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Connolly x Nest of Manure

Connolly x Nest of Manure

A Letter From Isabel

When I read of collaborations in the world of fashion, they always sound a little like a marketing graphics ploy for putting two logos out there, rather than one. But, at Connolly we like to try and do these things a little less commercially and differently…

Connolly x Nest of Manure

In lockdown I was fascinated by the work of a Japanese vintage Instagram account called Nest of Manure. Every time I visited the site there was some ancient beauty that had been mended and refigured with such sensitivity, knowledge and soul that I became obsessed. Talking to Lorraine Acornley, our knit designer, I explained my secret desire, to find a way of working with this master of stitch and vintage, Yoshida san, of Nest of Manure. 

Together we found some old Connolly handknitted cable crew necks from our very first season, and we decided to transform them into a new but meaningful piece of clothing; something that could be kept and treasured for a lifetime but equally worn daily with joy.  

- Isabel


Historically, these sweaters would have been knitted by mothers or loved ones to help identify areas, towns or regions in case the fisherman was lost at sea. A little bit like a tattoo: with particular cable stitches linked to certain regions or towns.


Pure undyed 100% British Wool was used, with no chemical treatment of the yarn - it has a hardiness about it and a robust utilitarian handle. Which adds to its biodegradable acumen. Everything used on the reimagined garment is also 100% Natural.  The garment is not wet finished thus retaining the natural oils in the yarn and adding a natural water repellence.


The knit stitches are evocative of ropes and cables of the fishing trawlers. The cuffs and hem have working 1x1 Ribs knitted tightly to save from draughts and keeping the fisherman warm at sea. 

The original Connolly sweaters were crafted by master knitters in Scotland. The last few remaining Aran Knitters. We had the pleasure of working with them back in 2016.  This Aran technique is a speciality in its own right and takes years and years to master, with so many unique variations; depending on who knits it, even the tension of a knit is specific to the knitter. When Isabel discovered Yoshida San’s work this seemed like the most brilliant meeting of craft and skill, with the best of traditional craft from Scotland to the master of skill in Japan.


Over the last year, Yoshida san has reimagined these 8 sweaters into cardigans using old offcuts of our tweeds and woollen flannel from our shared fabric cupboards, adding his own special touches… each piece took 49 days to make … it is a labour of love and is exactly what I believe true collaboration is about… A sharing of skills, creativity and resources. There is a synergy between Scotland and Japan and a cultural appreciation, particularly in the worlds of wool and whiskey. This project was a labour of love. 

It was a complex process to reimagine these heavy sweaters as Cardigan jackets but we knew as soon as Isabel introduced Yoshida san he had the “right eye” and attention to detail to appreciate what we brought and he took it to another level of sophistication and artistry. His skill with woven garments was transposed into knit as he primarily works with woven cloth. He has embroidered, embellished, patched, lined and pocketed these beauties… and the extraordinary journey from Scottish Sweater to Japanese vintage Aran Jacket. Each cardigan jacket is unique and its history comes fully documented by Yoshida san with handwritten labels and tickets; wearable, collectible, works of art. And as Yoshida san celebrates with Nest of Manure – reimagined and not left hidden and forgotten. 

You can learn more about Nest of Manure on their website.