2019 marks the 235th year of John Smedley, the oldest and most iconic still manufacturing knitwear factory in the entire world.

In celebration of this momentous anniversary, John Smedley looks to its own rich history of Britishness and the world’s finest noble fibres, and in October the brand will launch their official 235 collection as part of Wool Week 2019.

Not only crafted in Britain, but entirely framed, spun, knitted and hand finished within the UK and featuring some of the most unusual fibres.

For the first time in its history John Smedley will present a three-fibre collection across menswear and womenswear featuring British Guanaco, British Alpaca and British Sheep’s wool.

Whilst British Sheep and Alpaca may be well known fibres, John Smedley’s collection will mark the first ever British Guanaco garments in the entire world, never-before spun for a brand or company this fibre, which is second only in the world to Vicuna in fineness is extremely rare and will be offered in a single unisex style of which only 25 in the entire world will be made available exclusively at John Smedley’s London stores.

The British Sheep x John Smedley

The British Sheep X John Smedley garments feature Blue Faced Leicester Sheep’s Wool, the softest, most lustrous wool that is known to be one of the finest available in England.

Sustainably farmed in Yorkshire, our fibres can be traced all the way to the individual herds ensuring maximum traceability.

The fibre is then spun in Yorkshire by Laxtons Mill, who themselves have over 100 years of experience in spinning.

This ensures the highest quality fibre reaches our craftspeople in Lea Mills Derbyshire.

The British Alpaca & Guanaco X John Smedley

The British Alpaca & Guanaco X John Smedley garments feature the beautiful and rare fibres of Alpaca and Guanaco – some of the most luxurious and sought after fibres in the world and the only British Guanaco bred, spun and knitted in England.

Sustainably farmed in Exmoor National Park, our fibres can be traced all the way to the individual herds of Alpacas and to the individual Guanaco themselves.

Whilst Alpaca, similar to sheep can be sheared each year, the British Guanaco provides only a very limited amount of fibre every two years making the fibre even rarer.

Our British Alpaca fibres are entirely undyed, showcasing the beautiful variety of natural shades on offer including the rare grey fibre, the natural caramel shade and the natural cream.

Our British Guanaco fibres are also entirely undyed, with the natural fibre being a beautiful, natural camel shade.

Our Camelid breeders whom we have sourced the fibres from, take great pride in the care of their herds and we have personally visited the farms and chosen our the individual animals whose fibres we now showcase.

This ensured the highest quality fibre reached our craftspeople in Lea Mills, Derbyshire.

“We are extremely proud to be able to launch the 235 collection, the quality and traceability of these garments is truly unrivalled, and we are delighted to be able to share not only our history but that of the individual garments with our consumers, who will be able to follow the garment's journey from herd to store.”
Jess Mcguire-Dudley

Marketing & Design Director

The Legacy Collection garments are a 5 gauge, heavier weight garment featuring a series of traditional cable knits, inspired by the original cable designs seen within our archives from the 1950’s,60’s and 70’s.

The silhouettes offer a classic crew neck and a roll neck, alongside hat and scarf accessories.

Head over to our Blog to find out more.