They were developed as practical workwear for fishermen, providing warmth and protection from the harsh marine environment. Ganseys were typically knitted in a seamless construction so as to be as strong and durable as possible.
Their designs are unique and highly symbolic, generally taking over 150 hours to knit! A zigzag pattern is called ‘marriage lines’ and shows that couples have ups and downs.
Other symbols commonly included include a tree-shaped triangle, representing the ‘tree of life’. The X shape represents a star fish.
The owner’s initials are also often included in the design.