This Ladies Irish Multi Cabled Super Soft Merino Wool Raglan Sweater from Aran Woollen Mills is a beautiful modern take on the traditional Aran sweater design. Made from 100% merino wool, we think it will soon become a staple of any woman’s winter and fall wardrobe. The sweater is hefty enough to be a layer on its own, but slim enough to be worn as a layer under a jacket. It can be paired easily with a skirt or pants and offers a beautifully complex knit motif.
The central panel of this sweater features a beautifully complex cable weave that highlights the complexity of Irish knots, a feature of Irish art and design that dates back to pre-Christian times in Ireland. The cable sleeves extend all the way to the neckline with the beautiful raglan shoulders of this sweater.
As one of the oldest artistic motifs in Ireland, these infinite knots symbolize the interconnectivity of all things in the universe while simultaneously representing the eternal nature of live on earth. This wonderfully braided pattern showcases the best of these knot designs as applied to knitwear, a tradition that dates back at least a century on the remote Aran Islands.
Additionally, the cable pattern in Aran design has come to represent the ropes of Aran fishermen, while the diamond pattern symbolizes their nets, both symbols of good omen that purport to ensure a good catch and the promise of good fortune. The multi-cable pattern, with a central large cable flanked by increasingly smaller cable designs, is a gorgeous and flattering shape. Plus, unique to this sweater patterns, the cables extend all the way to the cuffs and hems and even the collar, which are usually finished in a plain ribbed style.
Aran knitting is one of the few art forms directly born in Ireland and owning an Aran sweater has come to be one of the premier symbols of a love of Irish culture and heritage, whether you have Irish roots yourself or not. Developed on the Aran Islands, the design spread rapidly in the 20th century to become the Irish commercial powerhouse it is today. The first Aran sweaters were most often knit in a crewneck style, the best to protect from the elements on the harsh islands. This sweater references that while focusing on the beauty of just a few patterns.
Inhabited since at least the 5th century, the Aran Islands have long been a romantic location in the Irish popular imagination. Today, they comprise one of the few areas in the country where the Irish language, also called Gaelic, is still spoken as a native language. Rocky, remote, and nearly entirely devoid of sustainable plant life, the islands offer little in the way of creature comforts. But their location in Galway Bay offer residents the opportunity to make their living from the bounty of the sea, whether through fishing or harvesting seaweed. Naturally, the residents needed thick layers to protect them from the elements, and thus the Aran sweater was created.
The thick, three-dimensional patterns offer far more insulation than a flat sweater, as the air gets trapped inside the patterns and is heated up by the body’s warmth. From this discovery, countless patterns emerged that today combine to form the idea of a traditional Aran sweater that works as well on the ocean as at the office.
Made of 100% Merino wool and knit in Ireland. Raspberry Pink. Sizes XS – XXL.
Hand wash only using lukewarm water and mild detergent for best results. Lay flat to dry.