This button-up sweater, generally made from wool, owes its existence to the attire and war time feat of James Thomas Brudenell, the seventh Earl of Cardigan. Shortly after having confronted Russian troops in the Crimean War, this British general decided to free himself of the restricting pull-over by splitting its collar with a sword, and thus inventing the garment that bears his name.
This superior wool, originating in Australia and New Zealand bears the same name as the breed of sheep that provide it. Bright, warm and light, it is distinguished by the extreme finesse of its fibres, three times thinner than those of classic wool (which varies 30 to 50 microns, while Merino oscillates between 17 and 25). It is known as ‘Extrafine’ when the thread thickness is less than 19 microns.