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Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater

Price: $139.00

Item#:1072555

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Color:   Natural

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Size: M L XL XXL   Size Chart Please select a size

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For hundreds of years, women in the rural villages of the Aran Islands off the western coast of Ireland have knit natural wool sweaters for their fisherman kin. At weekly gatherings, they examined each other's work and continually invented intricate new stitches. Each of the stitches in this generously sized, traditional Aran sweater represents a facet of fishing culture: the honeycomb stitch for hard work, the cable stitch for safety on the waters, and the basket weave as a wish for a plentiful catch.

Made in Ireland. 100% merino wool. Men’s sizes M (38-40), L (42-44), XL (46-48), XXL (50-52).

Hand-wash or dry clean.

The thick-knit, cream-colored sweater that we often associate with fishermen has its origins on the Aran Islands at the mouth of Galway Bay in western Ireland. Enterprising women on the islands began knitting the sweaters in the early 1900s, using untreated, lanolin-rich wool. The goal was not only to provide a heavy and water-resistant garment to keep their families warm in Galway Bay's rough weather, but also to supplement the island's fishing economy by making a craft that could be sold year-round and utilized traditional skills and patterns. Journalist and Irish culture activist Pádraig Augustine Ó Síocháin helped make the Aran sweaters especially popular in the mid-20th century by organizing the export of hand-knit sweaters to other countries.


There is a myth that families each have their own patters of stitches, and that a drowned fisherman could be recognized by the designs on his sweater, much like a Scottish clan tartan. While it's true that certain stitches have come to take on symbolic meanings, the diversity of patterns is more accurately attributed to the creative group of artisans who started making the sweaters. Always eager to show off new ideas, creative knitters developed new patterns and taught them to their friends, who added their own twists and passed the pattern along again.


Today, folks on the islands and visitors from around the world often choose sweaters based on the symbolism that the different intricate stitches have taken on. Just some of the patterns found include:

  • Cable stitches represent fishing ropes and therefore the tools of a hard worker and safety on the water.
  • Braided cable stitches evoke the strength of close family ties.
  • Moss stitches represent abundance in nature.
  • Diamond stitches mimic the shape of fishing nets mesh, the key to success on the Arans.
  • Basket stitch represents a plentiful catch.
  • Honeycomb stitches represent the hard work of the honeybee and the rewards of an industrious life.
  • Trinity stitches are traditional Celtic motifs and signify cultural pride.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater
 
4.5

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Warm (7)
  • Comfortable (6)
  • High quality (5)
  • Stylish (4)
  • Breathable (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Casual wear (5)
    • Everyday (3)
      • Chest Size:
      • Feels too small

         

        Feels true to size

         

        60% 

        (3 reviews)

        Feels too big

         
      • Length:
      • Feels too short

         

        Feels true to length

         

        80% 

        (4 reviews)

        Feels too long

         
      • Sleeve Length:
      • Feels too short

         

        Feels true to length

         

        80% 

        (4 reviews)

        Feels too long

         
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Comfort-oriented (5), Classic style (4)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes (5)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-8

    Back to top

     
    5.0

    I would buy this sweater again

    By Roberta

    from Perth Australia

    About Me Stylish

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Comfortable
    • Warm

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Casual Wear

      Comments about Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater:

      The sweater was a size to small for me ,I have returned the sweater and I am looking forward to getting the replacement.

      • Chest Size:
      • Feels too small
      • Length:
      • Feels true to length
      • Sleeve Length:
      • Feels true to length
      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes
       
      4.0

      Beautiful Irish Knit

      By Carolek

      from Virginia

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable
      • It fits
      • Stylish
      • Warm

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater:

          This sweater is as nice as it looked on the website. I'm very happy with my first purchase from Nat Geo.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Can you have more color choices?

          By Olga

          from Los Angeles, CA

          Verified Reviewer

          Comments about Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater:

          Can you get more color choices? It wood be very good in grey, charcoal and oatmeal.White is nice, but not practical.I'd like to buy it as a present, but not white. I prefer grey or oatmeal. Will you have it any time soon?

           
          5.0

          will buy another when available

          By ABT

          from Arlington VA

          About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, High-end shopper

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Breathable
          • Comfortable
          • High Quality
          • Stylish
          • Warm

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Casual Wear

            Comments about Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater:

            fits well, comfortable, waiting for other colors to be restocked so I can buy another.

            • Chest Size:
            • Feels true to size
            • Length:
            • Feels true to length
            • Sleeve Length:
            • Feels true to length
            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Very warm

            By Swvanden

            from Sellersburg, IN

            About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Practical

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Breathable
            • Comfortable
            • High Quality
            • Stylish
            • Versatile
            • Warm

            Cons

            • Washes Poorly

            Best Uses

            • Casual Wear
            • Everyday
            • Travel

            Comments about Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater:

            I had this type of sweater before: the problem is I a big man...I need a size XXL.

            This size is available for women, but not for men. Why is this a problem?

            • Chest Size:
            • Feels too small
            • Length:
            • Feels too short
            • Sleeve Length:
            • Feels too short
            • Was this a gift?:
            • Yes
             
            5.0

            Fantastic Sweater

            By Karen

            from Newberg, Oregon

            About Me Comfort-oriented

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Breathable
            • Comfortable
            • High Quality
            • Stylish
            • Versatile
            • Warm

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Casual Wear
              • Everyday
              • Travel

              Comments about Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater:

              I love it. I've received many compliments while wearing it.

              (I didn't check washes well above, but that is only because it is so new it hasn't been washed yet. )

              • Chest Size:
              • Feels true to size
              • Length:
              • Feels true to length
              • Sleeve Length:
              • Feels true to length
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              This is a lovely sweater.

              By foodie

              from Cleveland, OH.

              About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented

              Pros

              • Comfortable
              • High Quality
              • Warm
              • WELL MADE

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Casual Wear
                • Everyday

                Comments about Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater:

                Nice for cold weather in Cleveland.

                • Chest Size:
                • Feels true to size
                • Length:
                • Feels true to length
                • Sleeve Length:
                • Feels true to length
                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Beautiful Sweater

                By Thinker0757

                from Austin, TX

                About Me Classic, Comfort-oriented, Stylish

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • High Quality
                • Warm

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Men's Traditional Irish Aran Sweater:

                    This sweater was beautiful, but I was very upset that it went on sale for half price after I bought it! Nonetheless, I'm sure my boyfriend will love this sweater when he opens it Christmas day.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • Yes

                    Displaying reviews 1-8

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