Photo by Muffy Aldrich
The Modern Guide to The Thing Before Preppy

Friday, August 23, 2019

The Handknit Aran Sweater

Photo by Salt Water New England
The traditional Aran Sweater (Irish Fisherman's Sweater) is thick, warm, soft, versatile, and always good looking.

100% knitted by hand in Ireland (with knitting needles and 100% non-itchy merino wool), these classic garments have that unique drape with patterns that look almost chiseled in.  These are the most substantial of sweaters, very warm, very comfortable, and not as prone to the bagging found in machine made versions.

However, Aran sweaters that are authentically and locally hand-knit are increasingly rare as they are so labor intensive; each sweater takes between forty and fifty hours to knit.  They typically cost over $350 if bought from the source, and even so, increasingly use labor that has been imported for such tasks.

Other Arans may be machine knit, or some combination of machine and hand knit.

This sweater was handknit by the ladies of Ireland's County Donegal and provided by Blarney Woollen Mills 3 years ago, but is no longer offered. 


  1. A timeless classic! Thank you.

  2. I've heard about a brand called Ó’Maille, the claim that their sweaters are 100% hand-knitted, that they work with a handful of old ladies that they pay to make a sweater whenever a order comes in, even expressing that it takes weeks for a sweater to be ready before they ship. From what I gathered however, there is little much else said about them except a few rumbles on Put This On that doesn't say much. I plan to have something made by them eventually, my other concern is finding a Lopi sweater that was made in Iceland. Sadly, most of the Lopi sweaters available online are made in China now, it is actually causing issue with the knitters on the island who are seeking trade name protections from the government, something akin to Harris Tweed.


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