The Roll Call: Knitwear – Nigel Cabourn
Nigel Cabourn wearing a George Lowe Roll Neck

The Roll Call: Knitwear

The Roll Call: Knitwear

From cardigans to roll-necks, knitwear has long been a crucial part of the Nigel Cabourn range. All made in Scotland from the highest quality British wool, each jumper in the Authentic collection is built with function firmly in mind, and is perfectly suited for the colder months ahead.

With leaves falling and autumn just around the corner, now seemed like a good time to run through a few standout knitwear pieces and explain the stories behind them... 

The George Lowe Roll Neck

At the top we’ve got the George Lowe Roll Neck. A true Cabourn classic, this chunky wool jumper takes its name from the New Zealand-born mountaineer and film director who played a key part in both the 1953 Mount Everest Expedition and the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

Like the knit worn by George during his historic trek across Antarctica, it’s a thick submariner’s sweater built with cold temperatures in mind, and thanks to its substantial polo neck and that heavyweight three-gauge wool, should keep you snug on even the frostiest of mornings.

George Lowe Roll Neck Jumper | Nigel Cabourn

The Seamless Roll Neck

For those looking for a slightly smarter take on the submariner’s sweater, there’s the Seamless Roll Neck. Made in Scotland on a circular knitting machine, it’s got a seamless tubular design, which gives it a clean shape and a smooth fit. It’s still toasty, but as it’s made from five-gauge wool instead of three, it’s a little less chunky than the George Lowe Roll Neck.

It’s also got a broad arrow logo on the chest—a regular motif used by Nigel, which was originally used to denote military uniform or equipment.

Seamless Roll Neck in Army Green | Nigel Cabourn

The Big Shawl Cardigan

The Big Shawl Cardigan is a firm favourite that’s been a fixture of the Cabourn knitwear range for a few years now. Based on a vintage piece from Nigel’s extensive collection, it’s a roomy oversized cardigan made in Scotland from heavy three-gauge wool.

The two patch pockets on the front mean it works just as well in the place of a work-jacket over a shirt, whilst that extra button on the top means the shawl collar can be fastened up when the mercury drops. A particularly useful piece.

Big Shawl Cardigan in Natural | Nigel Cabourn

The Raglan Crew Neck

The Raglan Crew Neck is a classic wool crew neck, which, as the title suggests, features raglan sleeves. Taking their name from the noted 19th century military officer Lord Raglan (who had specially-built angled sleeves made in his jacket after losing an arm in the Battle of Waterloo), raglan sleeves extend out from the collar instead of down from the shoulders, and were a fixture of mid-century sportswear to aid movement. The extra room also means the sleeves don’t bunch as much over a few layers.

Like the Seamless Roll Neck, this has been made on a circular knitting machine for that smooth, seamless shape.

Nigel Cabourn Burnt Orange Raglan Crew Neck

The Submarine Knitted Jumper

And finally, there’s the Submarine Knitted Jumper—a heavyweight knit inspired by the thick wool jumpers worn by the merchant navy in the arctic convoys of WW2.

Unlike sailors in the Royal Navy, those in the merchant navy didn’t have a strict uniform, and whilst out at sea would often wear hand-made fishing jumpers knitted by loved ones. Taking cues from the bespoke details which would often be incorporated into these jumpers, the Submarine Knitted Jumper features a large kangaroo hand-warmer pocket on the chest as well a boat-necked stand collar (which sits halfway between a crew-neck and a roll-neck). A unique take on the classic fisherman’s sweater.


Nigel Cabourn Submarine Knit


This current season we have a selection of 100% wool sweaters such as our Cabourn classic Seamless Crews and Seamless Roll Neck. Inspired by WW2 military knitwear and undergarments our Seamless knitwear are crafted using a circular knitting machine that features a tubular construction this prolongs the life of the garment. We also have our exclusive Japanese Mainline collection including womenswear such as Women's Waffle Knit Turtleneck. As the name suggests this piece is constructed with a cotton waffle method which has benefits of greater breathability while retaining the warmth.