If you love wearing sweaters, you probably own an Irish knit sweater or at least you’ve thought about buying one. The Irish knit sweater has been popular since the 1950s but in the last few years, it seems like it has started to take the world by storm again. It is a very appealing garment because of its versatility. If you look at Chris Evans in Knives Out wearing an Aran sweater, you see the image of rugged masculinity. If you look at Taylor Swift wearing an Aran sweater in a Vogue photograph, you see the image of femininity and gentleness. If you’re looking for both masculine and feminine Irish sweaters, brands such as Tara Irish Clothing is the place to go.
The beginnings of the Irish sweater
Aran sweaters are the most popular Irish knit sweaters. Their history starts in the Aran Islands, where the climatic conditions called for protective garments. Aran sweaters were just perfect for that. They were made from thick, heavy wool that protected fishermen from the harsh elements. The first sweaters were made from untreated wool, which retained its natural oil and thus the sweaters were waterproof. Another thing that made Aran sweaters distinctive was the stitching patterns, which had symbolic meaning. It is said that the original patterns were dearly preserved and passed down to each generation from memory. These patterns are closely interlinked to the way of life of the inhabitants of the Aran Islands. One example is the cable pattern representing the fishermen’s ropes, another one is the diamond stitch, which is a symbolic representation of the patchwork fields of the islands.
How did the Irish Aran sweater become popular?
The Aran sweater first gained mainstream popularity in the 1940s when Patons of England published Aran knitting patterns. The Aran knit became so popular that Vogue started publishing articles about it in the 50s and even Grace Kelly appeared in the magazine wearing an Aran sweater. In the 1960s, the sweater was further popularized by the popular Irish folk group, The Clancy Brothers. During the 70s, the Aran knit style was extended to dresses, tops, and skirts. In the 90s, the sweater saw another surge of popularity thanks to supermodel Kate Moss. From 2000 on, the Aran sweater still maintained its status as a fashion staple. Popular fashion designer houses featured the Aran knit in their collections over the years. In 2017, a 1940s Aran sweater was displayed at the New York’s Museum of Modern Art as one of the pieces that influenced fashion in the last century.
Why wear an Irish sweater?
Apart from the fact that Irish sweaters are fashion staples, they are also very comfortable to wear. They are warm and cozy and, on top of that, breathable. Most often, Aran sweaters are knit from pure Merino wool and are made according to the highest quality standards. They are also extremely durable because their shape and stitch definition can be maintained for many years. Just make sure to have a good wool cleaning product and you’re guaranteed to maintain your Aran sweater in perfect condition for a long time.