• An Irish Aran Sweater Displayed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York!

    The Irish Aran sweater an instantly recognisable iconic style worthy of a place among the Museum of Modern Arts landmark fashion garments.

    The definition of a classic, in many ways, is how well something stands the test of time, and what meaning it acquires therewith. While the Irish Aran cable sweater has gone through a century of waxing and waning fortunes, today it stands included among 111 fashion garments selected for an upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) IN New York. The inclusion of an Aran among carefully selected iconic items that have defined fashion over the last century is a clear nod to the artisan craft of Irish knitwear.

    An array of style icons has been captured wearing the famous Irish wool Aran jumper at various points throughout the last century. Yet its the stories that people tell today that attest to the importance of this craft for generations throughout the years. Its the fact that our parents and grandparents have gone through college wearing an Aran hand-knitted by their grandmothers; the way we too would leave the house for college borrowing mum or dads Aran jumper; and, the memories of kissing our sweetheart for the first time - while wearing that oversized borrowed Aran sweater to the cinema date.

    Remember all the slagging you may have got for being dressed (by mum - against your will) in Irish sweaters when in school, erstwhile? There seems to be a million lightyears between those days of having to defend your cool against the odds - wearing a frumpy Aran sweater, and the sexiness of it all when considering that Grace Kelly could pull it off, never mind that it is about to go on display alongside the Birkin bag and a pair of Levis 501!

    I still claim to have brought the Aran cable sweater back from the dead all by myself, in the mid 2000s, when I was the only local kid on Trinity College Dublin campus sporting a garment that was otherwise considered by the Irish themselves albeit, for a brief period only as a piece of nostalgic touristy gimmicks. And who knows who copied whom this time around on fashions carousel of revivals, but one things for sure: that comeback was for good. There is today no better way to express character than to get your Aran knit on - the array of choice picks is astounding. Different Aran strokes for different folks, perhaps All of which - so long as its Aran stitches now instantly recognizable as part of that enchanting tale of the Aran sweater that the MoMA exhibition has set out to tell

    The Irish Aran Sweater Displayed

    Irish aran sweater New York

    A modern version of the Irish Aran Sweater

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  • Taking care of an Aran sweater: make it last for years!

    A good rule of thumb for washing your Irish Aran cable sweater is to go with the old-fashioned hand wash (the alternative is a visit to a well-reputed dry-cleaners). Though the thought may seem daunting there is nothing to it, if you follow these easy guidelines:

    1.Pre-soak the sweater in a basin of tepid water (at 30C/86F) with a little mild purpose detergent, such as Woolite, or, baby shampoo for a time ranging between a half an hour up to overnight.
    2.Gently rinse your sweater, bearing in mind that wool is quite heavy when wet thus, care needs to be taken not to pull it out of shape by dragging or wringing. Some spots may need to be rinsed a little more thoroughly (cuffs, neckline and the incidental stain), and can be tackled with a stain removing soap.
    3.After rinsing through a couple of times to wash off any residual suds, your Aran can be pressed out and towel-rolled (the blocking technique). This means that instead of wringing and pulling the saturated garment, you fold or roll it up into a shape that can be squeezed first, and, pressed while rolled up inside a towel second - to get rid of as much water as possible.
    4.The wet garment will still be too heavy to hang up at this point; instead, it will need to be laid out flat on a clothes rack and reshaped to its original dimensions. Wet wool moves readily, so dont be precious and give it a tug where some sleeve, or body length seems to have gone skimpy.
    5.The trick to a drying a wool sweater quickly is to position the clothes rack in spot where there is good circulation of air, and a source of ambient (never direct) heat.
    6.Goldilocks would do some final reshaping when the sweater is still slightly damp just right for stretching the wool panels back into their original proportions, without overdoing it.
    7.Remember, that stains can be spot-cleaned without doing the entire garment. Simply wet the area that needs attention, and gently rub some mild soap directly onto the stain then rinse out under tepid tap.

    All wool garments let go of odours as easily as they absorb them. Just hanging your Aran sweater up in a room that has good circulation of fresh air coming through it, can completely refresh it in a matter of hours.

    Finally, the battle with balls of fuzz on areas where your sweater is most heavily rubbed on - by handbags and other layers of clothing - need not be a nightmare. Every knit piece can be restored in your lap while you sit watching Netflix, if you have the right equipment to tackle pilling. To treat a chunkier knit piece: a battery-operated lint shaver comes in handy. The small rotating blades will cut off only the balls of fluff without damaging the yarn so that the stitches remain intact. It is always better to do regular de-fuzzing of your sweater than to let pilling spread and matt.

    Ive made a small ritual out of taking 5 minutes to go through the sleeves and around the hips of my sweaters after two or three days of wear, or, before replacing in the wardrobe - with the reward of having each in as brilliant a nick as ten years ago, in some cases!

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  • Our Brands bringing the best of Irish craft to you today

    Irish wool knitwear is most iconically represented by the Aran cable knit sweaters. Just think of Clancey brothers kitted out in bnine (Irish for white) wool jumpers. The Aran tradition derives from the West of Ireland, especially the Aran Islands, where traditional fishing communities would have made their clothing by combining stiches such as the cable, honeycomb, blackberry, moss and basket stitches, trellis, diamond, and the tree of life among the most widespread. This is the background of a relatively recently born and widely popularised fisherman sweater. A fascinating rise to fame and stylistic ingenuity has ensured, that Aran knitwear has not only survived into the 21st century, but has become one of the most inspirational lines of craft.

    Today, brands such as Carraig Donn, Original Aran Co., West End and Irelands Eye offer countless contemporary and classic versions of the Irish Aran sweater. From the traditional crew-neck pull-overs, to cardigans, coats, and tunics - every company has made their contribution to offering freshly up-dated and versatile styles. The creativity of our Irish knitwear makers combined with modern technology, and a keen eye for changing aesthetic vocabularies, produces a range of apparel that could not be dreamt of only a century ago. They fill our store with an array of garments that stand out - each with different and attractive neck-lines, cuts, and lengths.

    Another, every bit as Irish, tradition of the fisherman aran irish aran craftssweater is actually as different from the Aran cable and derives from the North of the West of Ireland, Co. Donegal. Many people think of tweeds in association with the said region, but, of course, the same wool coloured and spun into a rainbow of multi-tone yarns goes into the making of tweedy fisherman sweaters. It is said, that the colour combinations for Donegal yarns owe to close observation of the palette of nature, rendered with an artistic exaggeration - so to bring out the dreamiest, and most evocative of hues.

    Fisherman out of Ireland, Donegal Design, and Studio Donegal are notable for bringing the best of this side of Irish craft to our stores. As with the Arans, nowadays there is much more choice, including the diversification of materials used. Albeit, we still stick with only natural fibres there are sweaters made with the coarser Irish wool, soft Merino wool, and, even some cashmere blends. People often come back to the store looking to replace one of their Donegal fisherman sweaters after years of wear, because of how fondly they have worn them. There is an undeniable character to every so beautifully coloured garment as that. And, nature is a superb designer!

  • 4th of July & Irish Aran Cable knit Throws!

    Treat your loved ones this 4th of July with one of our luxurious Irish Aran throws in Merino wool! The story of the Aran tradition comes alive in the cables, diamonds, and moss patterns among an array of beautifully composed stitches that you can drape over your living room couch, your favourite chair, or the end of a bed or bring with you to the beach or to the park for your 4th of July picnic. Show off your Irish roots in an authentic Irish Aran cable knit throw. We have a range of colours in two tone compositions besides the classic creamy Aran white soft lime green, fuchsia, and black/charcoal. There is nothing like the play of pattern to lend any room a sense of cosy comfort, while you sip on a cup of tea, read a novel or doze off with the hum of a tv series in the background Beautiful, soft, and warm these throws are to be shared and enjoyed for years, so gift yourself a quality Aran throw and have a great 4th of July!

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  • Light weight Irish Aran Sweaters for Summer

    The Irish Aran Cable knit Sweater is no longer necessarily a heavy layer for the depths of winter: we have been adding fantastic light-weight knitwear to that tradition for a while now. Not only can a lighter Aran be worn during the warmer seasons fabrics in soft Merino wool and cashmere are finer, so the stiches and finish appear elegant, dainty, and offer more versatility and ways to wear them than ever before. Our range of light Aran sweaters and cardigans offers the ladies some truly fun, smart, and feminine styles in fresh pastel colours, or, in deeper shades to cover all seasons. The guys have some great numbers to choose from also! Not mention the chic unisex option women have with these cabled jumpers should they so desire

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    A light cabled Aran sweater is doubtless quite a statement in the summer - when hot days in tees and dresses run into cooler nights at a concert, or on a late holiday stroll through bustling fairy-lit city streets. Carefree and ready to embrace all that summer has to offer - are words that best describe the attitude for which we have created some beautiful pieces: as easy to throw on over a pair of jeans, a jumpsuit, or the beach dress.
    Choosing a thinner layer in soft wool and cashmere is quite the mark of a savvy dresser, for it is perhaps the best kept secret that natural fabrics - like wool and cotton - are far more breathable than synthetics. Natural fibres make for smart fabrics - they dissipate excess heat and moisture. So, believe me when I say, dancing through an entire gig with one of these sweaters on, just as running around the block with errands on a sunny summers day is not only doable, but quite cool

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  • Our 6th Store is now open in Plunkett Street in Killarney

    Our 6th Store is now open in Plunkett Street in Killarney

    Last November, we took a trip down to Killarney and viewed a few premises with the view to opening a new store in Ireland. We looked at many spots and finally decided to go with a unit on Plunkett Street, Co. Killarney.
    Killarney is such a fun vibrant town that we thought our brand would fit in well there. We decided to open a store that would be a little different to our others. This is our 6th shop in Ireland and all of our other stores have a large range of Irish Aran sweaters, cardigans and accessories, so we thought we would add cashmere to the mix in Killarney as well as stocking a selected range of our most popular Irish sweaters and also our new range of luxurious cashmere sweaters for men and women. The cashmere that we have sourced is the utmost best quality and comes from the under belly of the goat so makes the garment feel extra soft! We also stock extra fine merino wool garments there for the customer who likes light weight sweaters but want quality at the same time. The Merino wool in these lightweight garment is made of a special yarn called Zegna Baruffa so it will not pill.

    We also have a large selection of Irish Throws, scarves, gloves, socks, hats, raincoats in the store. When we are abroad, we always found it hard to shop with the luggage restriction so we have now started free shipping over 100 euro to USA and Canada in all our stores and free shipping on any Irish throws purchased ( aswell as tax taken off on the spot, makes for a really good deal!) The shop in Killarney is also open much late than our other stores, opening at 9.30 until 10.pm that evening to allow customers to browse in the morning before their tour and then shop in the evening. All of staff in any of our shops are more than happy to help you pick a present for your family back home or to advise you on colours or to just giver you a little local advice about the area. So if your in Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny or Kilalrney this summer, please do pop in and say hello - we would love to meet you!

    Killarney Store - 27 Plunkett Street

    The Sweater Shop Killarney

    Dublin Store - 30 Nassau Street

    Sweater shop front

    Galway Store - 3 Lower Abbey Gate Street

    The Sweater Shop Galway

    Kilkenny Store - 81 High Street

    The Sweater Shop Kilkenny

  • Irish Aran Sweater of the Month: Irish Cable Knit Side Zip Cardigan

    Irish Aran Sweater of the Month : Irish Cable Knit Side Zip Cardigan
    The Irish wool Aran cardigan of the month has to be the new cable knit side zip womens cardigan - available in three attractive and versatile colours. This classic look is an update of the time-tested, chic style we already know in its earlier incarnations as the aviator, or the biker jacket. What makes it so fresh - is the change of material from the rather heavy and somewhat common leathers, to expertly woven soft merino wool. With the luxury of a light and breathable merino fabric every stich cable, honeycomb, trellis, and moss becomes an elegant and sleek detail that gives the garment a rich, yet effortless appeal.
    Two side-slit pockets bring this contemporary zipper cardigan well into the territory of confident casual attitude (and, so handy for that credit card!). Not only that, but its clever tailoring - to fit neatly on the shoulders, slim sleeves, and a flattering just-bellow-the-belt mid-hip hemline creates a slender and defined visual. This jacket is a certain companion for your good skinny jeans, a dreamy floral dress, or that layered leggings and a long top vibe. Dont be shy to go casual day through to glam night: by kicking off the runner shoe for strappy high-heeled sandals, while sporting ankle grazer pants and a cami top.
    Open or zipped over, the side zip Irish Aran cardigan offers plenty of ways to style the neckline. Though its defined, slightly off-side finish is a beautiful occasion for minimalism (tie the scarf to your handbag instead, and ooze eclectic bohemian charm!). As for the colours natural white, oatmeal beige, or marled hunter green there is something for every complexion and hair colour. Natural tones are a blank canvas; and, with stitches as neat and refined there is little need for further ornament (perhaps, some daring contrast with bright lipstick).

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    Irish Aran Sweater Green Irish Aran Side Zip Cardigan
  • Interesting Facts about Aran Sweaters

    https://www.sweatershop.com/womens

    1. The patterns on Irish sweaters are based on Irish Tradition each stitch represents a different meaning and symbolizes something of importance. There are many different stitches with meanings behind them for example the honeycomb stitch represents the bee which is also a sign of a hard worker (a busy bee). The diamond stitch represents wealth, the moss stitch is said to mean growth and is often used with the diamond stitch. The tree of life stitch symbolises the rite of passage and the importance of family. The infamous cable stitch is the most common stitch seen on Aran sweaters and that represents fisherman ropes.
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    A myth about the Aran sweater is that the stitches are linked to family names the legend has it that each stitch represents a family second name so that is the fisherman was lost at sea the family would be able to identify the body by the stitch on the sweater although an interesting store, it has not been proven at a fact!

    2. Origin of the Aran Sweater

    The beloved Aran sweater originated in the Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland around the 1950s women hand made their fisherman husbands Irish sweaters to keep them warm at sea, they also sold them on the island to make a living. Irish sweaters used to be water proof so they were the perfect garment for the man to wear at sea. The sweater was made with unscored wool that kept its natural oil in it, making it water resistant! The majority of men on the islands were fisherman or farmers so these fisherman sweaters were extremely popular. Handknitting an Irish sweater took between 3 to 6 weeks to complete so the women on the islands were kept busy at work knitting.
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    3. Clancy Brothers and Aran Sweaters!

    The made Aran sweaters cool in the States and brought it back to life in Ireland!! The Irish folk band were over in USA touring when a particularly cold spell hit New York. The Clancy Brothers mum send them over Aran Sweaters that they wore live on the Ed Sullivan Show this gave fisherman sweaters a big boost in popularity! They were famed for wearing the infamous Irish sweater each time they performed making it their trademark!
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    4. Aran Sweaters have evolved

    In the past, all aran sweaters were made with Irish wool which comes from sheep in Ireland. Nowadays most Irish sweaters are knit with Merino wool from New Zealand as it is softer to wear and wears better. Merino wool stays warm in winter and cool in summer, making it the ideal wool for an Aran Sweater.
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  • Meet the Family: The Story Behind The Sweater Shop Family

    Our story began in 1986 when our Dad (Dom) set up his first Sweater Shop in Wicklow Street in Dublin, together with our aunt Breege. With 3 young children at home, he decided to set up his own company and put his knitwear knowledge to good use. 10 years prior to this, he had worked for Gaeltarra knitwear - An Irish Wholesaler who specialised in selling Irish Sweaters to the American Market. His job entailed travelling back and forth to the States selling Irish Aran Sweaters to American customers. Dom noticed that there were quite a few speciality shops in America and at the time, Ireland had none. He decided to open up a store specialising in Irish Sweaters with a big focus on Irish Aran Sweaters. The first store was a big hit with locals and tourists and gained media attention for the quality and prices of the sweaters sold.

    Dom, Breege and our mum (Joan) worked in the shop on Wicklow Street and learnt what customers were interested in - they saw a growing demand for cable knit Irish sweaters so worked together to develop a range of authentic Irish sweaters that would suit both local and tourists visiting the shop. They soon decided to open up more stores throughout the country. Keeping the business in the family, they set up two stores in Galway in the early 1990s and our cousin Alva, runs these to this day.

    The Sweater Shop continued to expand - with 5 shops around Ireland and a busy website - and now the second generation - Doms daughter Laura, Daughter in law Kate and son Paul have taken over the daily running of the stores and the managing of the website, while Dom still over sees the business.

    We all worked in the store on summer breaks in school and then in college so needless to say, we grew up living and breathing aran sweaters! We have a group of amazing staff, some who have been with us since the beginning and are like extended family. We pride ourselves in being experts in Irish Aran Sweaters and all things Cable knit! If you are in and around Dublin, Galway or Kilkenny, make sure to pop in and we will be sure to give you advice on what to do in the city and show you our range of Aran Sweaters!

    Last year, we celebrated our 30 years in Business milestone. We are incredibly proud that the business has come this far and look forward to another 30 years as an Irish family run business!

    Go raibh mile maith agat,
    The Sweater Shop Family

  • Different Types of Wool in our Aran Sweaters

    As you know, we are wool fanatics at the Sweater Shop. All of Aran sweaters are made of wool, however the type of wool varies from sweater to sweater. Do you know the difference in the types of wool? We are going to describe some of our favourite types of wool and an example of a sweater we stock in that wool to give you a better understanding of the wool used in our Aran sweaters.

    Wool is the fibre that grows on the body of an animal e.g a sheep or a goat etc. It replenishes itself each time a coat is taken off and continues to grow back throughout the animal's life.

    1. Irish Wool - This is wool that is taken from an Irish sheep. It can be corse and some find this type of wool in their Aran sweater itchy to wear. Aran Sweaters were knitted using unscoured wool that kept its natural oils which made the sweaters water-resistant and meant they remained wearable even in wet weather. However, today most Aran Sweaters are knit with a softer wool of Merino wool in natural colour as well as a variety of other colours. Brighter Aran Sweaters are very popular in recent years.

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    www.sweatershop.com/catalogsearch/result/

    2. Merino Wool - Merino wool comes from the Merino Sheep in New Zealand and is one of the world's toughest breeds of sheep. There are many benefits of merino wool that has seen it become the most popular yarn used in Aran sweaters. One of the great benefits is that it is built for extreme weather conditions, it is so warm and insulating in the winter yet it can be worn in the summer as it is breathable too, making an Aran sweater the perfect all year-round garment! Merino wool is known for its softness and how cosy it is to wear. Merino fibres are really fine making it way softer than traditional wool such as Irish wool which can be coarse to wear. Merino wool makes a sweater feel luxurious and so soft to wear. Merino wool is also elastic, meaning the more you wear your aran sweater made of merino wool, the more it will stretch with your body shape, however it will then return to its original shape. Merino can absorb moisture vapour which means less odour on your sweater too.

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    www.sweatershop.com/womens/irish-aran-cardigan

    3. Merino wool and cashmere blend - lately we have seen an increase in customers who want the soft feel of cashmere but at a fraction of the price. Therefore, we have introduced a range of Aran Cable knit sweaters in soft Merino wool/ cashmere yarns mixed together. This is the next best thing to a 100% cashmere sweater. This Aran sweater will last a life time and will keep you snug and stylish at the same time. The Aran sweaters we have introduced have a high percentage of merino mixed with cashmere- i.e 10% cashmere and 90% Merino or 5% Cashmere and 85% merino - This is so the sweater lasts longer and washes better. It also helps to keep the price of the Aran sweater much more reasonable than if the percentage of cashmere was higher.

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    www.sweatershop.com/womens/wool-cashmere-cable-knit-sweater-new

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    www.sweatershop.com/womens/wool-cashmere-cable-knit-sweater

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    www.sweatershop.com/irish-sweater

    All our Aran sweaters are made with care with carefully selected yarns to make that sweater the best it can be and most suitable to our customer's needs.

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