In the 1950s on the Aran Islands, many men were fishermen by trade and, out of a need to fight the cold and tough conditions of the sea, the women handmade their husband's Aran sweaters to keep them warm, hence the name fisherman sweater we're all familiar with today.
The Irish fisherman sweater is a style essential born out of utility rather than fashion. The rich, rugged texture and rich Irish history give it a look that is not matched by any other piece in your wardrobe.
The sweater is called a fisherman's sweater because it was originally designed as a cold-weather garment for fishermen. Today, however, they are popular among anyone who wants to stay warm and stylish at the same time.
Every village had its own unique recognisable pattern, which was passed on from generation to generation. We have brought these nostalgic knitting patterns back to life.
What exactly is it made of?
The original Aran sweaters were made from 100 % virgin wool, which is what gave them the traditional cream colour and waterproof feature. The natural protective wool coating that sheep produce is Lanolin. With modern production, all the Lanolin has been removed from the wool by the time it reaches the shop floor.
These sweaters are made from unscolored wool which retains its natural lanolin, meaning it resists mildew and water. It was made perfectly for the harsh conditions of the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean and has a much different texture than merino or pure wool knitted today.
The name "fisherman's sweater" likely originated from the fishing industry. Fishermen often wear these sweaters while they are fishing in cold weather conditions. The sweaters help to keep them warm and protect them from the elements.
Today, fisherman's sweaters are also worn by people who work in other cold-weather industries, such as construction workers and hunters. They are a popular winter clothing item because they are lightweight and versatile.
Why did it originate in the Aran Islands?
Back in the 1950s on the Aran Islands, many of the men were fishermen by trade and, out of necessity to combat the cold and tough conditions of the sea, the women handmade their husbands Aran sweaters to keep them warm, hence the name fisherman sweaters we're all familiar with today.
Where can I buy a fisherman's sweater?
Most fisherman's sweaters are available to buy online or in our stores with some of the finest quality garments you'll find for sale anywhere.
What does a fisherman's sweater feel like?
The fibres of the wool don't irritate the skin and in return, they don't cause the itchy and uncomfortable feeling. Although more comfortable than other types of wool, lanolin wool still maintains the natural benefits of wool, such as antibacterial properties and water resistance.
How to properly wash a Fisherman's sweater?
Properly maintaining your Aran sweater can ensure it lasts many years. Before machine-washing your sweater, pre-soak it in warm water with a mild detergent for 30 minutes up to overnight. Don’t use hot or cold water and never wring the item as this can affect its shape. Machine-washing will also cause the wool content to shrink, so don’t expose your sweater to these conditions.