Polo shirt in three-ply cashmere-cotton in ash grey

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£330.00 — ex VAT

Polo shirt, hand-framed using cashmere-cotton yarn — two-thirds the former, one third the latter — in the south-west of the British Isles, and with horn buttons from the West Midlands.


The polo fits true to size. However, it's intended to hug the body to make easy slipping a jacket over the top, so best go up a size if between sizes. The mannequin is a sveldt sort, with a 38 chest, and wears S with little material to spare.

To fit chest 36 38 40 42 44
Pit-to-pit 20 21 22 23 24
Back length 23 23¼ 23½ 23¾ 24
Sleeve from centre-back 32 32½ 33 33½ 34


Cashmere loves water. It is one of the great truisms of knitwear. If you treat the polo to regular soaks — with the requisite cashmere-friendly detergent — then it'll get better with age. Pilling, by the way, is simply the shortest, softest fibres working their way to the surface: rather than being a sign of poor quality, it's an inevitability with all very soft fibres. Pick 'em off and, after a time, they'll cease to surface.

The polo shirt is made with soft cotton yarn. It is three-ply, mainly, so light enough to be worn under a jacket, but of sufficient substance to be worn with nowt else. It is hand-framed — i.e. made by a single skilled knitter on a hand-operated contraption, which is how things should be but very seldom are.
The polo has in-set sleeves, but with the shoulder seam pushed forward for a smoother line. This is a tell-tale sign of fully-fashioned knitwear, which is an approach to knitting wherein each piece of the garment is individually shaped and engineered — tailored, almost — for the best shape and fit.
The sleeves of the polo shirt are noticeably thinner than the body. They are two-ply vs. three. This frees up space for layering the polo with, say, a smart jacket the top. With the very same rationale, the sleeves are also a flat plain-stitch, as opposed to the more textured and chunky tuck-stitch employed elsewhere.
The polo is entirely hand-linked — meaning that, where the neck joins the body, or the sleeve joins the neck, there is no discernible seam or bump. Just a flat, smooth, every-tiny loop-of-yarn-looped-by-hand-and-knitting-needle-onto-the-next-one link (as time-consuming and skilful as it sounds).
The polo is made with cashmere-cotton yarn. That's cashmere as in the softest — seriously, the very softest — fibres from the throat and belly of goats in the Gobi desert; and cotton as in Egyptian cotton of the very longest staple. It is pleasantly cool to the touch, feathery soft and slinky, yet durable.
Two shades of yarn at play here — two greys of the lighter order. They intermingle both in the plain-stitch sleeves of the polo, and the tuck-stitch of the body (right). The latter is the main event. It is a dense stitch, but also springy and breathable. And just look: marvellously textured is the tuck.

As worn

The gent here is 6'1", just over 11 stone, and is as standard a 38 chest as you could ever hope to meet. The polo here is a size S, and it's a pleasant, snug fit, and a good base for a tailored jacket over the top.

Makers of

The garment is hand-framed by a knitwear maker founded 100 years ago. They work with small, hand-operated machines overseen by one person, rather than automated machines, making them one of the last makers still to do so in Britain. It is slow going, but the results always bear out the work put in.
The horn buttons were cut, shaped, and polished by the last such factory in Britain (now defunct). It was part of a tradition in the Midlands first linked to the meat industry of the 18th century. "It is no easy task," said William Hutton in 1780, "to enumerate the infinite diversity of buttons made in Birmingham."