The iconic Irish sweater/Aran sweater takes its name from the trio of islands called Inishmore, Inishmann and Inisheer. Which is Ireland's most westerly point, just off the coast of County Galway, Ireland.
Throughout the 1930s and 40s, they gained popularity around the world and when Grace Kelly appeared in an Aran sweater on the cover of Vogue in the 1950s, this humble Irish sweater was catapulted to iconic status, cementing its reputation as an Irish design classic.
Every stitch on an Irish Aran sweater tells a story, rich in symbolism and island folklore. The classic Diamond stitch, one of the most popular stitches on the original hand-knit Irish sweaters, wishes the wearer wealth and success, while the much-loved honeycomb stitch is said to bring good fortune. All Aran knit sweaters usually have between four and six stitch patterns in vertical columns, with one of these patterns being in the middle of the Aran sweater.
What is the history of Aran sweaters?
Born out of necessity, they were the original fisherman sweater, giving much-needed protection from the unforgiving wild Atlantic Ocean which surrounds the Aran Islands. The first Aran sweater was made using unwashed báinín (bain meaning white in Irish) which is yarn from sheep's wool. The natural lanolin in the yarn made the sweaters waterproof.
Are Aran Sweaters/Irish Sweaters hand knitted?
We have a beautiful selection of hand-knitted Irish Aran sweaters with each piece being handcrafted by some of the most talented knitters in Ireland.