No better time to show your loved ones how much you care than the holiday season. Caring, they say, is giving. So when thinking of the perfect holiday gift, consider one with expressive meaning to Ireland’s traditions and other appeals. Though buying clothes may not be the obvious choice for your friends and family, you can’t go wrong with the classic Aran sweater. Commonly hand-knitted with soft Merino wool, the sweater continues to stay fashionable to different generations of Irish. Whether for men, women or even babies, a winter garment steeped in Irish culture makes for a memorable gift. To take the stress out of your holiday shopping, here is everything you need to know when buying Aran sweaters for someone.
Hand knitted, Hand-Loomed or Machine knitted?
Originally, Aran sweaters were worn by fishermen and farmers on Aran Island off the coast of Ireland to keep wild Atlantic weather away. The islanders’ knitting and stitching methods were passed down through generations. So when you buy hand-knitted Aran sweaters for friends and family during the holiday period, you give them a proper winter garment with Ireland’s proud heritage and tradition. Generally, machine-knitted Aran sweaters come out less detailed compared to hand-knit. However, they are much more affordable as they are produced from soft merino wool and are mostly 100% by automatic machines. Still, you’ll generally find automatic machine knits more fashionable than other production methods. Also, you can get a wide range of styles and colors to choose from based on the preference of the gift receivers.
Right in between the modern and old methods is l the hand-loomed method. In terms of appearance, hand-loomed Aran sweaters look similar to machine knitting. The reason is not far-fetched. The sweater is produced on a single-operator machine. Though not as tightly knitted as the traditional sweater, the operator manually adjusts the stitching pattern between the rows. As a result, it is closer to hand knits and a bit more affordable.
Things to look for when buying Aran Sweaters
Different colors complement different skin and hair colors. Ensure to put that into consideration when choosing the perfect Aran sweaters for your loved ones. One with bold and vibrant shades may be ideal if they have a cool and warm tone. Generally, men prefer foundational colors like White, Cream, Blue, Brown, Grey and Green. You may consider the versatility of the receiver’s wardrobe before settling on the final color choice for the Aran sweater gift.
Types and quality of the material should probably be top of what to consider before buying a sweater for someone. Originally, Aran sweaters were made to protect against harsh cold weather, and heavier yarns were used. When it comes to Aran Sweater materials these days, merino wool is the standard. It does its primary job of providing warmth while giving a luxurious feel. Manufacturers sometimes blend merino wool with cashmere to provide extra softness and heat retention.
Like the quality, the Irish sweaters come in varieties of styles. When you shop for an Aran sweater gift at the right place or site, you are sure to find styles that will appeal to the fashion sense of everyone on your gift list. Whether V-neck, high neck, turtle neck, roll neck, zip neck, troyer, half zip or crew neck, they combine perfectly with pants, jeans or skirts for a stylish and trendy appearance. If the merino wool is blended with soft cashmere, it gives the impression of luxury. So, In addition to the softness and warmth, buying Aran sweaters for your loved ones will have them looking sophisticated during the festive season.
- Vintage Partnering
Partnering makes Aran sweaters iconic. It is said that every Aran family, who were fishermen, had unique stitches passed down through generations. These matching stitches were carefully constructed, taking days to complete a single sweater. That’s no more the case, with machines getting it done in no time. Though the stitches now tell no tale beyond fashion, you can still be intentional when buying Aran sweaters as a holiday gift. Popular styles in the market include: Cable Stitch, Diamond Stitch, Zig-zag stitch, Honeycomb, Trellis, Chevron pattern and Irish Moss.
Aran Sweater pick for men
Picking an Aran sweater as a gift for men or boys can be tasking. However, if the one in your life loves the classic look, the adaptable crew neck collar sweater never goes out of style again. It makes a beautiful holiday gift with a cable pattern and honeycomb design. A similar option that can give men that trendy outlook is the half Zip Neck Fisherman Sweater, sometimes called a ‘troyer‘, preferably with a diamond and cable pattern.
Aran Sweater gift pick for the ladies
With the avalanche of gorgeous Aran cardigans in the market, you can rarely go wrong buying Aran cardigans for a lady. Our top choice is a crew neck with a braided cable design. The garment may come with a drop-down button, which can be undone at the top, for fitted apparel that highlights the feminine figures.
Aran Wool accessories
Along with sweaters, you can buy accessories made from the same material to retain heat in certain body parts. For men, you can opt for an Aran wool knit scarf, Aran hat, Irish flat cap, Aran Socks, and even cozy slippers. Likewise, most Aran markets and stores have lady accessories like Lady’s Lambs wool Shawl, Scarf, flapper hats, gloves and so on.
Irish Christmas gifts to consider for Americans
The holiday period may be a great time to appreciate your friends in other parts of the world. You’ll make the holiday period memorable for your American friends by giving them fashionable holiday gifts with rich Irish history. Why not treat them to authentic other Irish and Celtic jewelry? You can pick from excellent options of Irish watches, Irish earrings, Irish watches, Irish cufflinks and others made from the age-old craft of the Irish. Visit a reputable Irish jewelry store that deals in classic Claddagh and Celtic pieces of jewelry to get a good variety of designs if you looking for an alternative to Aran Sweaters.