Blair Dixon, 25, pleaded guilty at the city’s crown court to the manslaughter of John Cingelis, 37, in Harraby.
Dixon, from Carlisle, also admitted causing grievous bodily harm to another man in the overall incident that led to the death of Mr Cingelis.
On Sunday April 12 – Easter Sunday – the North West Ambulance Service took a call from a man saying he and his friend had been stabbed.
He said he had been stabbed in the arm and his friend had been stabbed in the chest.
Emergency services arrived at the home of Mr Cingelis in Brantwood Avenue, Carlisle. He was found unresponsive with a stab wound to his chest.
Paramedics and police did their best to save him but he was pronounced deceased at the scene.
A Home Office post mortem examination established the cause of death was a single stab wound.
The man who made the call was found with a slash wound to his arm.
He was taken to the city’s Cumberland Infirmary, where he underwent treatment and was later discharged.
Detective Chief Inspector Jenny Beattie, head of North Cumbria’s crime and safeguarding team, was the senior investigating officer in the case.
Speaking after the sentencing, she said: “This is a tragic case that appeared to start with a low-level dispute over a piece of clothing.
“But what it shows is that any use of knives in a dispute can end in serious injury or, as has been demonstrated here, the loss of someone’s life.
“We do not have some of the problems with knife crime in Cumbria that can be seen in other places – but we are never complacent and this shows exactly what can happen.
“Dixon’s actions have left a family grieving and Mr Cingelis’ life was cut tragically short.
“I would like to thank the family of Mr Cingelis for their courage and dignity throughout this investigation.
“I would also like to thank those members of the public who came forward to help the investigation.”
Dixon had originally been charged with murder, which he denied, and had been on trial at the crown court. This charge was discontinued and the manslaughter charge put to him instead.
A 25-year-old man had also denied a murder charge in this case but this was discontinued. The judge said he had no case to answer.
Dixon received a two-year sentence for causing grievous bodily harm and one year for possession of a knife, both to run at the same time as the 12-year sentence.
In a statement issued afterwards, the family of Mr Cingelis said:
“John’s death has had a significant and profound effect on us all.
“We struggle to comprehend the circumstances surrounding the death and how trivial the whole incident was to lead to the death of John.
“We know that John had his struggles in life and we acknowledge that.
“However, he really was genuinely, out of all of us, the one person who had the biggest heart.
“He was truly someone who would do anything for anyone and we, as a family, will miss him forever.”