Thanks to ancient craftsmanship allied with contemporary design flair, British knitwear has never looked so good.

The British Isles have a long heritage when it comes to knitwear. Today, modern, independent brands are breathing new life into the age-old art, creating new takes on shapes and textile techniques that have been passed down the generations. From timeless everyday luxury staples to the bold, statement-knit designs that are leading on the fashion front, here are 10 of our favourite brands for luxury knitwear this autumn.

Hayley Menzies


Hayley Menzies’ instantly identifiable fringed jacquard prints, which include bold animal and geometric jacquard designs, are made for life’s ‘refined rebels’. This season’s collection features an intriguing mix of graphic tiger-print and ‘granny cool’ embroidered wool and alpaca pastel jumpers. Hayley puts knits firmly at fashion’s centre stage this autumn; they’re guaranteed to get you noticed.

Navygrey


The ‘art of the well-made jumper’ is the simple ethos behind knitwear brand, Navygrey. After 20 years spent trying to find a replica of a perfectly well-made navy jumper belonging to her mother, founder Rachel Carvell-Spedding gave up the search and made her own, designed in the UK and knitted in Italy. The streamlined offering includes timeless shapes, from the oversized, weekend wardrobe staple, ‘Relaxed’, to the smart, fitted ‘Neat’ and gorgeously cosy, classic ‘Funnel’. Each comes in eminently wearable neutrals of navy, black, grey, camel and cream. It’s the jumper that you will immediately wear with everything, leaving you wondering what you ever wore before.

Brora


Established in 1993, Brora has long been the go-to for beautiful, British knitwear with a nostalgic vibe; in particular, its modern Fair Isle designs and Scottish woven cashmere have earned the brand an international reputation. We love the cashmere socks and tights, which are perfect winter accessories (and gifts), while the range of woollen baby hats, blankets and clothing make for beautiful future heirloom pieces.

Pure Collection


Great for plus-size knitwear and a palette of jewel-like shades in premium cashmere, the Pure Collection offers every style imaginable, from cosy hoodies to boyfriend sweaters, cropped cardigans to cashmere tees. Pure Collection works exclusively with Mongolian goat herders to ensure incredible quality, as well as fair trade and ethical farming, making it one of the first brands to achieve 100 per cent sustainable cashmere production in the UK. It also supports the Christina Noble Children's Foundation, which works with over 1500 orphaned, homeless and abandoned children in Mongolia to help give them back a childhood.

Bamford


Synonymous with British luxury, Bamford’s capsule knitwear collection is the pinnacle of its modern country lifestyle aesthetic. Using contemporary knitwear technology combined with the latest in sustainable yarn development, it brings age-old Scottish tradition right up to date, all with zero waste. Invest in luxury takes on fisherman’s cable-knit jumpers, elegant fine knits, cashmere pullovers and gorgeous cosy, slouchy cardigans.

Chinti & Parker


Luxury ready-to-wear cashmere brand, Chinti & Parker is 10 years old this autumn. One of the first brands to corner the market in luxe loungewear, its fun graphic knits feature bold modern design, with shots of neon and tongue-in-cheek typography. This season there is a new collaboration with the nostalgic Peanuts cartoon – great for fashion-forward everyday knits with a hint of mischief.

Giannina Capitani


East London-based knitwear designer, Giannina Capitani, hails from Italian-Scottish ancestry; with knitwear in her genetic make-up she brings a colourful, graphic pattern design to luxurious, tactile knitwear. All designs are UK-made with 100 per cent merino wool; there are cushions, bold colour-block scarves and hats; striped jumpers and a striking collection of Mondrian-esque knitted babywear, too. A great modern knitwear designer to watch.

Genevieve Sweeney


Supporting and showcasing the British knitwear industry’s artisan makers, Genevieve Sweeney uses intricate hand-finished techniques in her premium knitwear range - including hand-intarsia jumpers. Creating a blend of metallic accents and muted tones that have become a signature for the brand, this is assured and understated British knitwear design at its best. The GS Sock Subscription is a great gifting idea for those who like the finer things in life; expect monogrammed luxury socks in silk and wool – to your door.

Ille de Cocos


Ille de Cocos founder, Deola Charles worked at iconic British brands including Selfridges, Hobbs and The White Company before founding her own luxury knitwear brand in 2015. Creating an aesthetic of sleek silhouettes in the softest natural yarns, Ile de Cocos’ beautiful knits range from calming neutrals to bold and bright graphic jumpers. Whatever your mood, there’s a cosy knit for you.

&Daughter


Conscious design brand, &Daughter is taking knitwear back to its heritage roots using the skills of expert makers in the UK and Ireland to create a limited collection of slow-fashion designs. With oversize rib detailing to hems and cuffs, jaw-grazing funnel necks and ‘librarian-chic’ button-through cardigans in on-trend lilac, tobacco and 70s-inspired hues, the collection feels imminently wearable. The perfect marriage of style and comfort.

By Lydia Mansi
October 2019

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