesting you do so, and I think I am not the only one doing so
 

Swiss

Well-Known Member
Messages
101
15E8280B-0AE5-4D43-B92D-8A07ED16042F.jpeg
With the recent addition of the vicuna cardigan posted above I am pleased with this vicuna, cashmere and camel hair suite. I suppose I am still missing a lambswool/geelong one … which is not easy to find!
 

Elote

Active Member
Messages
30
Swiss, ¡that's a collection; wear them in good health!

Like in a vertical tasting, you are in a unique position to provide feedback regarding the qualities of the wool. I mean, this is the first time we can compare apples to apples, as the cardigans were made by the same expert maker, have the same ply count, knitting technique, with the best material available, and the only real difference is in the wool.
What would you consider are the main differences/characteristics in hand feel, weight -if noticeable- warm, sheen?
Disregarding the material, which one is your favorite?

I have 2 shawl collar cardigans made by ballantyne under the Sulka brand label, one in cashmere and the other one in camel hair. Both are dense, thick, heavy 6 ply cardigans and were made around 1985-1995. To me, the hand feel and warm of the vintage camel hair it is indistinguishable to the vintage cashmere by this maker.
On the other hand, I do also have a 'new' Lockie Shawl Collar cardigan in Camel Hair, and the feel is way way off to the vintage stuff. To me, this confirms that the same conditions -global warming, grazing, etc- that affect the quality of cashmere today, also do affect the quality of camel hair.

So please, do share your opinion.
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
4,299
This is where this thread becomes at its best, when Swiss posts those pictures of vintage gems and Elote asks questions like above.

Swiss Swiss how does your Ballantyne vicuna compare to your cashmere? What do you like better, and why?

Same goes with the modern Scott & Charters shawl cardigan, way off compared to the old stuff from Ballantyne and Mc George.
 
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Swiss

Well-Known Member
Messages
101
Elote, it would be interesting to see photos of your Sulka cardigans (sorry if you have already posted them in the past).
I purchased one a few months ago. It is clearly made by Ballantyne and with a thicker/ denser knit than the typical Ballantyne one. Dare I say, at least one the same level as Hermes made in Scotland!

Now for the vertical tasting:
Material wise, the difference between the cashmere and the vicuna is not huge but it is there (I was asking myself whether I would distinguish them in a blind test...)
The camel hair is slightly less soft but still very soft and I would say as soft as some older scottish cashmere which can be relatively coarse as we all know.
The vicuna has a somewhat cooler touch than the others. Similar to the difference between Loro Piana vicuna and Loro Piana cashmere.

The main difference though is the knit density. The cashmere is clearly denser and the vicuna and camel hair less so (both to the same extent). I wonder why that is...
Is it because vicuna and camel hair are more tricky to spin and knit and therefore tension needs to be a little lower...? Or more prosaicaly to save on fiber?

One intriguing fact relates to the cuffs of the vicuna cardigan: all three have the standard old Ballantyne double length cuffs that can be turned over, the odd fact is that the vicuna's has the seam on the inside so it becomes visible when turned over (the seam is normally on the outside, as is the case for the cashmere and camel hair). Also, the sleeves of the vicuna are on the short side which is a little annoying.

Color wise: cashmere is the lightest, then vicuna and finally camel is the darkest

I attach close up photos of the knit so you can guess which is which

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The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
4,299
Correct
The master has killed the game 😀

Did you get this vicuna from ebay?

I am not buying much knitwear at the moment, the dollar is in the toilet. The exchange rate makes the taxes, shipping and prices so high now.
 

Swiss

Well-Known Member
Messages
101
No, I am not buying much at all from eBay these days… I don’t see much interesting stuff passing by.

Currency wise, I cannot complain though, the Swiss franc is strong, I just wish there would be more interesting stuff listed
 

The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
4,299
No, I am not buying much at all from eBay these days… I don’t see much interesting stuff passing by.

Currency wise, I cannot complain though, the Swiss franc is strong, I just wish there would be more interesting stuff listed

Yeah, ebay is not what it once was a few years ago. It is quite a yawn these days. I can't help but think this thread has something to do with it. When this thread got to the top of internet searches, people started buying lots of stuff on ebay and prices rose 400% - 500% for Ballantyne virtually overnight because sellers caught on to how good their stuff was.

It is like what a mate told me. Ebay was once a treasure trove for buying vintage NOS shoes. Great jewels could be had for hardly anything. It started with the blogs where people got interested in vintage shoes and everyone started buying them. Now there is hardly anything left, they have all been bought 10 years ago, and now prices are very high for the occasional vintage piece one sees. Jumpers have gone the same way...there was only so many high priced Ballantyne and Pringle produced all those years ago (a luxury for the cashed up), but people have been buying them up for years due to reading forums and blogs, and now things have reached an end.

One day vintage Burberry trench coats will be all bought along with all those great vintage coats. It's all going to run out eventually. I am just glad l bought the jumpers when l did, l have some real beauties....nothing compares these days. I have my wonderful Barrie geelong lambswool on today, such a beauty.

Swiss Swiss I have seen ballantyne geelong lambswool. Never bought them because l was a cashmere snob and had many choices at the time. These days pickings are much more slim, so Ballantyne geelong lambswool would be on the cards.
 

Elote

Active Member
Messages
30
SULKA SHAWL COLLAR CARDIGANS
(CASHMERE/CAMEL HAIR)


Swiss, I'm sorry for the late reply, been quite busy over here.
Here are the pics of the Sulka (Ballantynes made) Shawl Collar Cardigans. As everybody knows the shape of a Shawl collar, I decided to go for details in the knit crafmanship.
The First one is in Camel Hair, with the Shawl Collar in contrasting colour and material. The collar its made of cashmere and the body in Camel Hair. A Lovely combination, I think.
I have also attached 1 pic of the button of a Lockie Shawl Collar, just to compare quality and size. The sulka button measuring close to 2.5cm, while the lockie is at 1.7cm. Theres a difference in the quality of the fabric too (both been in Camel hair). Please do not get me wrong, Lockie makes a really fine garment, just not close to the quality of vintage Ballantyne.

The 2nd set of pics, belongs to a
Sulka cashmere shawl collar. Again, I decided in favour of close up pics of the knit crafmanship.
Please do look at the thickness of the knit, particularly in the shawl collar. So thick indeed, that the other day I was wearing the Canel hair one, while I was reading in my living room. I felt so tired that decided to flip up the collar and close my eyes. Was so confortable that felt asleep (collar been almost like a thin pillow).

Both cardigans are heavy, dense 6 ply and were made by Ballantyne between 1985-1995.
 

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Elote

Active Member
Messages
30
SULKA (BALLANTYNES) vs KITON
Old World Class vs New Luxury
Scotland vs Italian Crafsmanship


I decided on this post, as Johnny -lab guy- mentioned some post ago, that the best A+ cashmere were found within Italian brands Kiton, Attolini and Colombo.
Of the 3 brands, I only have Kiton shawl collars cardigans. (I will do a 2 ply Attolini -or Kiton- vs Sulka 2 ply cardigan if there is interest.

I will mostly let the pics do the talking, as they were taken from the same position and the same place within each garment. So you'll be able to compare shoulder construction, collar, buttons, etc.
Both cardigans are hand made.

Regarding Cashmere, Kiton's shawl collar cardigan was made, using their best "millionares cashmere", it is, as usually within Italian Cashmere very soft 'cloud soft' to touch. Sulka's cashmere also feels very very soft, but somehow more consistent.
I really do not understand the need for over milling cashmere, other than A+ Cashmere of today, its not in the same league of A+ cashmere of yesterday.

Density: Sulka it is a dense knit. You can feel the cardigan been hand made in special looms by a master artisan. When you put it on, you can feel it. It embraces you. The Kiton, feels nice, but been overmilled, feels light. You do not feel the strain of the master knitter hand, feels more like a computer/machine made garment, -but they do charge hand made prices for it- it is almost as if you are not wearing a thick shawl collar.

Construction, I'll let the pics do the talking, but again, I regard the Sulka as a masterpiece of knitwear and the Kiton as a well made, luxury/expensive garment.
Just look at the collar thickness of the Sulka cardigan, vs the thin 3 piece construction on the Kiton.

Enjoy!
 

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The Shooman

A Pretty Face
Messages
4,299
^^^
Sulka it is a dense knit. You can feel the cardigan been hand made in special looms by a master artisan. When you put it on, you can feel it.
It embraces you.


The Kiton............. feels more like a computer/machine made garment


nailed it, perfectly said
 

Johnny

Well-Known Member
Messages
87
Very nice pieces of knits, glad to see that you have taste
Comparing apples to oranges....comparing old style made Ballantynes 7 gauges with Kiton 5 gauges and pure cashmere stiff fibre with fine thin one
That feeling of over milling is not that on the GradeA+ houses, is about the raw material...the long very fine µ fibre doesnt need to be over milled, the way to see that, is in the texture of the fibre if it has some burn out effect , hard to see with naked eye especially with medium colour and easier to see in navy or black garments. The most brands that uses a lot cheap fibre over milled, over wash their yarn to get to what these top tier houses have from the raw material already.
Its very hard nowadays to do dense knit with 40mm long and under 15µ fibre and the artisans to create the overall shape (fashion style excluded) , few makers can have and do this...because if you have one without the other you have a deficit, If you have dense knit you should go for the longer fibre first and fine fibre second because tension in the knit with a shorter fibre will get loose overtime when you bend, or raise your arms or move around in your daily routine of you life (this happens a lot less for those who wear every day of the week a different knit ). So because in the old days Ballantynes and other Scottish or even Italians didnt had access to refined cashmere...there were made more robust, long fibre +tense knit = great quality from the start. Nowadays this race to the finest and finest i hope it came to an end because it is so rare that it doesnt even make sense, the law's of nature reached its limit
So what are you comparing there is a old style made Ballantynes knit with tense 7 gauge knit, and depends on how old it is , if it will pass the test of time by wearing it a lot without loosing it shape that means also a long 35-40mm raw fibre in it. Nowadays if you want this plus a fine garment you have to pay for it. Again Kiton, attolini or Colombo never over washed or over milled their garments, they dont need to since they are using the best raw material
While Attolini's wool can have some over washed in their standard wool garments, Kiton doesnt, they always start from super S150 wool
So, from my personal experience, if you want an "bespoke" or RTW knit go for the house who has the artisans the machines that can create a dense knit with long fibre and preferred under 14µ (depends on your budget...if you cant, try to leave out the under 14µ and go for the pure cashmere). This is how the today Grade A+ works now, but with some differences....nowadays we have from gauge 3 , 5 to gauge 18, from 1 plys 2 plys 4 8 12 etc so many options and combinations compared to decades ago. Here we cannot compare apples to oranges...i always recommend a more room to breath for very heavy 1kg or over knit that means a 5 gauge or 7 at most(for a knit that is wear under a coat or something else and NOT by standalone, otherwise -for cold days go for dense heavy knit by all means if you want to wear it by itself and not under anything else), and for the lighter, all season 1ply or 2 ply at min with 7 gauge or 12 gauge depends on your weather conditions where you live
Hope this helped a bit
 
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Panama

Well-Known Member
Messages
910
Well I have picked up a mint condition not so vintage Ballantyne made in Scotland Cashmere sweater. It has the same consistency of a Cotton sweater. Hopefully it's genuine...
 

Elote

Active Member
Messages
30
Very nice pieces of knits, glad to see that you have taste
Comparing apples to oranges....comparing old style made Ballantynes 7 gauges with Kiton 5 gauges and pure cashmere stiff fibre with fine thin one
That feeling of over milling is not that on the GradeA+ houses, is about the raw material...the long very fine µ fibre doesnt need to be over milled, the way to see that, is in the texture of the fibre if it has some burn out effect , hard to see with naked eye especially with medium colour and easier to see in navy or black garments. The most brands that uses a lot cheap fibre over milled, over wash their yarn to get to what these top tier houses have from the raw material already.
Its very hard nowadays to do dense knit with 40mm long and under 15µ fibre and the artisans to create the overall shape (fashion style excluded) , few makers can have and do this...because if you have one without the other you have a deficit, If you have dense knit you should go for the longer fibre first and fine fibre second because tension in the knit with a shorter fibre will get loose overtime when you bend, or raise your arms or move around in your daily routine of you life (this happens a lot less for those who wear every day of the week a different knit ). So because in the old days Ballantynes and other Scottish or even Italians didnt had access to refined cashmere...there were made more robust, long fibre +tense knit = great quality from the start. Nowadays this race to the finest and finest i hope it came to an end because it is so rare that it doesnt even make sense, the law's of nature reached its limit
So what are you comparing there is a old style made Ballantynes knit with tense 7 gauge knit, and depends on how old it is , if it will pass the test of time by wearing it a lot without loosing it shape that means also a long 35-40mm raw fibre in it. Nowadays if you want this plus a fine garment you have to pay for it. Again Kiton, attolini or Colombo never over washed or over milled their garments, they dont need to since they are using the best raw material
While Attolini's wool can have some over washed in their standard wool garments, Kiton doesnt, they always start from super S150 wool
So, from my personal experience, if you want an "bespoke" or RTW knit go for the house who has the artisans the machines that can create a dense knit with long fibre and preferred under 14µ (depends on your budget...if you cant, try to leave out the under 14µ and go for the pure cashmere). This is how the today Grade A+ works now, but with some differences....nowadays we have from gauge 3 , 5 to gauge 18, from 1 plys 2 plys 4 8 12 etc so many options and combinations compared to decades ago. Here we cannot compare apples to oranges...i always recommend a more room to breath for very heavy 1kg or over knit that means a 5 gauge or 7 at most(for a knit that is wear under a coat or something else and NOT by standalone, otherwise -for cold days go for dense heavy knit by all means if you want to wear it by itself and not under anything else), and for the lighter, all season 1ply or 2 ply at min with 7 gauge or 12 gauge depends on your weather conditions where you live
Hope this helped a bit
Dear Johnny
Again, you are missing the point of my post completely. It was not about 3, 5 or 18 gauge; 1, 2, 8, 12 plys or 36mm to 40mm long grade A+ cashmere. My post was about Luxury as in the case of Luxury knitwear, comparing a luxury garment from yesterday to a luxury garment from today. But I do have to acknowledge you in the recognition of taste.

My post was meant to compare a new thick luxury Italian shawl collar cardigan -I have not seen in a store, a thick shawl collar cardigan from either Attolini or Colombo- to a vintage luxury shawl collar cardigan from Scotland, that I own.
I used a Kiton shawl collar cardigan as reference, because I owned it and also in recognition that you have mentioned, that the best A+ cashmere knitwear from Italy, comes from either Kiton, Colombo or Attolini. So in my view, I'm comparing Apples to Apples.

The point of you interpreting it as comparing Apples to Oranges, comes precisely from the point, that the level of quality and crafmanship of the vintage Ballantyne cashmere comes unsurpassed, even by today best examples. The post was meant to compare a piece of RTW luxury scottish knitwear, you could buy at a store 30 years ago, to a piece of RTW luxury Italian knitwear you can buy in a store today. That is why I called my post, Old World Class vs New Luxury.

Off course, after watching the pics, the post came to many, as comparing Apples to Oranges, as I am comparing a Ballantyne knitwear, a 12th generation company, to Kiton knitwear, a 2nd generation company.
I'm comparing a cashmere shawl collar cardigan from a company that in 1967, was given the Queen Award for Achievements in Luxury Knitwear, to a cashmere shawl collar cardigan from a company established in 1968.
I'm comparing a shawl collar cardigan made ~1990, by a company that at the moment had +70 years of experience in Cashmere knitwear, to a shawl collar cardigan from a company that had to buy an interest in Svevo Parma, to be competitive in the cashmere knitwear luxury market. So off course, besides cashmere quality ¡experience kniters, developed techniques and looms matters... and it shows!
I'm comparing a hand made scottish knit, with beautiful hand, great density and construction, to an Italian "hand made knit", which to me has beautiful hand, but lack density and construction. A garment that to me mimics the feel that you get from a computer controlled made machine, even though, the company claims it to be hand made.
Again, I'm comparing a cashmere luxury garment of yesterday, to a cashmere luxury garment of today, unless off course, that you do not consider a thick cashmere shawl collar from Kiton, luxury knitwear.
Above all, I'm comparing what a luxury garment makes me feel to another luxury garment when I wear them. On one side, there is a garment that makes me feel special, that is a conversation piece, and shows no signs of wear after ~30 years, to a garment I would not care wearing 2 to 3 times per week, for the next 5 years. If you know what I mean.

Finally, if a garment makes you feel special, to me, that is the true testament of luxury. It doesn't have to be expensive, -but you are well aware of Kiton cashmere knitwear prices- and to me, the level of quality and crafmanship you once got from a Ballantyne cashmere shawl collar cardigan, has not been and sadly it will never be surpassed. Maybe at the time, a J&D McGeorge Ltd came close. So off course, after seen the pics of my previous post, quality wise they are Apples and Oranges even though it was meant as Apples to Apples.

Hope this helped, a bit!

Ps.- regarding the "coarse" Ballantyne cashmere, you are aware that before the early 1990's -when China began to exercise cashmere trade controls and global warming, grazing etc haven't yet affected cashmere quality- scottish spinners of cashmere yarn, receive raw cashmere clippings with dirt and guard hairs intact. Off those clippings, -after they were dehaired, scoured etc,- only 40% to 45% made it into cashmere yarn to be used into Scottish knitwear? That is why, there are so many vintage pristine examples of Ballantyne -Scottish- cashmere knitwear. So please, do get your self some vintage pre 1990's Ballantyne cashmere and place it under the microscope. Best regards.

PsPs. Attached you'll find some 1950's pics of the Ballantyne factory, in Innerleithen.
 

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Elote

Active Member
Messages
30
It's a very thick knit. Most of my Cashmere is of a fuzzy kind...

View attachment 45490View attachment 45491
After the incident in which you posted pics of your Cambodian sweat shop factory jumpers, I was hoping you showed some restrain. It seems, I was wishfull thinking.
You are quite active in a Styleforum Cashmere thread, I wonder why don't you flaunt your opulence and taste over there?
I'm sorry. ¡It had to be said!
 
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