The Origin of Cardigan Sweaters
The sweater takes its name from James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan. The major general of the British army led a brigade at the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War of 19th century. The soldiers wore woollen waistcoats. During the war, warmer sweaters were knitted from sheep wool to keep the soldiers warm. The mens cardigan sweaters were designed in resemblance to the army’s waistcoats.
The general loved the sweater and wore it most of the time. James’ brigade did great exploits that at the end of the war they were popular among the surrounding regions. The sweater the soldiers and their general wore became the face of the war.
The neighbouring coastal communities would take up the stitch style and made sweaters to keep themselves warm as they worked outside in the unforgiving cold conditions.
By early 20th century, cardigans were a popular college wear in the west and were worn by many people. Their popularity grew until late 1900s where it plummeted significantly. The turn of the new century saw a restoration and the cardigans regained popularity in the fashion world.
Right from its development, women embraced cardigans and wore it more frequently than men. This has led to the misconception cardigans are feminine.
Cardigans are either hand knit or machine knit. Hand knit sweaters are very finely done producing very durable sweaters that fetch higher prices. Machine knit cardigans are also quality sweaters but do not match the intricacy of hand knit cardigans.
The original cardigans were knitted from pure sheep wool. Nowadays however, the cardigans are knit from just about any fabric, synthetic or natural. Nylon, polyester, cashmere, silk, linen, among others. Some knitters even blend two or more fabrics.
Variation of Mens Cardigan Sweaters
There are many types of Irish cardigans specifically designed or men. So many that you will always be spoilt for choice. The bottom line is finding one that works well for your body dynamics.
In terms of neck design, v-shaped and shawl neck designs are most commonly used in men’s cardigans. When buttoned up, v shaped cardigans form a v shape at the neck. The shawl neck design looks like the suit coat neck and are good for a somewhat loose finish.
Mens cardigan sweaters can also be distinguished based on the stitch pattern used on the sweater. Manufacturers use different designs. Irish cardigans knitters commonly use cable, diamond, honey comb and basket designs.
According to Irish folklore, the cable pattern represents the fisherman’s hustles. As the honey comb portends industry and hard work, the basket pictures fruitfulness. Diamond on the other hand is a symbol of wealth and success.
Apart from neck design and type of pattern, mens’ cardigans are also classified by the type of fabric used in knitting. And loosely by colour.
Mens Cardigan Sweater Aran Pattern Grey
What a Cardigan Brings to Your Wardrobe
Versatility. Cardigans can be worn with virtually any pair of pants or jeans. It can be worn with a shirt complete with a tie or a bowtie for an official wear. If you choose to go casual, wear it with a T shirt. Some men opt to wear it under the jacket.
For a winter sweater, pick the heavy cardigan. For summer wear, there are slender yet trendy bright coloured variations available. If you don’t mind attention, pick up the belted cardigan. Or you can even go sporty. The versatility of the cardigan is what every man needs in the wardrobe.
Flexibility. Cardigans can be worn in all seasons. On a colder day, simply button up. On a warmer day, you can just unbutton and comfortably go on with your activities. And because it is easy to wear, you can take it off or put it on very fast.
Ordering your Cardigan
Since cardigans are unisex, you need to be sure you are getting the manly cardigan. To distinguish a masculine from a feminine cardigan, check the button and fitting. Feminine cardigans have large decorated buttons and tend to be small and very fitting.
That said, check the fit. A good cardigan is one that fits perfectly. Not too tight to limit movement but slightly loose yet not baggy. The good thing is that fabric is flexible and takes the shape of the body.
The cardigan should fit rightly at the shoulder. Men’s cardigans are larger at the chest area and shrinks in towards the abdomen. In terms of shoulder to sleeve length, unless you are wearing it in a jacket, let it be long enough to cover the sleeves of the shirt. From the top, the cardigan should get to the waistline and cover the belt.
Understanding the purpose of the cardigan cannot be over emphasized. If it is a winter sweater pick the darker colors with thick fabrics. Bright colors and thin fabrics go well with summer cardigans. For an official wear, check out the slender cardigans with less screaming patterns. There are no strict boundaries for the smart casual wear.
Mens Cardigan Collection
Here at Aran Crafts you’ll find a quality collection of men’s Irish cardigans, knitted with the finest Aran wool. Traditionally designed with authentic Aran stitches, our range of men’s Irish knitwear is a great addition to your outfit for any occasion. Our men’s Irish cardigans are both stylish and incredibly warm, perfect for protecting you against the elements. View our Collection now at Aran Crafts www.arancrafts.com.
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