A cardigan is a type of sweater/jumper that ties, buttons or zips down the front; by contrast, a pullover does not open in front, but forms a solid tube around the torso. The cardigan was named after James Thomas Brudenell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, a British military commander, following his service in the Crimean War. It is usually machine- or hand-knitted from wool or cotton. Cardigans are available for both sexes but are more typically worn by women in the 21st century (e.g., the classic twinset). Cardigans are also popular in twee fashion.
The torso of a cardigan is often knit as a single piece in a simple back-and-forth manner. By contrast, knitting a pullover as a single piece requires circular knitting. Alternatively, the body of the cardigan may be knit in three pieces, one for the back and two for the front.
Although all types of necklines are found in cardigans, the V-neckline is especially popular. The seam in front of a cardigan allows for many fashionable variations. For example, it need not be straight, but can cross diagonally (surplice style); it may also be lined with frills or cut away to form a bolero jacket.
A special type of cardigan is a shrug which is mostly just sleeves, with only a strip of fabric running along the back, resembling a scaled down vest.