What is a Fisherman Beanie?
Benjamin Antoni Andersen
Red Hat Culture
| August 10, 2022
There are many names for beanies, but one of the all time classics is the fisherman beanie. But what exactly makes a beanie a fisherman beanie?
My first instinct is, of course, to hone in on the fisherman aspect of the name. As we explore two aspects of the fisherman beanie, we do it in the context of old rugged fishermen and how they chose their beanies.
All the way back when a fisherman typically would be a relatively poor working class hero, his beanie would often be hand knit by his wife or someone in his family or local community.
While it doesn’t have to be hand knit to be called a fisherman beanie, it certainly adds threads of history to an otherwise generic piece of apparel. The sense of roughness often connected with the fisherman beanie, is a trademark of the time — a time of less processing, rougher raw materials like wool, and handiwork rather than precise machine work.
The second feature denoting a fisherman beanie, is the traditional, often criticized rolling up of the beanie over the ears.
“Why doesn’t it cover the ears!”
We hear it all the time in our advertising, and I always just reply. “Some people like it that way.” It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that, but historically there might be another reason why we roll our fisherman beanies.
Imagine having a beanie on as a fisherman. When the wind is blowing and the waves are beating, it would be beneficial to roll the beanie down over your ears. But when you’re docking up, and the sun peeks out from a cloud, and you also need to communicate unhampered — it’s nice to roll it up.
We’ve always prided ourselves on being genuine.
Red Hat Factory was founded on the feeling that I got when my own mom knit sweaters and socks for us during our childhood winters. To capture this feeling we hand knit every piece, and chose to not put any brand or label directly on the beanie — to emulate exactly how it felt when we received knit goods directly off the knitting needles, from mom.
We knit with 80–100% sheep wool, and this is a rough material, giving it that gritty, real look you would expect of a fisherman beanie from a hundred years ago.