Criteria on which to pick traditional Irish sweaters

Criteria on which to pick traditional Irish sweaters

If you are reading this, then it’s most likely you already want to buy an Irish sweater, or there is just this thought inside your head that makes you question the mere existence of this article: “what could possibly tip the scales of me buying a simple pullover?”. And here I come, into this equation, to challenge your views on clothing: the Irish sweater is not just a simple pullover. The intricacies behind this timeless classic are guaranteed to blow you away, and who knows, if you are a “non-believer”, perhaps by the time you will have finished reading this, you will already have bought a sweater for yourself or for your loved one. So let’s get right into it, shall we?


Simple as that. How many times have you wanted to wear something, or just saw a specific item that you knew you had to have from the bottom of your heart, only to find out that it is simply too oversized or too tight for you to even try it on? This is what you should always have in mind as a primary distinguisher between what to buy or not. If you are not sure what size you should look for, you can just take your measurements using a tailoring meter or whatever else you have at home, and go to to search your best fit. Of course, most sites may have a size chart themselves, so it is recommended you check those out first, before you look into other sources.

Stitch patterns

Here comes the intricate part. For those of you who are not that in the know regarding the exquisite history behind the Irish sweaters, buckle up for a journey that will take you back to the 19th century, on the west coast of Ireland (more specifically, the Aran Islands). Originally, the male inhabitants of the island were mainly fishermen. The necessity of having something that could protect them from the harsh cold breezes of the sea convinced their wives to hand knit these pieces of art, the Aran jumpers. They were originally made from Merino wool, a special type of wool that kept its natural oil, lanolin, and gave the sweaters the characteristic of being virtually waterproof. The resilience of these items made the fishermen come back in better shape than they did prior to the creation of the jumpers, so these wives were literal lifesavers. But I believe that it is not necessarily the water-resistance trait that interests people nowadays, as much as the stitches do. Not only were these jumpers incredibly useful, but they were aesthetic as well. But do not think that the looks were not useful too, on the contrary. There are two theories surrounding these stitch patterns. First of all, they were a sign of good luck most of the time; for example, the basket stitch meant that the knitter was wishing that the wearer would have their basket full of fish. On the other hand, a theory that has yet to be disproven is that the stitches symbolised the clan a person belonged to. Hence, different patterns, different clans. Overall, if you want to wear one of the Irish sweaters and continue the tradition of the clans, you can get matching sets for you and your family at Tara Irish Clothing– where you can find plenty of Irish sweater styles and price points.


There may not be such a wide range of colours to choose from, if you want your Irish sweater to be as close to traditional as it can be. That is mainly because they were originally (and still are, at that), an off-white colour. However, there are several variations ranging from the classical Irish green, to a deep shade of blue, or as I previously mentioned, off white. Nevertheless, there is nothing that can stop you from choosing whatever you like when it comes to this subject. After all, the only person that has to feel good when you wear an item is yourself!

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