The History of the Cable Knit
When envisioning your Autumn/Winter wardrobe, your thoughts naturally gravitate towards comfy and warm knitwear and we didn’t want to disappoint with our new collection. Our new Conway Cable knitted sweatshirt is crafted in England from 100% merino wool, promising to keep you both warm and stylish throughout the winter season.
The Cable Knit sweatshirt boasts a rich and storied history. It originated as a utilitarian garment designed to shield against the elements, and over time, it evolved into a prominent piece in sporting attire before seamlessly transitioning into the closets of the fashion-forward.
The cable knit sweatshirt design finds its roots in the 'Aran sweater,' originally crafted on the Aran Islands, a cluster of small landmasses in the Atlantic Ocean, situated just off the western coast of Ireland. While the sweater's intricate patterns share resemblances with early Celtic knotwork, the lineage of this garment is only believed to trace back to the early 1900s. Its initial iteration served as a practical attire choice for fishermen confronting the harsh Irish winter conditions, with each piece painstakingly handcrafted using locally sourced wool from the island.
The dense sweater proved ideal for withstanding the turbulent weather and unpredictable moods of the open ocean, while its tightly knitted ribbed collar and cuffs proved effective in shielding against the relentless winds. Notably, the cuffs were intentionally designed to fall slightly short of the wrist, a detail aimed at preventing entanglements with fishing equipment and preventing saturation from seawater during tasks. This emphasis on practicality truly defined the essence of this garment.
With advancements in manufacturing techniques during the 1920s, the production time for these intricately designed garments decreased, resulting in a surge in demand among male consumers for knitwear. It was during this era that the classic off-white tones of the cable knit sweatshirt made it an ideal choice for the world of sports, particularly in games like cricket and tennis.
CABLE KNIT IN SPORTS
The use of white sporting uniforms in British sports has its roots in tradition and practicality. White attire was predominantly associated with sports perceived as upper-class in the early 20th century, such as cricket, tennis, and golf. This choice of colour pays homage to tradition while serving a functional purpose. White symbolised sportsmanship, and although wearing the same colour in contact sports might lead to confusion, players donning lighter hues ensured that the ball could be easily identified by both spectators and participants in sports such as cricket and tennis.
While these forementioned sports are typically associated with the summer months, the British climate is seldom short of cooler days and the introduction of a moisture wicking, wind resistant cable knit jumper to the staple of these uniforms was undoubtedly a welcomed innovation.
The cable knit sweater was a common sight in these sports until the more recent years when it made way for more man made material garments. However, its enduring presence in the world of cricket remains steadfast even today. In 2005, Admiral Sports was producing cable knit sweaters for the England Cricket team when they achieved a memorable Ashes victory over Australia.
KNITWEAR IN CULTURE
Undoubtedly, as is often the case with clothing trends, film and music culture exerted a significant influence on its appeal among male consumers. The worlds of music and cinema converged in 1957, catapulting the garment into the spotlight when global icon Elvis donned a cable knit sweater during the filming of 'Jailhouse Rock.' A comparable surge in the trend occurred in 1968 when ‘the king of cool’, Steve McQueen, sported a variation of the Aran sweater in the popular Hollywood film 'The Thomas Crown Affair.
ADMIRAL KNITWEAR 2023
The Admiral Conway cable knit jumper stands as the quintessential winter attire, drawing inspiration from the timeless legacy of this garment, its cinematic presence, and Admiral's rich history in crafting sportswear. In the spirit of the heritage of this iconic piece, we felt compelled to create the sweatshirt using locally sourced 100% Merino wool. This lightweight, natural material not only excels as an excellent insulator but also effectively wicks moisture away from the skin, ensuring unparalleled comfort for the colder months ahead.
The Conway cable knit jumper is available now in three new Autumn/Winter colours.