Types of Sweaters

Main types of {SWEATERS} according to the fabric they are made of, how they are worn, their necklines, sleeves etc.
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According to how they are worn

 Pullover sweater

Pull over sweaters

This is your typical comfy cozy sweater with a rib-knit crewneck, cuffs, and hem; the kind that you can wear over shirts, tops, and blouses and stay warm all over. In the UK, a pullover sweater is also called a Jumper.

 Cardigan (Open style) sweater

 Cardigan (Open style) sweater

Cardigan is an open front sweater. This knitwear is a perfect layering piece that offers both warmth during winter and a touch of style. You can create cozy and chic outfits, by using it with different tops. Cardigans come in various lengths, from cropped styles that hit at the waist to longline types that extend to the thighs or even the knees.

According to the neckline 

 Crew neck sweaters

 Crew neck sweaters

This is a sweater with a round rib-knit neckline, sitting close to the neck. This is usually a pullover sweater.

 V-neck sweater

 V-neck sweater

As the name suggests this is a sweater with a V neckline.

 Turtle neck sweater

 Turtle neck sweater

This sweater will have a high close-fitting folded down collar. It is also known as a polo neck or roll-neck 

 Mock neck Sweater

This sweater has a neck that looks like the turtleneck sweater – but it will not be a turned down collar; the neck will stand up instead of folding over like the turtleneck. 

 Shawl collar sweater

 Shawl collar sweater

This is usually a cardigan sweater with a flat collar combined with a continuous lapel on the front opening. It can be full front open ie open front with no closures or button up. These sweaters usually fall below the hip and are worn over t-shirts and blouses.

 Full zip sweater

 Full zip sweater

A cardigan sweater with a full front opening fastened with zipper.

 Half zip/ Quarter zip sweater

This sweater has a high neck opening with a short zipper closure, which extends only till the chest (a short opening)

 Cowl neck sweater

 Cowl neck sweater

This sweater has a hanging neck which is similar to a turtle neckline but with a more draping effect – this cowl can be narrow or very broad and hanging (chunky cowl) 

 Buttoned placket Sweater

 Buttoned placket Sweater

A sweater with a small placket opening in the front.

According to Patterns

 Cable sweater

 Cable sweater

This is a pullover crewneck sweater with pretty, detailed knitted patterns (cable knit ) that resemble twisted ropes /braids and other patterns. This sweater may have an all-over cable design or just on the front. Honeycomb pattern, Saxon braids, lattice and knots are the most popularly used cable knit patterns.

 Fisherman’s Sweater

 Fisherman's Sweater

This is a type of traditional cable-knit crewneck sweater. Also called Aran Jumpers/ Aran cable-knit sweater/Aran Isle Knit sweater. This is an Irish origin sweater, with beautiful and specific patterns on its front – raised cable pattern and interlaced vertical diamond patterns. This sweater kind of denotes wealth and privilege unlike its name fisherman’s sweater. 

 Argyle knit sweater

 Argyle knit sweater

The knit sweater with designs in different colored diamonds in outline and solid shapes.

 Tennis sweater

A white coloured pullover sweater with V- neck and long sleeves and coloured narrow bands at the neck and wrists.

 Ski sweater

 Ski sweater

A heavy pullover sweater made of thick jacquard knit yarns with elaborate patterns.

Fair Isle sweaters

This pattern technique originated from the Fair Isle, a small island in Scotland. It includes intricate and colorful stranded colorwork designs.

fairisle sweater knit pattern 

Ribbed pattern sweater

This type of sweaters have vertical ridges or ribs on the fabric of the sweater. This sweater knit material is made with a combination of knit stitches and purl stitches.

ribbed knits

Waffle knit

This sweater has a distinctive waffle-like pattern on the surface of the fabric.

waffle knit sweater

Intarsia pattern sweater

intrasia sweater knit pattern

This sweater is made using colorwork knitting technique that creates distinct and bold designs on the fabric.



According to styles 

 Fanny sweater

 Fanny sweater

A long style of sweater whose hem will come under the hip level ( covering the fanny/buttocks)

 Sweater with a hoodie

 Sweater with a hoodie

A hoodie is built into the neckline.

 Boyfriend sweater

 Boyfriend sweater

This is a pullover sweater with a loose, slouchy fit – which makes it seem as if you are wearing your boyfriend’s sweater. 

 Aircrew sweater /Submariner’s sweater

Both refer to a pullover sweater with a roll neck and deep welt (hem) and cuffs. It is fashioned after the sweaters worn by the airforce crew/submariners crew. 

 Grandpa sweater

 Grandpa sweater

This is an oversized cardigan style sweater with a shawl collar and button opening which begins around halfway through the sweater.


This refers to two sets of sweaters worn together in matching colors, weave or fabric. 

According to sleeves

 Sweater Vest

This is a sleeveless sweater that looks like a vest, that is worn over other clothes.

 Raglan Style sweaters

This sweater has raglan sleeves, not the typical set in sleeves. A saddle shoulder is a variation of the raglan sleeve.

According to the fabric 

 Hand knitted sweater 

hand knitted sweater

Hand knitted sweaters have a particular charm. Hand made sweaters will be chunkier and textured than machine knitted sweaters. You can buy wool fibers ( pure wool, acrylic, cotton) 

 Wool sweater

 Wool sweater

If you can buy pure merino wool or cashmere wool sweaters, nothing like them. Pashmina sweaters with a blend of cashmere and silk top it all in luxury. Then there are special wools like the Teflon®-coated wool which gives complete water-resistance.

Wool sweaters are the ultimate in softness and they are very durable. And very warm and breathable on your body. But wool sweaters are difficult to maintain and they may look bulky depending on their make. If you want to wash your sweaters every now and then, wool sweaters can be skipped. Though some wool sweaters may be itchy on the skin, if you buy good quality wool sweater you will be very comfortable and warm. Shetland wool is scratchier than merino wool. You can learn more about different types of wool here.

 Acrylic sweater

Acrylic sweaters are great alternatives to wool sweaters, as they are inexpensive. A disadvantage is that they can stretch out of proportion if they are not washed and dried with care. Inexpensive low-quality acrylic sweaters can pill like crazy and they may not last long and may even itch. If you can buy anti-pilling, colour-fast lightweight acrylic sweaters you can by-pass some of the disadvantages.

 Cotton Sweater

Cotton sweaters are made of lightweight cotton fibers which are breathable, comfortable, but not as warm as wool. Combed cotton sweaters are the most popular as they are super soft. Cotton fleece sweaters are also good.

 Blend fabric sweater

The sweater fabric may be a blend of different fibers like cotton, polyester and spandex or acrylic and wool. The advantage of these blends is that they combine the good qualities of the various fibers mixed into them. An acrylic-wool blend may be warmer than a thin wool sweater or acrylic sweater.

 Donegal sweater

Donegal Sweater is made of a wool tweed (100% wool) with colorful slubs knit (speckled wool) into the fabric – it has a traditional honeycomb Aran cable stitch. It is  very soft and very durable.

 Performance sweater

This sweater is made of branded performance fabrics that have special abilities like moisture-wicking, water resistance, anti-pilling, etc.

Related posts: Different jeans styles names; Different types of tops; Your Guide to Different bras; Underwear: Explore various types.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

6 thoughts on “Types of Sweaters”

  1. Hi. If only i can learn how to sew vests and T shirts(tees). My first time visiting the site and i fell inlove with fabrics. I think i will buy and sell fabrics now that i understand them. Thank you for the opportunity

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