Aran Sweaters - A Brief History

Famous the world over for their warmth, comfort and durability, Aran sweaters owe their name to a cluster of small islands situated off the west coast of Ireland. It was here, around the turn of the 20th century, islanders began crafting sweaters from sheep’s wool. The natural oils present within the sheep’s wool gave these sweaters water resistant qualities, making them ideal for the varied demands of island life. Initially, these sweaters were knitted by hand by island residents, forever linking this style of garment to the Aran Islands.


Also sometimes referred to as Aran Jumpers, these hardy garments began to enter public consciousness around the 1940’s, and by the 1950’s had started appearing in fashion magazines such as Vogue. As a result, these jumpers which had originated as workwear for islanders, had now made the transition into public consciousness


Aran Jumper


Mass production soon followed in an attempt to meet public demand, with various famous faces such as Grace Kelly and The Clancy Brothers all providing invaluable publicity to the Aran Sweater. Today, the Aran Jumper remains popular and relevant with stars such as Taylor Swift recently seen wearing her own slice of Irish Heritage.


There are also various styles of stitching synonymous with Aran Jumpers. These include Cable Stiches, The Trinity Stich, Diamond Trellis Stiches and Plaited Cable Stitching. Each of these provide Aran Jumpers with their unique appearance and identity and have helped make these garments famous and celebrated the world over. These stitch patterns give Aran Sweaters their unique appearance, as well as helping to keep us well protected from the elements.


Here at The Donegal Shop, our range of Aran Jumpers features a wide array of authentic styles and colours, all remaining true to the heritage of these iconic garments. So, why not browse our range of authentic Irish Knitwear today?

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post