The Hidden Meaning of The Aran Sweater
Walking around the streets of Dublin you will see some shops which sell beautiful sweaters made with pure wool, really individual, each one with different shapes and colors… do you know why? You will find it really bizarre, but behind these sweaters, there is a very particular story…
The Aran sweater takes the name from the group of islands where it has its roots and where it originated many generations ago, of the west coast of Ireland. The citizens of this isle are a population of fishermen and farmers whose lives are intertwined and it is from these roots that the Aran sweater were born, the tradition passed from generation to generation. Historically each design was linked to a particular family clan similar to the different tartans in Scotland. If you go inside one of the woolen mill shops and you just study the sweaters you will realize that each of them has a unique and each sweater has its story. In the past, these clothes told the entire family’s story. In fact, the various designs were jealously guarded. They were also useful to recognise a dead body of a sailor after an accident or a storm.
Well, let’s have a look with attention at all the designs, because each of them has a special meaning… a finished sweater contains about 100.000 features worked closely and these features can be combined together in different ways depending on the story. Here are some explanations about some points…
The braid represents the fisherman’s ropes and they are a wish for a successful day at sea;
The diamond reflects the little cultivated fields of the isles and it is a wish for the success and richness.
The point zig zag represents the winding paths on the cliffs of the isles;
The tree of life is one of the most ancient points and it is the expression of a wish of a unit, longevity to the parents and power to the sons.
I would have never thought that behind a sweater would be hidden a whole story and a whole tradition and to me this is really fascinating! So, why don’t you choose the most suitable sweater for you and wear it?