A guernsey is a knitted sweater constructed out of wool, first created on the English Channel island of Guernsey sometime in the mid to late 15th century.
There are two distinct styles of this sweater; a plain style and a more elaborate style. The plain style guernsey is a popular day to day article of clothing amongst fishermen and regular folk alike; while the elaborate style is considered appropriate for special occasions. Elaborate guernsey’s are rarely seen in modern times and have never been as popular as the plain variety.
The guernsey is particularly popular amongst fishermen for its warmth, durability and ability to hold up well to damp conditions. The intimate relationship between fishermen and guernsey sweaters dates all the way back to their origination when it was customary for the wives of fishermen to knit sweaters for their husbands. In some circles this is still a tradition being practiced today. In addition to being worn by fishermen the guernsey has appeared throughout history as part of military uniforms including the British Royal Navy in the 19th century as well as in the British Army as recently as 2006.