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Where To Buy Irish Sweaters


My husband and I will be taking the "Best of Ireland" tour in September and we want to buy Aran Island sweaters. Where will we find the best selection, on Aran Island or in Galway? Are the prices better on the island or somewhere else? Thanks for your help.




where to buy irish sweaters



When we did Ireland my wife bought her sweater in Dingle and it was made in Ireland and of Aran wool but wasn't made on the the island. The sweaters on the island are more expensive but you also have the original article made there so it may be worth it.


You can find hand knitted sweaters all over Ireland. They don't have to be from the Aran Island. Blarney Woolen Mills sells nice ones. I have three--a cardigan and pull over in the traditional ivory yarn and another that is a gray with multicolored specks. My husband bought one in a shop in Kenmare. Many of them will have a label that shows the name of the knitter.


Just a small suggestion that we found very useful especially when packing light -- the Irish knit sweaters can be very bulky and take up a lot of precious suitcase room. I packed a couple of medium size packing cubes and zipped the sweaters into those -- it compresses them without causing harm and then takes up way less room.


We went to the Aran Sweater Market on Grafton street in Dublin and they had a nice selection of sweaters in different styles, colors, etc. As I recall most were made from merino wool from New Zealand. Prices weren't cheap but we're reasonable for an all will sweater. They have other stores in Ireland.


I went on the Best of Ireland tour last year and recommend buying your sweaters at the Aran Sweater Market in the Aran Islands. Like the person before me said, it was nice because if you spent $100 they would ship it home for you for free. I didn't have much room in my suitcase so that was nice. Also, a lot of the wool sweaters are super itchy. I ended up buying blankets at the market as I found some that were made of a much softer wool. You'll have a great time on your trip!


Thanks for all of your great advice. Yes, I know I can buy sweaters now, but I'd like to look at the patterns, colors and styles, Then try them on. I like to buy things from where they are made. Then every time I wear it, I recall wonderful memories of my trip to Ireland. I will be shopping at the Aran sweater market. We will be purchasing several sweaters, so will take advantage of the free shipping.


About the free shipping--be careful you don't go over the duty limit or you will get a bill for shipping when you get home. We were not aware of the limit and bought several sweaters at the Aran Island Sweater Market back in 2015. The staff graciously offered to ship them to us, noting that shipping would probably be free but they couldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be a charge once they were delivered. Because we spent almost $250 (a bit over the duty-free limit at that time) we ended up with bill from DHL for import duty several weeks after they delivered the sweaters to us. So be sure and check the current limits.


We took this tour summer of 2018 and loved it! I looked for sweaters all over before we went to Inishmore, ultimately deciding that I really wanted a handmade one from the island and that would be my only chance to purchase one. There are many shops, and many lovely sweaters. Decided on a color and price, then if you don't care if it truly comes from Inishmore, make your purchase whenever you see one you like. I had mine shipped home to clear up space in my luggage. Enjoy your trip. Try the local favorite Gin & Tonic. You will not regret it!


If you want to find great wool goods in Ireland, I recommend two great sources. One is a world-famous producers visited by tourist buses galore, while the other is a lesser-known shop with a unique approach to sweaters.


Another real pleasure for the weary traveler at Blarney Mills is Christies Restaurant (at the Blarney location), where you can get very good scones in the morning, or a pint of Guinness in the afternoon. If its not raining, I like to sit in the courtyard and refuel with a tasty snack.


The market has a full wall covered with the various Family Weave sweaters from the Aran Islands. Years ago, each island family developed their own distinct weave. When a fisherman was drowned, his sweater would often be the only thing washed up on shore. The weave would tell a family that their loved one had been lost. Aran Sweater Market has done an extensive research project on the diverse family weaves, and has them all displayed in the familiar off white ecrue color. If you visit the Aran Islands, youll find a small museum on Inishmore, which also has a good exhibit on the history of family sweater weaves. Aran Sweater Market also has a wide variety of more recent designs. My own favorite is a contemporary weave called Eye of Ireland.


Both shops offer three basic types of sweaters machine-made, handloom and handmade. You can get a nice machine-made sweater for about 60 Euro. Machine-made garments are consistent which means the size and arm length is the same on every one. Hand loom sweaters are still fairly consistent, but generally have a looser weave. The expensive handmade sweaters vary greatly, depending on the person whos made them. If he or she has a tighter hand, the weave will be tight. If youre buying for a tall person, handmade is the best, because the arms on them tend to be longer.


Monica OBrien runs OBriens Irish Cottage, a fine Irish gift shop in Sterling Heights, Michigan (www.obriensirishcottage.com) with her husband Patrick. She leads 30 35 person shopping tours to Ireland every year.


So as I mentioned above, the first Aran sweaters were made for fishermen but did you know that they were actually waterproof! The original yarn was unscoured. Unscoured wool retains its natural lanolin making it water resistant. Perfect for braving the harsh conditions of the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean and a far cry from the soft merino and pure wool yarns that are used today.


At The Irish Store we have our own label Aran sweaters as well as a range by Aran crafts. Most are made with merino wool and finished with the highest quality standards. We also have handknits from county Donegal in pure wool.


We used a mix of eucalyptus oil and pure soap flakes mixed in TIL just dampened to wash Aran and other handknits. Keep in a glass jar and take a small amount out according to number of sweaters to be washed. Mix to a lather in warm water and submerge sweater and squeeze suds thru. Rinse only very briefly in clean water so as to retain some of oil. Squeeze out some of water as gently as possible .Dry supported on a rack( will be slow a wool is heavy and retains liquid !) This should keep it soft and prevent moths too. The smell reminds me of being small again in Ireland.


I would advise going a size up from his normal chest size for comfort. Most of our Aran sweaters are made from merino wool which has a lot of give and is really comfortable to wear. See the link below to our menswear collection.


Hi Eileen. I am considering purchasing a sweater, and though I want something traditional in style, I feel the cream color is not practical for me as I walk in the woods all the time. Though natural cream is most popular, are other colors appropariate (like green) for Aran sweaters. I am thinking of a cardigan. Thank you!


Hi, These sweaters are beautiful and I would like to get one for my husband. He has very long arms. What is the sleeve length of the US size 42-44. My husband wears are 36 inch sleeve in a long sleeved shirt and to buy on of these with arms too short would be very unfortunate. Thank you for your help


Oh I just love the tartan bag! I've never noticed Cleo- maybe that's better for my wallet tho' ;-) It looks fab! Thanks for mentioning my Aran sweaters post, and I'll be calling into Cleo next Dublin visit.


Learn why Shannon Irish Design Store is your only destination for the finest in authentic Aran Irish sweaters, Irish gifts and stylish Celtic jewelry. Our team is passionate about showcasing the best of indigenous & innovative Irish design.


The Irish Boutique is an Irish import store that has been located in the Chicago land area for over 40 years. The shop stocks a variety of products ranging from Irish jewelry, crystal, china, food, sweaters, caps, t-shirts and a wide variety of Irish gifts.


The distinctive patterns on Aran sweaters have been rumored to have developed as a way for families to identify their loved ones if they were lost at sea. Each family had their own personal stitch pattern that was passed down from generation to generation. The cables and other patterns were also functional, as they added extra thickness and warmth to the sweater.


Aran knitwear was thrust into popular fashion in 1956 when the fisherman sweater was featured in Vogue Magazine. Taylor Swift wore one to promote her album in 2020. The warm sweaters from the fishermen of the Aran Islands became a fashion statement that also serves as a symbol of traditional Irish culture and artisanal craftsmanship.


Today, Aran Sweaters are rarely made in their traditional ways because factory-made sweaters can be made faster and cheaper. The traditional patterns and designs of Aran sweaters have remained largely unchanged, but mass production of sweaters (machine knit) has made them more accessible and affordable for the average shopper. The natural wool fibers used in traditional sweaters have given way to man-made fibers; intricate stitches made by hand have been replaced by machines, and lots of knock-offs and replicas have flooded the market. 041b061a72


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