Keeping warm during the cold winter months is a practical decision which occupies the minds of many at this time of the year and there is no better way to do so than by donning an authentic Aran sweater or an Irish knit sweater.
Aran sweaters for women, men and kids not only provide sufficient warmth and a classically refined style but also exude a rich history and tradition dating back to the late 1890’s and early 1900’s.
Aran sweaters have taken their name from the three Aran Islands of Inishmore, Inishmaan and Inisheer. Sweaters are still adorned with the patterns, designs and embossed decorations that made the garments so special and reflect the loves, lives, losses and defiance of the isolated island communities situated off the west coast of Ireland.
Traditionally these sweaters were hand knit from wool and produced in a variety of stitch patterns, behind each of which lies a story or symbol.
For example, the common Cable Stitch depicts fishermen’s ropes and hopes for the day’s catch. The Diamond Stitch represents the hope of future wealth and is often matched with Moss Stitching. The Honeycomb represents hard work, symbolising the busy bees of the Aran Islands. Many of the other stitches represent stories of religion or elements of nature.
Aran sweaters are so highly regarded in Irish culture and tradition, that sweaters produced in the 1930’s and 40’s are displayed at the National Museum of Ireland for visitors of all generations to enjoy.