Irish sweaters have always radiated cozy charm, but when knitted in a cardigan style, there's something very smart and professorial about them that's perfect for work and play! Originally derived from the British waistcoat, cardigans started catching on in the early 20th century among the American college elite, knit with simple stitches in colors like navy and maroon. When the classic Aran stitches were added to the mix, the cardigan was truly elevated to an art form. All of our handsome men's cardigans are knitted with the softest and plushest of Irish wools (no scratchiness here!) in the authentic Irish styles that date back to the 17th century, when hand-knitting was first introduced in Ireland.
What Makes Every Aran Cardigan so Unique?
Aran cardigans are appreciated thanks to the centuries of Irish history in each stitch: each stitch is meaningful, and each kind of stitch (moss, diamond, ladder, trellis, basket, cable, blackberry, honeycomb) means something special. Stitches could represent something as straightforward as wealth and success, or something as ambiguous and far-reaching as the tree of life. When you wear your Aran sweater, you're wearing a piece of history (a very stylish piece).
These Men’s Irish Cardigans are sharply modern and fashionable, but their foundation comes from the rich Irish tradition of Aran stitching, which started with Aran sweaters. Aran sweaters first appeared in the 1890s in the Aran Islands, which can be found off of the western coast of Ireland. Fishing was the main way of making a living for most Aran Island men, so their wives and mothers would knit these sweaters from unscoured wool to keep the fishermen warm during the frosty winters. Aran sweaters certainly gained great popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, and they were especially adored for their complex woven patterns that each possess a significant meaning.
Traditional Aran Stitches
Some of the more popular Aran stitches include the honeycomb, which represents hard work and the faithful worker bees of the Aran Islands, the moss stitch that represents growth and also symbolizes carrageenan moss, which is the seaweed that lines the stone walls of the Aran Islands, and the zigzag, which symbolizes the rough, jagged cliffs of the Aran Islands. Other popular stitches include the diamond, which signifies a blessing for abundance, wealth, and success, the basket, which represents the fishermen’s basket for good luck in making prolific catches, and the cable, which symbolizes prayers for safety and good luck in the fisherman’s everyday life.
100% Merino Wool Irish Cardigans
In addition to wonderfully displaying wonderful Aran stitch designs, many of Shamrock Gift’s Men’s Aran Cardigans are also crafted from pure Merino wool. Merino wool is a premium grade of wool that is highly sought after for its luxurious softness, breathability, and insulating warmth. Its amazing moisture-wicking ability that provides comfortable dryness will have every man looking and feeling great outside in the fall and winter weather!
Take your pick from this wonderfully assorted range of cardigan pieces:
Fisherman Aran Jacket with a Collar — You will love this cardigan if you’re looking for a cardigan that captures the beauty of Aran stitching with a modern touch. This jacket comes with a full zipper, which is perfect for quickly layering up and down with other tops, especially in fluctuating temperatures.
Lined Irish Body Warmer — This item is perfect for men who love layered looks and the classic style of vests.
Men’s Sleeveless Aran Cardigan — This cardigan vest makes an excellent choice. This gorgeous cardigan is designed with front pockets and striking wooden buttons for a convenient traditional look.
These pieces will keep the core of your body warm and are great for color–blocking ensembles. Upgrade your wardrobe with one or several of our fine Men’s Irish Cardigans, or make one of these must-have cardigans a special gift for a friend!