The Christmas Jumper


Until recently no fashionista would be seen dead in seasonal patterned knitwear, but the Christmas Jumper (or sweater as my dad insists on calling them) is the must-have trend for everyone during the festive season – they are literally everywhere on the high street ..even Harrods are stocking them at a mere £387 per jumper!  Sold in every conceivable variety and a myriad of colours and designs the list is endless!

So how did the Christmas jumper become so popular?

I remember a good few years ago being horrified when my Grandma knitted matching Rudolf jumpers for me and my sister complete with pompom noses and despite arguing with mum that we would look like a mini Val Doonican* (the 1970’s haircuts didn’t help) – we were made to wear them on Boxing day for the extended family to gawp at! However, those jumpers would now be viewed as classics (Note to self:- must have a forage in the parents loft!)

Jump (couldn’t resist the pun) on a couple of decades and somehow the Christmas jumpers have become not just acceptable, but fashionable!

So where did it all start?! As usual we can look to our cousins over the pond!  In North America, the trend was already getting well under way a few years ago. Ugly Christmas sweater parties became the norm and then the craze quickly spread across the continent.
According to Wikipedia, Christmas jumpers became popular during the 1980s after a variety of television presenters such as Timmy Mallett began wearing them during the Christmas holidays.  During the 1990s and 2000s they fell out of favour, and became  something to be embarrassed of,  (remember the Mark Darcy  scene in the 2001 film Bridget Jones diary?)
Online firm Voucherbox polled 2,000 adults last year and concluded that the festive Brits spent (are you sitting down) –  a huge £252million on Christmas jumpers – no doubt that figure will increase this year!
Ok – you  are now familiar with the general history of the now iconic Christmas jumper but with all the designs on the high street – what makes our jumpers different?  Well for a start did you know that the Kaleidoscope Jumpers are made in the UK ?
Trudi Corcutt, Senior Technologist from the Kaleidoscope team tells us more …

“It’s great to support UK manufacturing these days in the Fashion Trade, so here at Kaleidoscope we are doing out bit to support the UK industry with both the Polar Bear and Nordic traditional snowflake design made in Leicester”.


She went on to explain that Christmas starts early at Kaleidoscope with design ideas starting in the Spring time.  Debra Beech, the Christmas Jumper Buyer discusses ideas, colours and knitwear yarns with the new knitting manufacturer based in Leicester.

Samples are then produced from size specifications created by Trudi. Counter samples or 1st fit samples are then selected as to which ones orders will be placed.

A photographic sample is produced, usually a size 10 (to fit the model) and then the Creative team work their magic to take fantastic stylised shots along for web and catalogue editions.

Once the pre production samples  are approved by the technologist, the manufacturer will begin production, starting with the knitting machine which produces each piece by panel, front, back and sleeves, followed by the sewing in of the all important Kaleidoscope label, then once inspected the jumpers are packed and delivered to Listerhills!



Here are FGH we will be celebrating the resurgence of the Christmas Jumper by dedicating every Friday from the 2nd December to be Christmas Jumper Friday and to kick-start this auspicious event someone will be strategically placed wearing the featured Polar Bear Jumper early on Friday morning  at Vicar Lane … the first person to email the Gladrags team stating the time and where they’d seen the person wearing the jumper will win a festive jumper of their choice from any of the FGH catalogues!


PS: Don’t forget to have a browse on-line at all the Christmas Jumpers on sale throughout FGH – there is a lot of choice!

*Val Doonican – if you are under 30 please YouTube!

Written by Sally Hutchinson & Trudi Corcutt






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