Freeport, ME, September 13, 2022

L.L.Bean Ragg Wool Sweaters: A Classic Knit with a Modern Touch

3 Min. Read | Inside L.L.Bean | Current Stories

Many of us have faced the classic winter-fashion conundrum: how to stay warm and dry without itch or bulk. This issue is especially troublesome for outdoorspeople and residents of extreme cold-weather climes — fortunately, our founder Leon Leonwood Bean understood both. From the beginning, he used personal experience to create clothing that toed the line between comfort and utility, an art and science that helped people thrive outside. And ragg wool has long played a starring role.

Ragg wool is a warm, practical textile that can be found in cultures all over the world. The Ragg Wool sock, for instance, goes by many names in Nordic culture. Raggsockor in Scandinavia. Raggsocka in Sweden. Ragsok in Denmark. The Fair Isle sweater, typically made from ragg wool and named after its insular home-island, even became a longtime favorite of English royals and fashion designers.

The L.L.Bean Ragg Wool Sweater is built on this rich legacy, offering Americans a durable, stylish sweater at a consistently incredible price point. First debuting in the L.L.Bean catalog in the fall of 1979, the durable cold-weather choice came at just the right moment. Fashion in the ‘80s was characterized by preppies, New England chic and outdoor adventure — and our Ragg Wool Sweater worked for all.

Some might even say it improved upon its outerwear predecessors.

Scratchy sheep’s wool is infamously irritating, figuratively and literally. Lambswool, on the other hand, protects against the elements but offers fine, soft wool that is less likely to aggravate delicate skin. Our Ragg Wool Sweaters, made from 100% premium lambswool, are noticeably softer than competitors’ versions, eschewing lesser wool-blend yarns and embracing a superior choice for perennial wear. It is just one point of innovation.

Though the earliest version of our Ragg Wool sweater reflected the authentic “flecked” look of ragg wool with light gray and brown coloring, new products, patterns and colorways emerged over time — many becoming instant favorites. The Classic Ragg Wool Fair Isle Crewneck, for example, was so beloved by customers that L.L.Bean designers recreated the look more than 40 years later. And our machine washable Ragg Wool socks found their place in hiking boots and fuzzy slippers alike, known for their comfort while keeping toes warm.

Our designers have once again refreshed the Ragg Wool Sweater, just in time for fall and winter. Three new designs evoke heritage L.L.Bean, with time-honored styling and details for longtime fans.

Two exclusive intarsia knits feature the L.L.Bean logo, set against our signature Mount Katahdin logo or scrolling across a wintry Birdseye pattern, and a superbly cuddly L.L.Bean Boot-and-puppy motif. Customers can also enjoy our Classic Ragg Wool Sweater Crewneck or Cardigan in a timeless Birdseye pattern, each with our distinctive rib-knit trim at the cuff and collar. Fresh Yoke Fair Isle patterns round out the expanded selection, which combines age-old knitting techniques and modern trends — the perfect winter sweaters in look and in feel.

Ragg wool will continue to help people create warm fall and winter memories. With new choices for men and women, everyone can find a signature sweater that stays with them through the years. Check out our ragg wool products here to select yours.