The Aran Sweaters is a very distinctive style of sweater, which takes its name from the Aran islands off the western coast of Ireland. A traditional Aran sweater is usually is white in color, with wide cable stitches on the sleeves and body. These sweaters are a high maintenance garment due to the nature of their construction, but it can be worn for months at a time without any apparent worry of getting holes or other wear. In fact, these sweaters have been worn year round in the warmest weather by many Irish people who move around so much.
When choosing the fabric for your Aran sweaters, like the ones from Shamrock Gift, choose a light, natural fabric such as 100% cotton, as this will allow your Aran sweater to breathe. If possible, choose a fabric with a slightly greater sheen than the white fiber. You should also avoid wool blends which will end up chafing against your skin. If you decide that you would prefer a hand knit sweater, choose a wool blend that has a slight natural shine to it, as opposed to pure white which will make your Aran sweaters appear dull. Hand knit products will also tend to be higher in price than comparable wool products, so if you would like to splurge and get something a little more unique, choose an Aran knit sweater made from an artificial fibre rather than the more expensive Merino wool.
Irish people have been knitting sweaters and cardigans for hundreds of years and it is only now, following the spread of the textile industry and the mass production of manufactured goods that the term ‘knitted sweater’ has become commonplace. Although the early enthusiasts of this great traditional craft were primarily fishermen, later generations of knitters have included everyone from courtly dancers to soldiers. So if you happen to be in the know when it comes to hand knit clothing, you could have some great stories to tell about how your own sweater was crafted! Now that you know a little more about the origin of this classic style, you might want to start collecting your own collection of Aran sweaters.