Our Polperro Knit
For many, the foundations of a good piece of knitwear are warmth, softness, comfort and fit. For us, we like to throw a good story into the mix. So we spin the yarn of our Polperro knit, a jumper which echoes a longstanding tradition from our seafaring ancestors.
The humble gansey, a knitted wool sweater specifically made for men of the sea, began its life in the Channel Islands as early as the 17th century. Meanwhile across the channel, Cornwall’s hand-knitting industry was also taking shape.
Fishing villages such as Polperro, St Ives and Porthleven were all defined by their - and their inhabitants’ - relationship with the sea, whether you were a fisherman, boat maker, manufactured ropes and nets or knitted the sweaters to keep loved ones warm out at sea.
Polperro’s ‘knit-frocks’ were jumpers used to identify men lost at sea, just as sailors’ tattoos once served the same purpose. Each family had a dedicated pattern; these patterns weren’t written down, but passed down from mother to daughter.
We first saw a version of a Polperro knit on a friend of ours, Skelly, who told us the jumper was knitted for him by his mother. Drawn to that sense of nostalgia and a story that was quite literally weaved into the very fabric of this garment, we set about creating our own knit which was inspired by this small Cornish fishing village. Four years on, it’s still part of our collection and our design narrative.