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Women’s Irish cardigans have always had a bit of romance about them, and even their origin story seems very romantic. The Aran cardigan’s picturesque starting point is the most westerly edge of Europe, the Aran Islands, comprised of the three islands of Inisheer, Inishmaan, and Inishmore. The classic Irish fisherman’s knit pattern owes its existence to the women of the house as they knit chunky and thick sweaters for their husbands and sons to protect them from the harsh Atlantic gales, sea spray, and heavy rains when they were in the open water searching for the day’s catch. The intricate design patterns originated to add an extra insulating layer to help keep the body and arms warm, while also aiding in the water resistant properties of the raw wool from which they were knit. As the knits became more intricate and specialized, the beautiful cardigans started to be seen as a potential income source, and the Irish Cardigan boom got in full swing. 

 

Women’s Irish Cardigans - Aran Cardigans

 As the Irish knitters got increasingly creative, a lot of variations on the original crewneck cardigan appeared. The original design was the Traditional Aran Crewneck Cardigan; this was a basic cardigan with traditional patterns. Some versions had side pockets and others did not; the buttons used in these traditional garments were Lumber Buttons. Variations of this style started to appear on the market the Cable Cardigan with Collar and Pockets; this cardigan is a traditional cable cardigan with side pockets. It features a lapel collar and the buttons on the front are the same color as the wool used in the cardigan. 

Cardigans were also made with zippers such as Ladies Hooded Zipper Cardigan this cardigan has some modern twists with a zipper and hood; Also the Hooded Aran Coat With Celtic Knot Zipper is another zipper cardigan with a hood that was extended in length to make it a coat. These cardigans also feature interlocking Trinity Knot zippers. Other designs that were incorporated were Ladies 3 Button Collar Coat. This is a cardigan with side fastening and an oversized neckline. Also, some cardigans like the Ladies Open Face Cardigan incorporated an open front design; both modern and stylish.  

 

History of Irish Cardigans

 

Originally derived from a British military waistcoat supposedly worn by the Earl of Cardigan and the company he commanded during the Crimean War of the 1850s, the cardigan originally referred to a buttoned vest that was knit, rather than woven. The Earl of Cardigan preferred a heavier waistcoat, however, and his name eventually was lent to the new design, which over time gained sleeves and became the classic cardigan sweater we know today. But it wasn’t until the 1920s that the cardigan took off for women Irish fashion as an alternative to the crewneck Aran sweater. As with so many trends in women’s fashion, the cardigan’s popularity owes a great debt to Coco Chanel, who famously preferred them because she didn’t like how snug-fitting pullover sweaters messed up her hair when putting them on. Another surge of popularity occurred when the cardigan arrived as an alternative to a heavy jacket among the American college elite (perhaps that's why cardigans have always had a whiff of the professorial). Occasionally, they would even be worn as part of sports uniforms, eventually evolving into the shawl collared letterman sweater that was popular in the 1950s and 60s. Soon, cardigans became a mainstay in the business world as a layer to add under a suit jacket or sport coat, and by the 1990s had even replaced traditional business jackets in some areas. Today, they can be dressed up or down and are as versatile as any layering piece.

When Aran stitches were added to the mix, the cardigan's already-present cozy qualities were amplified. The luxurious feel of plush Irish wool combined with the heft and depth of the Aran knitting patterns proved to be a winning combination. People are still wearing them a hundred years later, after all! Today, women’s cardigans come in several styles and designs. ShamrockGift.com sells a wide range of Irish women’s cardigans that run the gamut of Aran knits and cardigan fits. We have buttoned cardigans, zippered cardigans, and shawl cardigans, as well as luxurious cardigan coats and cardigan buttoned wraps. We offer both flat front and pocket cardigans for extra detailing when you want it. The Aran detailing provides exquisite detail in cable knit, diamond knit, honeycomb knit, and other popular ladies Aran sweater designs to suit any taste. All our cardigans are designed in Ireland with the utmost care taken to authentically replicate the original designs of the Aran Island women more than a century ago. 

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    Traditional Women's Irish Cardigan

    The Beautiful Women’s Irish Cardigan comes with elegance, uniqueness and a cute feminine look. This cardigan is one of the most popular and favorite women Irish sweaters, especially during winter and fall. The popularity can be attributed to its...

    $128.90
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    Ladies Aran Patchwork Cardigan

    This unique take on the classic Aran sweater has become one of our biggest hits! Crafted from 100% soft Merino wool sourced directly from Irish sheep farms, the Aran Patchwork Cardigan is an absolute must have for anyone looking to perfect their fall and...

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    Ladies Classic Fit Long Cardigan with Hood

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    Ladies Wool Cardigan with Mock Turtleneck and Zipper

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    Chunky Irish Cable Irish Knit Hoody

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    Ladies Traditional Aran Cardigan

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    Cable Knit Side Zip Cardigan

    For this cold season, it is time to add a new and special garment to your wardrobe. This Cable Knit Side Zip Cardigan will stand out among your wool sweaters and cardigans thanks to its sleek and modern shawl collar. The design features various Aran...

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    Women's Hooded Aran Zipper Coat

    Immerse yourself in the timeless elegance of our Irish Cable Knit Merino Coat, a testament to both sustainable fashion and rich cultural heritage.This piece is crafted from 100% sustainable soft Merino Wool, a material that guarantees durability,...

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    Irish V Neck Shawl Women's Cardigan

    Our charming Merino wool cardigan is perfect for those who crave comfort and style! Made of 100% Merino wool, this cardigan is the ultimate wardrobe staple for all seasons. It is finely knit to provide a soft and breathable material that is gentle on the...

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    SAOL Merino Wool Aran Cable Biker Jacket

    This refined Merino Wool Aran Cable Biker Jacket from SAOL is knit from 100% Merino wool that has been prewashed to ensure the highest quality comfort and softness. The elegant knit patterns on the jacket are a modern blend of traditional cable knitting...

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    Cable Knit Wool Ladies Irish Button Cardigan

    A perfect addition to your winter wardrobe, our Cable Knit Wool Ladies Irish Button Cardigan was made in Ireland by leading knitwear producer Saol. The company takes traditional Irish sweater designs, translates them into contemporary styles, and...

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    Double Collar Zip Cardigan

    The Saol Double Collar Zip Cardigan for women is knit from 100% super soft Merino wool for a luxurious and breathable feel that you can wear anywhere, whether you’re working from home or popping out to the shop for a weekend errand. The full front...

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    Chunky Collar Buttoned Irish Aran Coat

    For as long as the Irish nation and people have existed, they have been known all over the world as creators of unique, beautiful goods whose influence spreads far beyond that tiny island on Europe’s western edge. Now, you can wear one of the...

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    Ladies Hooded Zipper Cardigan

    If you’re looking for an authentically Irish way to warm up, look no further than our Plaited Cable Zipper Cardigan. This gorgeous super soft cardigan has a thick collar and deep pockets for maximum heat retention, and also has a unique accent of a...

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    Irish Hooded Fern Women's Cardigan

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    Flare Cardigan with Diamond Pattern

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    Ladies Long Open Front Drape Cardigan

    Our soft and exquisite Merino Wool Cardigan is a must-have item suitable for any season. This sophisticated Aran cable cardigan is knitted from 100% merino wool that has been prewashed to ensure maximum comfort and softness. Additionally, this Merino...

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    Ladies Irish Zipper Wool Cardigan

    If you’re looking for a stylish, easy-to-wear Aran cardigan to keep you snug and warm through the chilly fall and winter months, then you are sure to fall in love with our Ladies Irish Zipper Wool Cardigan. Coming from the always beautiful, always...

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    Ladies Lumber Cardigan with Collar

    Looking for a beautiful timeless cardigan sweater to complete your collection? You will adore our Ladies Lumber Cardigan with Collar--it has all the classic features of a traditional Irish sweater, with so much coziness to love! Crafted in Ireland from...

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    SAOL Ladies Merino Wool Cable Aran Cardigan With Zipper

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    Supersoft Aran Wool Lumber Jacket Cardigan Sweater

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