How we produce our cashmere sweaters

At Glenevan Mill, your sweater is made to order. For our clients, this means we can make small adjustments to the sweaters to suit their needs, such as make the body or arms a little longer or shorter.

The knitting process begins on the ribs of the sweater. We use a looser stitch at the top, so the knitter can easily see the stitches when transferring the knitwear from one machine to the next. Once the ribs are knitted, they are transferred to the hand intarsia machine. In order to begin the knitting process, our hand-knitters will hook these looser stitches one-by-one onto the hand intarsia machine.

The knitter stands in front of the machine with a chart, which is hand-created by our designer. The colours of the cashmere will be changed according to the design. Every single stitch on your sweater is laid in by hand.

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The front and back of the sweater are created separately, as are the arms. These four pieces will now fit together perfectly. The arms are set in place and the seams are linked by hand. At this point, the sweater looks very much like a finished piece but there is no neck line through which to try it on.

The sweater is then milled. This is the process of washing the oil out of the cashmere. When spun, a small amount of oil is added to the yarn so that it moves through the machine with ease.  Once the knitting is complete, this washing process also enables the sweater to take its final shape: cashmere needs a shake and a steam to give it its characteristic softness.

Next, the neck is cut out, a neckline added and folded back into place before being hand linked.

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Final quality control checks ensure we only produce the finest quality knitwear. This is carefully done by members of the Glenevan family, who have cared for the mill and its sweaters for three generations.


Fiona Brennan