Guernsey Woollens opened its doors last month as part of filming for ‘Jersey and Guernsey’, a new documentary programme showcasing life in the Channel Islands.
Narrated by Alan Titchmarsh, the show’s first episode is set to air on Channel 5 on Thursday 15 June, with the episode featuring Guernsey Woollens scheduled for the following week.
Company owner Arthur Eldridge said that he was initially approached by the programme’s film crew when they were filming at the Guernsey Aero Club, where he was a director.
‘They told me they had been filming on the Isle of Wight, and said that they would be doing more filming in Guernsey and Jersey next. I think they wanted to get hold of me because they were aware of how renowned Guernsey knitwear is.’
Filming took place over three days, with a focus on how the company represented the island via the famous knitwear, which are made from 100% wool.
‘Our garments are seamless, and we make about 15,000 a year in 30 to 40 different styles. Strangely enough we’ve become very popular in the Far East, as people from South Korea and Japan frequently order from us due to the style of clothing,’ Mr Eldridge said.
‘We had a single order for 5,000 of our cardigans from a lady in South Korea, while a Japanese tourist visited the island after finding out about Guernseys while he was in Notting Hill in London. We’ve also had orders from Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Germany. Word clearly gets around.’
Mr Eldridge was proud that the company, which was founded in 1974, continued to play a part in showcasing Guernsey’s heritage.
‘To have our products be carried around the world as a symbol of the island is wonderful.’
The upcoming television series will not be the first time the company’s clothing has featured on screen, including Colin Firth donning a Guernsey in ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’.
Guernseys were also worn in ‘Swallows and Amazons’ as well as several other films.
‘We’ve also made garments for the RNLI, and for members of the army who were deployed in Afghanistan.
‘We make bespoke garments all the time, once we have the person’s chest size we can do anything really,’ Mr Eldridge said.