An intricately cabled sweater is as Irish as shamrocks, Saint Patrick, and pints of the black stuff. Pay homage to this tradition with a modern take on the classic design with our Merino Wool Ladies Open Front Irish Cardigan from Saol, a leading producer of Irish knits putting a contemporary spin on historic patterns.
The cabled sweater is actually not as ancient as many other parts of Irish culture—they began to be produced in the late 19th century on the Aran Islands, where the fisherman needed sturdy garments to protect them from the elements. Originally, the garments were made with local sheep’s wool, which contained lanolin, a natural substance that made the oily yarn repel water. Knitters added large cables and detailed patterns to the sweaters to add weight, and thus, warmth. Though they were beautiful, they were crafted for function, not form, and they were often very itchy. Today, no fisherman faces the dangers of the Atlantic Ocean without Gore-Tex, and Aran-style sweaters have become a fashionable and cozy way to stay warm all winter while honoring Irish design.
Our open-front knit cardigan is knit from 100% Merino wool, which is pre-washed for softness, giving it the luxurious warmth with none of the itchiness of the original sweaters from 100 years ago. Available in lovely light grey or in navy, this long, drapey cardigan is an elegant piece to layer over a blouse or even to wear as a light jacket on milder winter days. Delicate cable patterns decorate the body and sleeves, offset by a simply knit open shawl collar. Two front patch pockets offer warmth for chilly hands. The Irish wool sweater hits most wearers at midthigh. Because it is 100% wool, hand wash only in lukewarm water, using your preferred mild detergent. Gently reshape and dry flat.