How do I know what size to buy?
Because we use worsted wool and we knit more stitches to the line than other manufacturers (our vintage flatbed machines are a higher guage than most) our guernseys do fit a bit snugger than a regular pullover. The positive is that they also don't lose their shape as a result, but DO NOT BUY your exact measured chest size.
We fit our garments the traditional guernsey way using inches and the widest part of the body as a starting point.
They are all unisex and we sell exactly the same garment to a woman as a man.
In terms of how to size your guernsey jumper, it depends on what you are going for. Some people like a roomier jumper and some like a slim fit, so the best way to fit to our sizes is to take a sweater you already have and that you like & wear a lot 1) Lay it flat on your bed and measure from armpit to armpit in inches 2) Take that number and double it 3) That will be your guernsey size in inches 4) This way you are choosing a fit you already like.
On every picture we have also tried to note down the dress or jacket size of the model and what size guernsey they are wearing. We hope this will also help indicate what size you might be.
If you are starting from scratch and don't have a favourite sweater, DO NOT BUY your exact measured chest size. If you want to wear more layers underneath, preferring a roomier fit, then we recommend sizing up + 4 inches to your widest part of your body. This could be your chest, shoulders, bust or tummy.
If you want a sleeker look (the more traditional fitted) then keep it to only +2 inches to your widest part.
option 1 example: If you measure 40 inches and want a standard trimmer fit, then buy the 42" chest
option 2 example: If you wear layers and want it roomier and measure 40 inches at the widest point of your body then buy the 44" garment
All our guernsey sizes are in inches and represent the full circle around your chest from armpit to armpit and back again.
The cropped off-shoulder is in one size only and is 50” wide and has a more pronounced drop shoulder. It is definitely a slouchy trapeze shaped fit versus traditional and the length is a shorter 23”
Our sleeve lengths are also not all the same: (we measure from shoulder seam to cuff) and start at 20” for a 36 chest and increase to a 23” for size 42" and all sizes above. Please do refer to our size chart for all the details
Body length is between 25-29” starting at 25” at a size 36. All body lengths are 29” for size 42 up to a 48
The longer length body is because these are still used as working garments and the back is used to either sit on (whilst mending crab pots or leaning on a stone wall) and the longer front allows for leaning over the side of a boat etc You can style it shorter by tucking the length under. We are loyal to the original design as the gold standard traditional guernsey.
We don’t really do fixed sizes XS , SML, MED, LGE or XLGE as we offer various ranges within these, and tummies, busts and shoulders vary so much from person to person. You will note our sizes go up in increments of 2 inches to allow for some variation within the size.
We have tried our best to convert our chest sizes into something you might recognise in the list below but wherever possible, PLEASE do follow our suggestions of +2 or +4 inches to widest body measurement, as we recognise there still is no real unified sizing for UK dress sizes (and it also varies per brand)
For the very small and very large sizes, we may have to make to order as we don’t carry large amounts of stock for these.
We do not stock the oversized anymore. We will update the chart in the New Year 2024.
ALL MEASUREMENTS ARE IN INCHES
XXS 28-30" (children)
XS 32-34" (children & petite)
If you are still unsure please email us here
How to Measure
Our guernseys and knitwear range is unisex and in much in the same way as it would have been for generations, simply sized in inches around the chest.
Laid flat and measured across the width (armpit to armpit) the chest size = measurement x 2
As an example, our size 36 measures 18 inches across the front or back.
Arm length is measured from shoulder seam to cuff. We allow for cuffs to be turned over and they are a bit longer.
For overall length, we take the measurement from middle of the shoulder to hem.
We have provided a handy conversion chart for those who think in metric. (please see the chart listed in question 1 at the top)
In addition, our knitwear is made from 100% worsted wool and consequently has a tight knit. Some people find our jumpers and jackets feel that they are on the small size because of this – we always advise our customers to size up at the least + 2inches from their chest size and NOT TO BUY your exact chest size.
How do I look after my guernsey jumper?
Guernsey jumpers from Le Tricoteur are made to be very long lasting & are often handed down through the generations.
However, if you are wondering how to look after your Guernsey jumper, on a day to day basis I would advise the following:
Do not wash it often! Yes really.
Wool has naturally anti microbial properties which means it doesn't pick up body odour or cooking smells and the lanolin in the wool means it can be wiped clean.
If you need to, air it by lying it flat over a garden table or in-front of an open window
Do not hang it up – ALWAYS fold it for storing. Hanging it up means you might misshape the shoulders
Flip it front to back and back to front and wear it both ways alternately. This means you naturally will extend its life by wearing different sides of the neck, cuffs and hem. All guernseys are designed this way.
Store it with cedar balls for moth repellent magic.
Should a moth eat your guernsey, first of all put it in a plastic bag and freeze it for a few days to kill any moth larvae – then send us a photo of the damage.
If we can repair it, we will (at a charge that is agreed in advance)
If you need to clean it, follow our instructions in the “how to wash” section immediately below
How to wash your guernsey jumper?
Can I put my guernsey in the washing machine? Although we certainly don’t recommend it, we have known brave souls try a very gentle wool wash cycle in their modern machine.
If you spill something on your guernsey whilst wearing it, we recommend wiping it immediately. The natural oils in the wool should make it relatively easy to wipe away any temporary mess.
If you are wondering how to wash your Guernsey jumper using soap and water
- We would recommend filling a basin with tepid water (not cold but not too hot either) and add some wool wash or a gentle clothes soap, mixing it so that it suds gently.
- Fully soak your guernsey and then agitate it in the soapy water.
- Do not scrub it or wring it, but you could gently work the soap into any stubborn stains with your fingers.
- After washing your guernsey, rinse it in clear water until the soap residue is gone. Do not wring it.
- Some people do spin theirs on a low spin cycle in the machine to lose the weight of the water (it will be heavy!) and although we certainly don’t recommend it, we have known brave souls try a very gentle wool wash cycle.
To dry it, lay it flat and dry it out of sunlight (natural wools that haven’t been dyed can fade e.g. cream, dark brown etc)
Do not hang it on a hanger to dry as you would likely misshape the shoulders.
You can also have your guernsey dry cleaned, but please make the proprietor aware it is 100% wool.
What is the difference between a guernsey jumper and a jersey jumper?
A guernsey jumper is the indigenous fisherman’s jumper of all of the Channel Islands. It is the (typically) navy coloured, square shouldered garment with very recognisable stitching on the shoulders, the neck and the hem.
It is not a very well-known fact that we spell it with a small g, reserving the large G for the island itself.
A jersey is very similar but features an anchor motif that appears on the breast panel below the neck. It can have a low guernsey style collar or a small rollneck (We always think a jersey reminds us of Captain Haddock’s pullover but his is a bit heavier ; more like a submariner)
Some jerseys have a ribbed hem made up of stocking stitches (like our cuffs) instead of the flat hem featuring the garter stitches you also see at the shoulder of all guernsey sweaters.
What are the benefits of a guernsey jumper?
A guernsey is an amazingly robust knitted garments that has traditionally been worn by the fishing and farming community of the channel islands.
It does not need to be washed that often (as wool has amazing self-cleaning anti-microbial properties) and is reversible so that you can alternate use from either side (extending its life).
An authentic guernsey is made using 100% British worsted wool that is spun in such a way that when knitted it lies very flat; which means the surface should not pill.
Guernseys are knitted with very small needles and because the stitch is so dense they can repel sea spray and a windy day – keeping the wearer warm as well as dry. The tightly spun worsted wool also helps with this practical benefit.
Did you know wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture before it even starts feeling damp?
Le Tricoteur guernseys are knitted using a different gauge than more modern machines. This means we can ram in a lot more wool per inch than many other sweaters on the market because our stitches are smaller & tighter.
For our traditional range we offer a mending service as these guernseys go to our hand knitters who make the shoulders and necks. We can also mend cuffs.
Do you do bespoke orders?
In short - Yes!
Please note: we make these in between our regular production so they are not fast turnaround items. Because we use vintage machines they have to be reset by hand especially for your dimensions.
We are the only makers using higher gauge vintage flat bed machines (= more wool is knitted per inch) and they have hand knitted shoulders and necks. Your bespoke guernsey will be one of a kind & be signed by the knitter & linker who made it.
If you see a style of jumper, jacket, scarf, beanie or dobbo hat that you like, but can’t see it in the colour you would prefer, do get in touch and we’ll do our best to accommodate. Drop us an email at email@example.com and tell us what it is you’d like to order.
We can also do made to measure and have made jumpers wider, longer, stripier and shorter.
All bespoke items cannot be returned & have a surcharge applied so please double, triple check measurements & colour selection as we will get you to sign off on that extra special order and pay a deposit.
What is worsted wool?
Worsted wool fabric is very wind and spray resistant.
Because it is finer and smoother it can be knitted into a tighter garment so it is better at keeping out the elements.
The yarn threads themself have a slightly waxy coating which also helps to repel water.
Le Tricoteur have sourced our yarn from the same family owned mill in the Peak District.
Do you do repairs?
Yes, we do.
Originally knitted to be every day workwear, guernseys are designed to be practical and made to be long lasting – the ultimate in sustainable fashion.
We regularly get sent jumpers that are 20 years old and need a sleeve repair or the neck needs a bit of rework.
If your guernsey needs mending drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch with details about how to send it to us for repairs.
I need to send something back – what’s your returns policy?
If you’re not happy with your order, for whatever reason, we will happily refund you on receipt of your returned item as long as it is in perfect condition. See here for our full returns policy. Please scroll down to clause 10.1 for all returns / exchange details
We cannot accept bespoke items as returns.
If you have received it as a gift we will still accept a return or exchange as long as you can give us the order number and name of the gifter. Please do not leave it too much beyond 30 days though, as we need the garments returned to us in pristine condition.
Any differences in price between exchange items will be refunded (lower price item) or charged (higher price item) before the new item is despatched. The new postage needs to be covered by the person exchanging.
In high season (e.g. after Christmas) it may take a little longer for exchanges to be processed.
I want an item in a different colour - is that possible?
Most of the time, if you see an item you’d like to buy, but not in the colour you’d prefer and we have that yarn in stock, please get in touch and we’ll do our very best to accommodate you.
I want an item in a different size - is that possible?
Yes, if you see an item you’d like to buy, but not in the size you’re thinking of please get in touch and we’ll do our very best to accommodate you.
We have made all sorts over the years, from jumper dresses to polo necks and guernseys in your favourite rugby team colours.
Delivery & Returns
Postage to mainland UK is either by Guernsey Post as signature on delivery and tracked and/or by DHL for orders up to 4kg as a tracked delivery. You may choose whatever you prefer. Small items can be sent a bit cheaper. You will see all options at the point of checkout.
Postage to Europe and the rest of the world is by DHL as a tracked delivery.
As we despatch from a small island there can sometimes be a delay due to bad weather affecting the boats or airplanes being unable to dock or land.
Please go here for more details on postage rates.
If you order many items we may contact you to pay for additional postage or even suggest using a different carrier method that could be more cost effective.
TAX & VAT and DUTY
We do not charge VAT or TAX to our customers abroad but we do collect UK VAT for all mainland UK purchases.
It will be the responsibility of the customer to pay for any local duty or Taxes in the country they are receiving their order
Each piece is hand tagged with the dye batch, the machine it was woven on, the name of the linker and the name of the finishing knitter – all guaranteeing authenticity.
Le Tricoteur supports a historic cottage industry that is socially inclusive to the older generation of hand knitting finishers who are employed on the Island and without the 1000’s carbon miles attached to fast fashion.
Go here to read the full set of our legals, delivery, returns and terms of sale