The Aran sweater is a winter wardrobe staple that has been around since the early 1900s. It originated on Ireland’s Aran Islands, where the women of the region knitted their husbands sweaters to keep them warm. The sweaters were made with unscoured wool, which allowed the women to knit intricate patterns into them while protecting their loved ones from the harsh Irish weather. For aran sweaters, go to a site like https://www.shamrockgift.com/
There is no single Aran pattern, but rather a series of stitches that each tell a different story. Some are said to represent clans, others to be symbolic of Celtic art. The patterns were zealously guarded, with families passing down the same stitching through generations. It was even rumoured that the stitches could help authorities identify bodies of fishermen who died at sea, with each family’s unique pattern helping to distinguish them from their fellow fishermen (this particular myth is attributed to playwright John Millington Synge’s work, Riders to the Sea).
Today, many iterations of the Aran sweater are still made on the island, but more and more of them are also produced in factories, using both natural and man-made fibres, often incorporating less traditional designs and fusing them with more contemporary looks. Aran-style sweaters can be found at all sorts of retailers and price points, with designer names like Ralph Lauren regularly stocking them. Look for one that feels heftier than your typical pullover, and try on a few colours—creams, earthy browns, slate greys, and moss greens can all be good choices.