Since the 1900s, women on the Aran Islands off the western coast of Ireland have knit wool sweaters for their fisherman kin. Every knitter has her own special patterns, passed down through generations. This charcoal vest is a traditional layering piece, featuring classic cable stitches and resin buttons.
Made in Ireland. 100% merino wool with resin buttons. Men’s sizes M (38-40), L (42–44), XL (46–48).
Since they first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, the textured wool sweaters of the Aran Islands have become “as tenacious an international symbol of Ireland as the harp and Shamrock,” writes historian Dierdre McQuillan. Women on these small, craggy islands in the mouth of Galway Bay had always made clothing by hand, but it wasn’t until the home crafts movement at the end of the 19th century that this practical skill blossomed into an iconic design known around the world. Then as now, the sale of handcrafts was encouraged as a way to continue local traditions and bring extra income into poor farming and fishing communities. Knitters from Donegal, the Channel Islands, and even emigrants returning from America traded techniques, and sweater patterns became more complicated as local women worked together to master new stitches.
National Geographic first commented on the sweaters in a 1931 article, referring to “the blue jersey of the fisherman.” Eventually white became the most popular color for Aran sweaters, and many children on the islands wore a design made just for them for their first holy communion. Early efforts at exporting sweaters through nearby Galway were a challenge until the craftswomen got the hang of standardized sizes rather than knitting for the way their family members were built.
Today, from tourist shops to fashion shows, one can find sweaters based on stitches that were invented by grandmothers and great-grandmothers only a couple of generations ago: cables, diamonds, blackberry stitch, crooked road, half-eights, bird’s eye, honeycomb, and many more. As they say on the islands, Go máire tú is go gcaithe théMay you live and wear it well.
This item came on time. It is the perfect classical sweater vest for my father. craftsmanship was excellent and he is really please about having a button down instead of one you pull on over the head. I recommend it highly.
Was this a gift?:
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
The vest is beautifully made but if you are expecting a XXL to be large enough then it won't be with this vest. It is more a Large size than XXL. Well,,, guess my fat but's gotta start running LOL! An inspiration to lose the extra pounds by next winter, fall.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend