Aran Sweaters is the original ‘boat neck’ sweater. The Aran sweater is an edgy style of sweater that takes its title from the Aran Islands northwest of Ireland. A typical Aran sweater is typically white with a cable pattern on the front, usually having long sleeves. They can come in any number of colors and patterns to go with whatever outfit you want to wear and you can see some examples at Shamrock Gift.
These sweaters are truly unique, coming from people who are never mentioned as being fishermen, even though they have been doing it for centuries. The Irish name of the Islands is Aar, which translates into ‘island of Aran’, or more specifically, ‘of the sea’. The fisherman’s life was an integral part of the islands, since the people depended largely on fishing for their livelihood and were known to depend heavily on their skills as fishermen, and the knowledge of how to make things like aran sweaters.
The aran sweaters were made to be light enough for the fisherman to carry while out on the water, and to keep him warm and dry on those long journeys. They were also very water resistant due to the oils that are present in the particular sheeps wool that is used.