If there’s one thing to thank winter for, it’s jumpers. I get so excited every year when my constant
indecision of “should I bring a jacket?” is lifted, and I can bundle up in cosy jumpers, scarves
and coats. So I also get outrageously excited when I find a brand that supplies all the cosy
vibes, and goes above and beyond that.
The 100% alpaca jumper by Ted and Bessie hits the target on all counts. It’s knitted from the
fibre of UK alpacas – partly from Ted and Bessie’s own beautiful herd, and supplemented with
fibre from carefully selected herds around the country. Even just by taking a quick scroll through
the T&B Instagram, you can tell that their alpacas are absolutely the most important part of this
company. Kept on a farm near Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, the herd of 15 is full of
intriguing personalities – all named and loved by owner, Catherine Price. Starting with just four
alpacas, bought with money left to her by her grandparents, she set up the knitwear brand in
2016 as an outlet for her interest in fashion and sustainability. Now in her third year, she’s
nearly quadrupled the size of the herd, and her product range!
This jumper – an update on a previously sold out design – is one of the newest offerings for
2019. It’s available in two styles: traditional rib knit, and reverse contemporary knit, and I was
kindly lent the traditional knit to review. First up: Ted and Bessie have clearly focused on the fit
in all the right ways. There are no too-tight shoulders or too-short sleeves to be found here, and
it falls perfectly at hip height – big tick. I’m 169cm tall and typically a size 8-10, and the small is a
great true-to-size fit. If you like the oversized look, I would recommend going for a medium.
The jumper is so soft, and only gets softer with wear. Alpaca fibre is fairly short and it can’t be
worked as tightly as cotton or non-natural materials like acrylic and polyester, so you will
experience the odd tickly sensation as fibres move about. However, it didn’t bother my sensitive
skin like wool tends to. Plus, one of the amazing (and, let’s face it, practical!) things about
alpaca fibre is that it’s naturally sweat and dirt-wicking, so you barely have to wash it!
As with all good quality knitwear, you will notice bobbles appearing on your jumper with wear.
It’s nothing to panic about, and you can pick them off by hand (actually quite the therapeutic
process) or invest in a bobble remover to give it a good combing every now and again. The
bobbling will reduce over time as the loose fibres work their way free.
For now, the 100% alpaca jumper is only available in grey – but it’ll go with absolutely anything
in your wardrobe. Ted and Bessie never use dyes so, if you can believe it, this perfect grey is
formed by merging together the fibre from black and white alpacas! Both knit styles are
available online for £265 (or they’re currently on sale for £189!), and will arrive to your door
beautifully packaged, complete with an invitation to visit the alpacas themselves. If so inclined,
you’ll also find a matching beanie, scarf, and headband too!