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Alpaca Sweater Weather - The History of the Sweater

We love the cooler autumn weather!  It celebrates the glory of a growing season here on the farm, and reminds us that winter is not far off. It also means we return to sweater weather! 

The sweater has a unique background in its origins. The art of hand-knitting garments dates back over two thousand years, however the first knitted sweater was made in the 15th century in the islands of Guernsey & Jersey, which are parts of the English Channel Islands. Hence the naming of many sweaters either a “Guernsey” or “Jersey." Guernseys were knitted by the wives of fishermen who lived on the islands of Guernsey & Jersey. Hard-wearing and thick, these sweaters protected fishermen from external elements and tough weather conditions. Worn primarily by the working class who appreciated the durability and thickness, the sweater became a staple of daily life. In the following decades, the sweater was worn by English gentlemen during leisure activities. This led the sweater being integrated into country side wardrobes. The “Guernsey” got a rename to "sweater" when it first appeared in North America in the 19th century.


Whatever style, from the classic crew-neck to the polo or v-neck, sweaters have traditionally been made from different materials including wool, cashmere, cotton, silk and of course our favourite: alpaca! Thick or thin, sweaters can last a lifetime, especially when well made from natural fibres, and when cared for like a family heirloom. 

At Chetwyn Farms, we call them a necessity of winter and nothing beats an alpaca sweater – no matter what you call it!  Sweaters that are made of 100% alpaca fibre are the warmest, softest and lightest sweater you can own. Depending on the knit, it can be lofty with a delicate hand-feel, or more tightly knit, reminiscent of those fishermen sweaters with a heavier weight. The incredible drape of 100% alpaca yarn makes sweater wearing a pleasure unsurpassed. Needing a more durable sweater, we often blend our alpaca fibre with merino wool to give it the structure it needs to stand up to the outside elements.

Whatever blend, style or natural fibre - today’s sweater is as important as those of yesterday!  



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