The Aran sweater is one of the most traditional and iconic styles of clothing that you can buy. It hails from Ireland and was a style of sweater that was styled and created by the Women there. They need to make warm and water resistant clothing for the men of the fishing fleet and for the grafting farm workers trying to scrape something of the thin soil or shepherding the sheep that provided the wool for the sweaters in the first place.
Womens Aran Sweaters do not necessarily come from Aran anymore. There is a very practical reason for that. The sheer demand for the product outstrips the rate that the islanders could hand knit or hand loom them. However, if you go to the Islands, and it is well worth a trip, you can buy actual handmade items. If that’s not an option it’s a simple task of logging onto Shamrock Gift where there is plenty of choice.
The term “Aran” therefore should be seen as a more generic term relating to the style of the sweater rather than its geographical location. The Gaensai Jumper is itself taken from a design from the Channel island of Guernsey so it is not actually a native itself. This doesn’t mean that the sweater’s quality is any less. There are still large production units in Ireland itself and when you do buy one you are still celebrating the tradition of the sweater and what it represents.