The Aran jumper is an iconic piece of Irish design - distinguished by their use of complex textured stitch patterns - several of which are combined in the creation of a single garment. The origin of the jumpers is, as with many of these traditions, unclear, however it is not dissimilar to garments woven and worn by fishing communities all along the North Atlantic. Multiple different stitches were used by the islanders and, combined with the use of a thicker wool, the result was a wonderfully textured and subtly graphic pullover.
The collection of different weaves comes from a long-standing tradition and can sometimes be used as a way of identifing regional or local affiliation. It is said that the county, or parish, or township of an Islander could be identified by the weave in his jumper. The production of the jumpers was traditional, undertaken by the wives of the island and often contained a special stripe of pattern on the sleeve – a lucky sleeve, a fun, fanciful moment to keep their men safe at sea.
The Aran jumpers we have on Makers & Brothers come directly from Inis Meáin - the smallest of the Aran Islands strewn across Galway Bay. At Inis Meáin, the jumpers are created authentically into progressive designs developed from a rich archive. Our jumpers feature a Moss Stitch on the upper half and a plain stitch in the lower half of the garment. There is also a special Moss stitch detail found on the left sleeve - for a bit of luck.
We love Aran and the odd international awareness of a jumper from such a remote little archipelago battered by the wild Atlantic.