One of the most iconic pieces of fashion comes from Ireland. It is the Aran Sweaters and it has served as a piece of unisex multiwear for almost a century. It is not to be confused with the Scottish Isle of Arran this Aran, a series of three, sits at the mouth of the Galway Bay protecting Galway from the ravages of the Atlantic ocean but taking the brunt of the waves itself. The three sisters as they are known are a craggy, rugged set of places offering harshness and beauty all in one fell swoop. The mainstay of the island’s survival is the fish that the men would have to catch not only for livelihood but for survival. It was the hard work of the women left behind to fabricate something that would keep them warm and dry as they battled the elements to secure a good catch.
Before the days of plastic and petro-chemical waterproofs and rubber the only thing that could protect the men was the naturally waterproof substance known as sheeps wool. The Aran’s are well known for their sheep farming and this natural resource was perfect for the women to spin and sow into off white garments that the men would loyally wear out in the boats.
One of the most intriguing features of the sweater is that the women worked in designs and patterns into the jumpers so that they were more than just featureless garments. Many have speculated that this is the famous celtic knot to help protect the men and ward of the evils of the sea but in fact it was just the style that had been passed to them following the design of the Guernsey Jumper. Wherever they come for a Shamrock Gift Aran Sweater makes a great gift.