Here at Colhay’s our primary goal is to create timeless (in both quality and style) pieces of knitwear. We do this by working hard to come up with elegant designs and colour palettes, and working solely with trusted suppliers and experienced, knowledgeable knitters in Scotland. Consequently, each garment is an investment piece. With proper care, our pieces can last for decades and could be passed down from generation to generation. We hope that by producing high quality garments, we will be able to help people embrace the more traditional mindset of saving for something that is genuinely well made, and looking after it carefully for many years after, so that in turn, the garment will look after you.
We often receive queries from customers who want to begin investing in knitwear but don’t know where to start. There are a few key pieces in our range that we feel form the foundations of a great knitwear collection and which we consider as absolute wardrobe staples. These pieces will ensure that you will maximise wear and the ability to pair with numerous outfits and are therefore the garments that we recommend starting off with.
The Crew Neck Sweater
Firstly, our crew necks are a perennial must have. Crew neck jumpers are easy to style and probably the most versatile knitted garment. They work well with almost everything and can be dressed up for the office with a shirt underneath or worn more casually with a t-shirt too. The plain stitch we’ve opted for means that the sweaters will work with outerwear that’s very formal, like a suit jacket, right through to something far more casual - a distressed leather jacket, for example. It’s a small detail but one that’s not to be overlooked, as this isn’t the case with all knitwear styles. In the examples below, you can see how our cashmere crew neck in oatmeal can easily be styled with a brown check jacket (left) or a navy blazer (right). The colder oatmeal colour essentially working here as a white shirt substitute:
Our crew neck range consists of a simple but elegant palette, which includes navy, grey, oatmeal, olive, and dark brown. These colours are easy to style and are likely to go with garments you already own. The muted and tasteful colours in our range allow you to look well-dressed and stylish, but not attract unwanted attention. Our range of colours don’t come by accidentally, they have been carefully selected, tested against multiple different items of clothing, before arriving at the colour range that we offer now.
The V Neck Sweater
Our v-neck style is a great alternative to a crew neck if you already have a few of the latter and are looking for something different. Again, we’ve chosen flattering colours (navy and grey) that we know will work well with items that many own already. It is designed to be worn easily with either a t-shirt or shirt underneath. The deep v and narrow shape of the neckline flatter the wearer as it makes the wearer look slimmer by having an inverted v shape that broadens the shoulder and then tapering down to the middle of the chest.
Cashmere and Superfine Lambswool
With both our crew neck and v-neck sweaters, you have the choice of superfine lambswool or cashmere. Both are luxury fibres and we use only the highest quality of both. The lambswool we use is superfine, literally and figuratively. We use yarn produced by world renowned spinners, Todd and Duncan. They have been in the business for 150 years and are world revered experts in this field. To produce their yarns they collect only the longest and thinnest fibres. For context, standard lambswool is made from fibres around 21-24 microns in diameter, but the superfine lambswool we use here at Colhay’s is made from fibres of 18.5 microns. This may sound like an insignificant detail but it is very important. Choosing these fibres results in knitwear that is soft to the touch, yet also strong and much more resistant to shape changes and pilling. Once the yarn has been produced, it is washed in the waters of a Scottish loch which has the exact balance of minerals to reinforce that softness and strength. The lambswool we use is a refined version of much of what you’ll generally find on the market today.
The cashmere range that we offer is at the pinnacle of luxury. Often called a noble fibre, this is the cream of the crop within the world of luxury. Again, finer and longer fibres are used to create soft and strong garments but with cashmere, the piece will mould itself to your body shape. Cashmere has become very commoditised over the past few decades and much of what you’ll find on the high street is now low quality, very unlikely to last years. The cashmere we use is again produced by Todd and Duncan that is of the highest quality and then knitted by heritage knitters in Scotland to ensure that it lasts decades. Our garments are a return to the old kind of cashmere when it was made to only the very highest standards before it became cheapened and commoditised. With proper care our cashmere can last many years – a true heirloom investment.
The Rollneck and Mock Neck
If you’re looking for a cold weather staple to keep your neck warm, we recommend our Cashmere Belmondo Roll Neck or Lambswool Mock Neck. Again you have the choice of the two fibres here: cashmere and superfine lambswool. Both garments are durable yet wonderfully soft to the touch and come in colours that we feel are easy to wear. The major difference here is the neck, with the roll neck being taller and able to be turned down. Roll necks and mock necks both frame the face and are flattering for this reason. Some styling inspirations below:
The reason we have two styles is to accommodate people who don’t want to feel smothered with a roll neck. If you feel your neck is shorter, the mock neck is a great choice. Both are warm and cosy options that can be worn in the office or at the weekend and look great under jackets and coats.
The Cashmere Polo Shirt
With the casualisation of people’s wardrobe, our cashmere polo shirt acts as a great casual alternative to a dress shirt. The collar ensures that it is smart enough for more formal or business settings, but given that it is knitted, it is slightly more casual and it is a piece that can therefore easily transition to the bar after work. The collar is knitted in a half-milano stitch, meaning that it is stiff enough so that it would not flatten under a tailored jacket, making it the perfect smart casual piece to wear with your suit or sport coat.
It is made in the same luxury cashmere as the cashmere crew neck and v neck, in a 2-ply, 12 gauge construction on heritage Bentley cotton machines in Scotland, giving the knitted fabric an incredibly luscious, substantial and hefty hand feel unlike any other cashmere that you would have felt before. The benefit of this is not only longevity, but this substantial knitted fabric also enables the garment to better keep its shape over decades so that you will always look smart in it years from now.
The Cashmere Silk Polo Shirt
Finally, if you are looking for a warmer weather staple piece, our cashmere silk tennis polos are the perfect choice. As the name suggests, our cashmere silk tennis polo is made with a blend of cashmere and silk. The mix we use is 70% cashmere with 30% silk which results in an unimaginably soft garment. It may strike you as bizarre to be wearing cashmere of any kind when the weather isn’t cold, but that is why we have mixed it with 30% silk - the perfect warm weather fibre as it lightens up the whole knit, making it more airy and breathable.
What's more, cashmere and silk, as natural fibres, are extraordinarily comfortable to wear against the skin. That's because the fibres are temperature regulating and moisture wicking, meaning they take in moisture, but don’t trap you in with it. The fibres allow the moisture to evaporate rapidly, leaving you feeling cool and comfortable rather than hot and sticky. That said, the polos are also great as a midlayer in cooler weather too, meaning you can get year round use of them if you want to.
These four pieces are the ones we believe our customers will get maximum wear from and would make a great essential knitwear collection for those that are starting out on their journey in building a core group of high quality knitwear. Each piece is easy to style and gives a sophisticated touch to any outfit.
Take a closer look at our essential collection.