Sophisticated, soft and so very British – knitwear is a classic that is beloved by corporate clients, the golf sector and anyone looking for a cosy jumper or warm hat. Images looks at this year’s top selections
British brand Balmoral Knitwear has received orders for bespoke cricket sweaters for international teams and British-made heritage sweaters for overseas clients recently, demonstrating people’s on-going love affair with all things knitted. To cope with the recent influx of orders, Balmoral has invested in new knitting machines at its Scottish factory. “The new machines will increase capacity for heavier weight styles, alongside Balmoral’s capacity for medium-weight knitwear for schoolwear, corporatewear, promotions, Christmas sweaters etcetera,” explains the company. As well as manufacturing in the UK, Balmoral also uses off-shore manufacturers for larger contracts and for some stock styles. It’s top pick this year is its bespoke cricket jumper, which comes in long-sleeve pullover and sleeveless slipover styles and is made to order with a wide range of shades of stripes (or bodies) available. There is a minimum order of six per style per colourway.
Another Scottish company that leads the field (and the putting green) in knitwear is Glenmuir. It recommends two of its golf jumpers, starting with the Ladies Zip Neck Cotton Golf Sweater. This 100% super soft cotton sweater is breathable, has a contemporary fit and includes Glenmuir icon embroidery above the right welt as well as a signature Glenmuir golf club branded zip puller. For men there is the Men’s Zip Neck Lightweight Cotton Golf Sweater, an extra fine sweater made from 100% super soft, lightweight cotton. It has Glenmuir 1891 embroidered on the right sleeve and engraved on the zip puller.
Also offering a luxurious garment is Henbury with its Cashmere Touch Acrylic Knit range. A soft, smooth blend with a fine 12-gauge construction is used for both the V-neck (H760/761) and the cardigan (women’s style H762), and offers the feel of cashmere with the practicality of acrylic. “The expanded woolmark approved lambswool and Cashmere Touch ranges add a touch of luxury to the offering,” comments henbury distributor, Ralawise.
New for 2016 from Henbury and highlighted by PenCarrie is the V-Neck Marl Jumper (H780), made from an innovative tri-blend yarn for a flattering, soft drape and good shape retention. It comes in grey marl and blue marl, and can be either dressed up with a shirt and tie for a formal look or combined with a polo for a modern, casual style.
Also from Henbury is the Woolmark-approved Machine Washable Lambswool jumper range, which includes a V-neck (H730), crew-neck (H735) and sleeveless V-neck (H731) – a particular favourite at the golf course, according to the brand. They are made from a nine-gauge construction, with the smooth and defined surface being ideal for embroidery.
According to BTC activewear, the Russell Collection 710M Men’s V-Neck Knitted Pullover provides a fine gauge knit that creates an ideal surface for embroidery and badging. The men’s and women’s V-Neck Knitted Pullover, the women’s V-Neck Fitted Cardigan and the men’s and women’s V-Neck Sleeveless Pullover are classic, smart styles, perfect for layering over a shirt or polo, says the brand. Made from 50% cotton/50% acrylic Cottonblend, they wash exceptionally well, says Russell, and can be tumbled dried at 40°C. “This year marks the ten year anniversary of Russell knitwear,” explains Ralawise. “The easy care CottonBlend, which combines the coolness and lightness of cotton with the softness, warmth and stain-resistance of acrylic, makes this knitwear range iconic.”
Rowlinson Knitwear (look out for the brand’s profile in this issue) explains that it manufactures high quality, specialist knitwear for the corporate and schoolwear markets. Its Performa Executive garments (V-neck pullover, cardigan and slipover) are made from 50% cotton/50% acrylic, making them lightweight and cool. “Its lightness of handle and touch makes it a sure winner for businesses, who can personalise garments with stripes, embroidery and bespoke colours,” explains the brand.
“Smartness and durability are key, so ease of care is built in, with washing at 40°C or even 30°C for environmental kindness.” The range is available plain from stock with 24-hour delivery in black and navy, with low minimum quantities offered for specially made orders.
Sol’s offers a range of knitwear made from 50% cotton/50% acrylic, notes PenCarrie, including the Galaxy V-Neck Sweater (90010, men’s style 90000), which features stylish ribbed cuffs and hem, and comes in a range of four colours and in sizes XS-2XL for women and S-3XL for men. The Golden V-Neck Cardigan (90012, men’s style 90011), made from the same fabric, is button fastening. The Gordon Full Zip Cardigan (10550, men’s style 10548) features a 1 x 1 rib high collar with an inner contrast stripe, while the Gentleman (10591) is a unisex sleeveless sweater than the company says will give any outfit style.
For cooler days Ralawise recommends Premier’s cotton-rich knitwear, which include a men’s V-neck sweater (PR694) and women’s button-through cardigan (PR697), both of which are available in eight corporate shades.
Workwear specialists, Snickers have announced the new 2905 1/2 Zip Wool Sweater. The garment’s special wool weave is really soft but also highly moisture-absorbent and breathable. “It provides pure natural wool comfort to keep you warm in really cold conditions. What’s more, it resists odour naturally and can be worn for long periods without washing,” says Snickers. The brand adds that the 100% wool style is ideal for workers to wear in combination with Snickers undergarments when they are out on site in the chilly winter months.
The new style features a zip-up neck line collar and polyamide-reinforced elbows and lower arms for enhanced durability, and is available in three different colours, and XS- 3XL.
Cable knits and chunky hats
For cosy warmth it’s hard to beat a cable knit jumper. Front Row & Co has added the Cable Crew Neck Jumper (FR700) to its Tag-Free range in 2016. The soft, stretchy 12 gg knit has a fully cabled design both front and back. Free from any branding, it can be embroidered, and comes in black and navy, and in sizes XS-2XL. Also offering a cable knit style is the James Harvest brand from United Brands of Scandinavia with ‘The Treadvilles’, its new, fashionable cable-knitted sweaters that come in core colours. “James Harvest puts in a huge amount of effort to improve the design of its garments, ensuring they are kept up-to-date and on trend,” says United Brands.
Kustom Kit has a range of knitwear – recommended by both BTC Activewear and PenCarrie – which includes his and her Arundel sweaters (KK353, men’s style KK352) in sizes 6-20 for women and 2XS-3XL for men. The Heavyweight Arundel Sweater (KK357) in 50% cotton/50% acrylic, seven-gauge knit fabric has been designed for warmth and durability, and comes in black or navy.
Stedman has created its Knit Fleece Jackets for both athleticwear and casualwear. They have thick polyester yarns on the outside for a premium look with a smooth surface, while on the inside brushed fabrics are used for a soft feel. The knit fleeces are stretchy, water-repellent and very durable, and offer great heat insulation combined with a light weight. They are available for women (ST5950), men (ST5850) and children (ST5970), and come in five stylish melange colours.
Beechfield has seven fresh and exciting new knitwear styles making their debut in the brand’s AW16 collection. The knits mirror current market trends and are “infused with a dynamic colour palette”. Included are the Fur Pom Pom Cable Beanie (B410) and Fur Pom Pom Chunky Beanie (B412), both of which boast a removable faux fur pom pom for ease of washing, which Beechfield says highlights the practicality and adaptability of these unisex styles. They benefit from a TearAway label for ease of re-branding, emphasising the ‘Retail Ready’ concept adopted by Beechfield. The distinctiveness of the Fur Pom Pom Chunky Beanie is enhanced by its cuffed design for optimal decoration and heavy ribbed knit, while the Fur Pom Pom Cable Beanie benefits from a Suprafleece thermal band and heavy cable knit, ensuring it is the ideal solution for those winter months.
As ever, the Winter Essentials range from Result offers a wide range of stylish knitted hats. New to the range for 2016/17 is the Core Softex Beanie (RC031X), an over-sized, super-soft, lightweight, double thickness, knitted, ready-to-brand hat that comes in 25 colours.
Also new is the Braided Hat (RC376X), which has a decorative braid knit, foldable hem, stretch fit and black contrast Polartherm fleece inner, and is available in fennel and grey.
The Braided Snood (R377X) is similar to the Braided Hat, but can be worn around the neck or head and comes in black and grey.
The Double layer Knitted Hat (RC378X) is a chunky knit hat with foldable hem that comes in black/grey, navy/grey and teal/grey, while the HDI Quest Knitted Hat (R369X) is a longer length, chunky knit bobble hat available in lime, raspberry and fennel. Also a chunky knit is the longer length Mariner Knitted Hat (R370X) with contrast knit hem and full fleece lining; it’s available in orange/black, navy/ black and grey/black.
Result’s windproof Nordic Knitted Hat (R371X) with its jacquard knit design comes in dark spruce/lime and black/hot pink colours, while the Shades of Grey Knitted Hat (R372X) offers a two-tone grey, chunky knit style with longer length. It is complemented by a matching scarf – the Shades of Grey Knitted Scarf (R373X).