View Full Version : Jersey, Jumper, Pullover, Gansey...What's the dif??

11-19-2010, 06:38 PM
I've run across several words that all seem to mean "sweater" and I've just taken them in stride. But now I'm wondering if there are subtle differences in the knitted item that justify using one term vs. another.

For instance, a cardigan is "a usually collarless sweater...that opens the full length of the center front".

But what about all the other terms? What differentiates them from a knitting-perspective?

I've listed below a few of the terms I've read/heard. Feel free to add to the list or provide a differentiating definition.


11-19-2010, 06:44 PM
Jumper is commonly used in the UK and Europe instead of sweater. Gansey and Jersey are islands and I think they have different knitting patterns which are reflected in the different styles. A 'gansey' is usually something like a densely knit patterned or cabled Aran (another island) fisherman's sweater, and I think a Jersey is a lighter weight reflecting that it's further south of the UK.

Judy's thread on the Gansey she made her husband (http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=101626) shows a typical Gansey pattern.

11-20-2010, 07:30 AM
May have this one backwards, but I believe Ganzys were made with lot's of cabling to keep the fishermen warm. The outer cables keeping the sea air from the inner layer, you see.

My great grandfather was given a Ganzey as a wedding present from his new MIL. He was an oil rigger in Texas, so what the use of it was we were never quite sure. He was sure proud of it though, as it was perfect.

11-20-2010, 09:09 AM
Hi Yarnrainbow!
I just have to thank you for posting this thread! I too have been confused with the difference between these terms. As for "jumper"....When I've seen that word used, in my mind I picture a dress length sleeveless garment with a scooped neck. Usually worn with a blouse or light weight long sleeve pullover underneath. Now it makes sense if it's the UK term for sweater. I swear I learn something new here every single day!:woot: