Made in Britain

What Makes Our Knitwear Special?

Made in Britain

What Makes Our Knitwear Special?

September 01, 2022

Pure cotton knitted jacket

There’s nothing quite so comforting as the snuggly softness of your most treasured jumper. Wrapped up in that glorious knitted fabric, you feel warm, cosy, and ready for anything that winter might bring.

But not all ladies’ knitwear is created equally. Fully fashioned and meticulously crafted, ours is in a world of its own. We chatted to June Brailsford, our Head of Knitwear, and Knitwear Technician Kate Myerscough to find out more.

Luxury knitwear with a difference

At David Nieper we insist on making your knitwear ourselves, using time-honoured techniques and resplendent natural fibres to craft jumpers, cardigans, and dresses that standout among the rest.

To us it’s second nature, but to many it’s unusual; you could count on one hand the number of British fashion brands that still manufacture their own knitwear.

“We do everything: jumpers, cardigans and dresses in merino, lambswool and cashmere,” says June Brailsford, our Knitwear Manager. We’re sitting together at a quiet table in the kitchen area, away from the hubbub of our busy Derbyshire knitting rooms. We focus on distinctive pieces customers won’t find anywhere else. ”

Merino cardigan and skirt

Soft merino poncho

Kate Myerscough, Knitwear Technician, nods. “We can knit anything from fine cotton tops to really warm, thick garments with chunky cables. It’s all in the needles and yarns. We also use intarsia and jacquard techniques - intarsia for striking colour work, and jacquard for intricate patterned knits. There are so many possibilities.”

Uniquely fully fashioned

It’s always a pleasure to talk to our experts. As they talk us through their process, they radiate passion for their subject and pride in their work; so much so, in fact, that it’s hard to keep up taking notes. We ask them what sets our knitwear apart.

The fact that it’s fully-fashioned stands out. Fully-fashioned means that, rather than cutting shapes from knitted fabrics and sewing them together into a garment, we knit each piece into shape and then link them together.

“It’s far more time-consuming, but linking creates visibly better quality joins and flatter seams, which means durable, beautifully finished luxury knitwear. It’s also sustainable, as we don’t create wasteful offcuts.”

We watch a linker go to work. With the sleeve upright, as though waving, she joins it to an armhole, painstakingly picking up and linking each and every stitch.

Necklines are just as intricate. The neck linker picks up each individual stitch before going on to craft anything from a simple crew to a cosy roll-neck. With more than a thousand linking stitches in every garment, it’s certainly not a job for the impatient.

Checked, checked, and checked again

Merino jumper

Merino tunic and scarf

It’s not just the way our knitwear is made that ensures such excellent quality. “We never settle for second best,” says June. “Our examiners closely check our garments again, and again, and again, ensuring that every single stitch is nothing less than perfect.”

The love and care woven into every inch of our knitted garments is clear to see, from first swatch to final stitch. As a result, we’re not only preserving a beloved traditional craft, but creating stunning luxury knitwear that you’ll adore for years to come.

Ready to shop our knitwear collection? Browse pure merino, lambswool, and luxurious cashmere.


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