Where did Christmas jumpers originate?

Christmas is a wonderful time. The weather gets colder, yet hot chocolate and festive knitwear keep us warm. For many, it’s the time to take out their beloved Christmas jumpers or be on the hunt for a new one for their collection. How did Christmas jumpers get so popular, and just how did the fun tradition start?

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The origins

The beginnings of the Christmas jumper might not be quite as merry and bright as their meaning today. Before the 20th century, jumpers were knitted and worn by fishermen. The patterns helped to distinguish them from other communities and keep them warm with the heavy materials used. It has also been mentioned that another reason for the geometric patterns was to help identify the bodies of fishermen who had drowned. Thankfully, the sight of a Christmas jumper has a much more festive connotation nowadays.

Before it took on this celebratory meaning, the jumper was made popular by Hollywood stars such as Ingrid Bergman and Clark Gable, who were avid fans of skiing. However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that this particular style became known as a Christmas jumper.


With Christmas advertising campaigns shunning formal wear in favour of knitwear, the Christmas jumper slowly gained popularity. However, it wasn’t until the ’70s that it was linked with Christmas. Designers took advantage of pop culture in which catwalks featured the festive knitwear and came up with colourful designs that created the desire for one.

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Modern times

Nowadays, the Christmas jumper is part and parcel of Christmas, with businesses and schools all around the country even taking part in a Christmas Jumper Day. You should mark Friday 15th December down in your calendar and get your jumper ready for the event, all whilst making some money for charity whilst you’re at it.

This year, even more over-the-top designs are expected to attract attention. If you’re a big fan of Christmas jumpers, you might find that you will soon be lacking wardrobe space, so Dorset fitted wardrobes such as those found at www.lamco-design.co.uk might just be worth the investment.

With another Christmas looming, there is just one big decision to make. Are you going to go for traditional Fair Isle knits, Christmas character faces, or the flashing, musical versions that can be found in shops now?

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