Our traditional British Wool Guernsey (Gansey) jumper is without a doubt a Martian favourite. Its heritage, design, and hard-wearing nature make it an excellent choice for people who love the outdoors. Guernsey jumpers date back to the 16th century and was originally a local fisherman’s working garment. Let’s take a closer look at how we turn British Wool into this beautiful jumper.
History of the British Wool Guernsey Jumper
The Guernsey is a hard-wearing jumper worn by fisherman who took on the ruthless environment out at sea. It traces it’s roots back 400 years to the Island of Guernsey where many isolated communities had no choice but to be self-sufficient.
Fisherman’s wives (or prospective ones) would knit the Guernseys to protect their partners from the harsh conditions they were subjected to. The identical front and back patterns allowed the jumpers to be reversed in instances of excessive wear. In the unfortunate and tragic event that fishermen were lost at sea, their bodies were identified by the unique patterns on their Guernsey. A little morbid but an interesting conversation starter, for the correct audience of-course.
Mars Knitwear Guernsey Design
Our vision for the Mars rendition of the Traditional British Wool Guernsey Jumper was simple. We had three requirements:
- Traditional Guernsey patterns
- 100% British Wool
- Signature Mars design
British Wool is the natural choice for a Guernsey. Not only does it originate in Britain but there are many benefits to using British Wool. Having knitted Guernseys for over 25 years, we’re familiar with the traditional patterns and have carefully selected some to attach to our brand.
Knitting The British Wool Guernsey
When we receive our British Wool we have to make sure we knit every batch in a single dye lot. This ensures that there isn’t variation between colours and sizing as wool does behave differently between colours and dye lots. We knit every single Guernsey jumper in 5 panels:
- Front Panel
- Back Panel
- Right Sleeve
- Left Sleeve
We knit all panels of a single type consecutively, followed by the next panel type. One of our highly talented Martians then separates each panels using a technique called draw threading. A Martian then collates panels of a particular size and colour and passes it on to the next stage of the process.
Finishing and Make Up
The pieces of the Guernsey fit together like a puzzle but before doing so there must be some prep. Using steam a Martian presses each panel which helps soften and relax the yarn as well as making joining the panels much easier. We also inspect each panel and check for any initial knitting faults.
Martians then join each of the pressed panels by hand using techniques such as linking. While extremely time consuming and requiring a high level of skill, linking provides a premium finish on a jumper. Linking is essential for our fold-over collar and doesn’t leave a huge seam which will otherwise irritate your neck.
Make Up and Inspection
Before any jumper can be approved there are a few final steps. First we lockstitch our brand labels along with the size pip and wash care. Every jumper goes through a final press and final inspection by two different Martians. Our three stage quality control process ensures only perfect jumpers make their way through to our customers.
The Mars Colour Selection
There are several benefits to being the manufacturer of the products you sell chief amongst them is being able to knit almost any colour we want. We’re proud to offer 11 excellent colours on our British Wool Guernsey Jumpers. This wide range of colours allows our customers to select a colour that best suits their wardrobe.