Aran jumpers have been making the rounds in winter fashion for a few years now. Also known as cable knit, the jumpers originate from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland and date back to the 17th century. Even today they are typically associated with Irish children’s clothing, being practical and easy for mothers to knit.
Today, the style fits a long running trend of chunky knitted jumpers as we do our best to embrace the bitter British winter weather, but originally Arans were designed for fishermen and farmers, not only for practicality against the elements, but to indicate different clans and traditions amongst the Aran Island natives. The knitting patterns which are still evident today once resembled different
families as well as well as superstitions, with different patterns meaning different things for the labourers harvest. These symbols have lost their significance, and very few people would be able to recall the meanings on modern-made jumpers, but the timeless style has probably become more popular amongst women than men, as the versatile sweaters are available in all colours and go with pretty much any outfit.
In the ‘50s and ‘60s, Sybil Connolly drew inspiration from Aran knitting patterns, with her designs ending up in Vogue and being worn by the likes of Jackie O, and Marie Claire France have published a book of traditional Irish knitting patterns. From then on, this old Irish tradition sprung into the mainstream fashion spotlight. Alexa Chung has even released a chunky Aran knit as part of her range with Madewell.
For vintage lovers today, classic Aran jumpers are available in all shapes and sizes, perfect for wear as a warm wooly jumper to a knitted dress with tights or leggings. Check out the range for both guys and girls at Nordic Poetry, and add some cosy knits to your winter wardrobe.