How many Jigsaw jumpers does Lucia Wood, head of design, own? I’ll give you a clue. Lucia has worked at Jigsaw for about 25 years. Perhaps one jumper each year? Or one per season, so 50? Throw in some sample sales, and make it 60? No. Lucia owns 75 Jigsaw jumpers.
That figure tells me three things. One, that Lucia really likes knitwear. Two, that she feels the cold. And three, that our jumpers can last a quarter of a century.
When I asked Lucia if she could remember her first Jigsaw jumper, not only did she describe it in detail - “an oversized, square-cut polo with a wide rib in chocolate brown” - but she could also recite the style number. This was the first jumper Lucia helped to design, after she brought a tear-sheet from a magazine to a meeting and her idea was put into production. Jumper 1700.477 went on to become a bestseller for four years.
Our conversation led Lucia to search her house for as many Jigsaw jumpers as she could find. To the eaves. To her son’s chest of drawers (which he hasn’t yet noticed is full of his mother’s clothes). To piles of impeccably folded knitwear.
“I found a gorgeous oversized cream cardigan from the early 90s, which I’ll start wearing again as it’s so on-trend now,” she told me. “I also found a pink patchwork short sleeve cardigan from the same period, which we also did in plain pink.”
We’re proud that we make great knitwear. That every yarn, stitch, tension and finish is bespoke to the individual design. This season, for example, we’ve introduced a new member to our cashmere family: Cloud 7. We’ve chosen to knit it in a particular way – using bigger needles – so that you get more cashmere but a loftier handle.
But the most important thing about any piece of knitwear is how you treat it. Always fold, never hang. Use a comb. Follow the care label. Because of her care and our quality and design credentials, Lucia’s jumpers have stood the test of time.
Lucia’s old favourites – and how she wears them today
The Oversized Cardigan
“I think this is one of the first Jigsaw knits I worked on when I was came Jigsaw. It’s from the early 90s and was inspired by Japanese square shapes which were so new back then. It’s made in a heavy pure wool in this lovely warm creamy ivory and has real shell buttons.
The simple style really shows off the natural materials that we still love to use at Jigsaw today. There is a real integrity to the style and the heavy weight just feels luxurious. I was really excited when I got it out after not wearing it for such a long time; the oversize style with chunky rib trims is so on-trend now and I'll be layering it over printed dresses and chunky boots this spring.”
The Supersoft Shetland Turtleneck
“This is from maybe early 2000s. It’s a supersoft Shetland wool with contrast tipping. We did it in few different colourways and it was a bestseller. I always liked this bitter chocolate colour with the pale blue edging and I love the way the edges are a bit wavy, as if the pale blue has been added on later by hand.
Supersoft Shetland is another one of those natural, traditional yarns which always work in great colour combinations and we have used it a lot at Jigsaw over the years.
I love to wear it with my boyfriend jeans that have faded to a lived-in washed-out blue.”
The Pink Patchwork Cardigan
“This one is probably from the late 90s I think. It’s made of pure silk knit and has tonal patches in shades of pink. The handiwork in the way the patches are layered one on top of the other makes it a really unique and special design. We only made a few at the time but it is still one of my favourites.
When I first had it I used to wear it with more feminine dresses or skirts and would probably have worn it as a layering piece.
Now it’s perfect worn with the buttons done up as a skinny little top tucked into high waisted wide trousers. The pink shades are going to be great to wear come summer.”