6 September 2011

It's Wool Week 5-11Sep- Show Your Support by Choosing Wool

The Campaign for Wool is about stopping the decline in numbers of sheep. By supporting our sheep farmers and  their flock, we also support our landscape as the sheep grazing helps preserve our countryside. Plus wool is a natural and sustainable fibre.
So here’s a few woolly jumpers you can wear with pride:

The Gansey – the original hunky fisherman’s jumper www.gansey.co.uk
This hunk has always worked hard for his living, keeping the fishermen warm and dry, allowing easy movement so he can get on with his work and unfortunately sometimes providing ID for those who drowned and whose bodies were washed up on the shore.
The Aran – the typical hunk of the chunky knits www.qualityknitwear.co.uk
Originating from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland, the Aran is the younger more enterprising brother of the Gansey. Not as hard working, this sweater relies on his rugged blond looks and thicker wool to attract outside buyers to give the families on the island more income. He probably never went out to sea with the fishermen as his bulkier and stiffer style restricted movement, leaving this to his leaner and more flexible brother the Gansey. The traditional blond colour was due to the sweater being made from undyed sheep’s wool.

The Fair Isle- the fairest of them all. www.thistleandbroom.com
A Scottish hunk from the Shetland Isles, although it is said he did get some of his good looks from the Spaniards when a ship from the Spanish Armada was wrecked near the Islands in 1588 and the islanders fell in love with the Moorish patterns the sailors wore. But his striking colouring is all Scottish from local plants and lichens.

The Guernsey – the ultimate sailing sweater. www.guernseyknitwear.co.uk
This medium knit from Guernsey works hard to make it look plain sailing, becoming a favourite for seamen due to its warmth and resistance to sea spray. The classic square-shaped tunic style has a split at the hem for ease of movement and a straight neckline originally so it can be reversed as alternating the front and back made sure is was more hard wearing.

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