The Aran Crafts label started life over 60 years ago when Molly Cullen established Westend Knitwear. Continuing an age-old family tradition going back some 100 years, it all started with Molly’s grandmother Kitty O’Shea who was the first woman in Ireland to market her hand knitted Aran craft Irish sweaters commercially.
The business is still run today by Molly’s sons Paul and John who continue to keep the Aran crafts sweater tradition alive.
Frequently Asked Questions About Aran Craft Sweaters
Where is Aran Crafts Knitwear?
Aran Crafts is located in Monasterevin in County Kildare and was first established in 1957.
What are the most popular Aran stitches?
Popular Aran stitches include the honeycomb stitch. According to Aran islander folklore, the honeycomb stitch pays tribute to the hard-working honeybee and is said to bring good fortune to the wearer. The cable stitch is undoubtedly the signature stitch on nearly all Aran knitwear and represents the Aran islander fisherman’s ropes. The diamond stitch is a depiction of the Aran fishermen’s nets. Knitters believed the inclusion of this stitch in a sweater would ensure a plentiful catch at sea.
Are Aran Sweaters popular?
The Aran sweater has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the latter part of the 19th century. Breathable and waterproof, they provided much-needed protection for the island fisherman as they braved the wild Atlantic Ocean. The first commercial Aran knitting patterns began to appear in the 1940s. Aran sweater exports began in the 1950s and when Grace Kelly appeared in an Aran sweater on the cover of Vogue, this humble Irish sweater was on its way to becoming an Irish design classic.
Today, the Aran sweater is considered to be a must-have staple for any discerning wardrobe and takes its rightful place alongside such fashion icons such as the little black dress and denim jeans.