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Fisherman’s Gansey

Along the Moray coast, many villages had their own distinctive patterns. Any spare time was employed knitting, whether waiting to deal with the herring catch on the quayside, or standing at the door chatting at home. In some areas women did contract knitting of stockings to supplement the family income.

This “Helmsdale” fisherman’s jumper or gansey has a distinctive diamond and cable pattern resembling a fishing net and rope. It is finely knitted and was probably worn as the wearer’s “Sunday best” gansey.


Collective women textile networks and making have a long tradition as a catalyst for social and economic empowerment.