history lessons: 01
the sweater

by: mackenzie reed

[swet-er] n. a piece of clothing made of knitted or crocheted material that goes over the upper part of the body

The history of the sweater

you have it, you love it, now you'll know everything about it.

5000 BCE

The oldest surviving woven article is from this time. It was found in Fayum, Egypt's oldest city and one of the oldest cities in all of Africa.

300 BCE

The earliest known examples of a knit-like garment found in Egypt and Peru. These were made by a single needle process called nålebinding.

1100 CE

The earliest surviving example of a truly knitted garment, a pair of patterned socks from Egypt. Since wool is a biodegradable material, very few old garments remain.

Fisherman Sweater

The Fisherman Sweater is about as iconic a sweater as you can get. We all saw Chris Evans in Knives Out and you'd be lying if you said you didn't google "where to find fisherman sweaters" after leaving the theater. This particular kind of sweater originated in the late 1800's in a small coastal town in Ireland. Mothers and wives would spend hours knitting intricate patterns from the wool of the local sheep to keep the sailors warm on their treacherous journeys at sea. 

The Lopapeysa

Another popular sweater is the Icelandic sweater, you may have seen our fearless leader, resident fashionista, and sweater extraordinaire, Noelle, knit some of her very own. Lopi is the word for unspun Icelandic sheep's wool, and peysa is the word for sweater. Icelandic sheep's wool is different from any other wool in the world because of the harsh winter conditions the sheep have had to adapt to. This wool has two separate layers, tog, the long, strong, and water resistant fibers, and pel, the shorter and softer fibers. Together they create an unbeatable shield against the cold.

The Cardigan

In the 1920s, Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel revolutionized women's fashion with the cardigan. At this time in history, many women were eager to get into clothing that was a little bit comfier and less restrictive; enter the cardigan. Chanel designed a perfect cardigan, comfortable, slouchy, and  oversized that was practical and fashionable.