What to know about the Aran jumper’s origins

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You are probably already very familiar with the traditional Aran sweater and may even own a jumper or cardigan in this distinctive style. Featuring bold cables and attractive detailed stitches, womens and mens Aran sweaters come in a wonderful array of designs. Yet you may be less aware of the origins of this wardrobe classic.
A Timeless Style

Indeed, if you are looking for knitwear that will always make the right statement, mens Aran sweaters make an excellent choice. The good looks and timeless appeal of this style of knitwear have even been recognised by Hollywood, as described here.

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From modern-day stars such as Chris Evans and Taylor Swift to historical icons such as Marilyn Monroe, the Aran jumper has long been a favourite way to keep warm whilst looking good. You can find your own at a specialist site such as https://shoparan.com/mens-aran-sweaters/.

A Humble Origin

Yet the history of the Aran sweater has far humbler beginnings and draws on the history of the similar Gansey-style sweater. These attractive designs, borne of the Channel Islands, were developed to protect seafarers from the elements and featured meaningful stitch patterns. The first Gansey sweaters were produced as far back as the 15th Century, and the key elements of these garments offered a number of important benefits.

Knit “in the round” (rather than in flat pieces which would later be sewn together), the jumpers eliminated chilly draughts. They also had a divided hem and underarm gussets to ensure wearers had a great range of movement, which was essential for working. Crafted in sheep’s wool that naturally repels moisture, they have tightly fitting cuffs to further prevent the wearer from getting wet. These quality sweaters were built to last, knit by wives and mothers, with jumpers often being handed down through the generations.

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Travellers and traders brought the Gansey to the attention of knitters in other parts. The Aran Islands took this hard-working sweater and truly made it their own, adding the distinctive and intricate cable motifs that are so loved to this day.

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