Irish knitwear, and Aran Sweaters in particular may appear to be somewhat trend proof having been consistently fashionable and in style for decades. But what exactly contributes to the lasting appeal of Irish knitwear?
Knitwear has been around for centuries, indeed the earliest traces of knitwear has been pinpointed back to the middle east in the 5th century. Following this, centuries later, knitting began to rise in popularity here in Europe. As a result of this growth in popularity, factories were set up across the continent simply to cope with the increasing demand for knitted clothing such as knitted hats, cardigans, scarves and jumpers.
One potential explanation for the continued popularity of knitwear is down to it’s durability and practicality. As many of us are already aware, clothing such as the Aran Sweater were born out of necessity. This meant that as well as being exquisitely crafted and unique, these sweaters performed exceptionally well in the harsh surroundings of the Aran Islands. Over time, as these garments made their way off the islands and into public consciousness, they soon became an iconic symbol of not only the Aran Islands, but of Irish tradition, culture and heritage.
Today, knitwear has become ever present within the fashion industry, with many major fashion brands frequently showcasing knitwear in their catwalk shows. This transformation of a traditional practice of making clothing into a genuine mainstay of the global fashion landscape means that Irish Knitwear also has its place secured amongst the most sought after styles of clothing available anywhere in the world. Indeed, in 2017 an Aran Jumper from the 1940s was selected for inclusion in the New York Museum of Modern Art as one of the most enduring and powerful examples of 20th century clothing.
The fact that knitwear remains popular is unsurprising to us here at The Donegal Shop. Since 1995, we have been selecting and selling some of the finest examples of Irish Knitwear available anywhere in Ireland. As a result, the products we stock are nothing short of the finest Aran Sweaters for ladies and men, cardigans, hats, flat caps, scarves and shawls we can find.