In the early 1980s, The owner, Dom Byrne was working for Gaeltarra knitwear, selling Irish Aran sweaters in the States, when he noticed a gap in the Irish market for a speciality sweater store. Speciality clothing shops were unusual at the time in the country so The Sweater Shop was the first of its kind to open in Ireland. Originally targeting the domestic market with a large variety of sweaters, all made in a natural fibre, mainly from lambswool, angora, mohair, cottons or chunky wool, the shop on Wicklow Street, became a favourite among locals for their winter woollies. Shortly after this, The Sweater Shop opened branches in Kilkenny and Galway.
Knitwear will always be an important part of Irish style. One of Dublins much loved stores The Sweater Shop on Nassau Street has gained a reputation for traditional and contemporary knitwear, cashmere and fine merino wool separates and accessories to suit men and women of all ages is celebrating 30 years in business this year.
Knitwear has changed considerably since The Sweater Shop opened in 1986, with the early 1990s seeing novelty, fun bobble sweaters with graphics in mainly mohair, angora or lambswool, taking a front seat then slowly shifting to a more sophisticated look with Chenille plain tunics and crew necks becoming popular. Aran sweaters remained a staple in the shops throughout the years and a constant favourite among the tourist visitors. The popularity of our beloved Aran sweater has seen peaks and troughs in the fashion industry with the 1990s seeing the Aran sweater as frumpy and old fashioned however one of the most en vogue knitwear pieces of the season in noughties! Merino wool and Cashmere blends are now the yarn of choice for customers - Merino wool, coming from New Zealand, is a constant favourite as it is softer than pure wool and keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer so is the perfect all year round garment. Cashmere is the softest and most luxurious yarn coming from the under belly of a goat, giving off the incredibly soft feel, however 100% Cashmere is expensive to buy so a blend ie. 90% Merino, 10% Cashmere gives the soft touch of cashmere but for half the price.
The knits of today are getting lighter, softer and have more flow so designs and wools are changing to suit climates and consumer tastes. Cashmere and wool blends mixes have seen a big revival. Colour tones are really making an impact on Autumn/Winter 16 knitwear trends. Along with anchoring earth tones and rich creams, exuberant pops of vibrant colours - blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Greys give a feeling of stability, red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot pinkish purples and spicy mustard yellows suggest a touch of the exotic. From traditional cable knits, to fine wools to ponchos and capes The Sweater Shop will have a style to suit you and your budget.
The Sweater Shop is in three locations in Ireland - Dublin, Nassau Street, Kilkenny, Highstreet and Galway, Abbeygate Street. Nassau Street is the flagship store they have just redeveloped their website and ship internationally on <a href="http://www.sweatershop.com/">www.sweatershop.com</a>