Although most people have heard of Aran wool, they don’t know that it originates from the Aran Islands, a group of small islands off the west coast. And perhaps they don’t know about the beautiful products that are made with it.
Beautiful Cable Knits
Traditionally, Aran sweaters were made from water-resistant unscoured wool. They are water-resistant because they retained their natural oil, lanolin. Although they now come in other colours, the traditional yarn is off-white in colour.
Aran sweaters have a traditional knitted style too – a cable needle is used to make the patterns of diamonds (for wealth and success) and honeycomb (for good fortune). Aran knits are thick and warm. They had to be – they were traditionally made for fishermen. Nowadays, of course, they are made in different styles from dresses to cardigans to coats and more. Buy them from reputable stores. There are lots of Aran sweaters from Shamrock Gift as one example.
Care of Your Aran Knits
Aran knits are special items that should be treasured and lovingly cared for. If you follow this guide you won’t go far wrong:
• The best way to wash your knitwear is by hand – the traditional way.
• Start by soaking your knitwear in tepid (30 degrees C/86 degrees F) water with a gentle wool washing liquid or even baby shampoo. Soak for about half an hour.
• Be gentle. Because it’s heavy and you don’t want to pull it out of shape, rinse your garment. Remember that you may need to pay a little more attention to the cuffs and neckline – if so, you can use soap to remove any stains.
• Rinse the garment a couple of times to remove all the soap, then squeeze gently to remove the excess water.
• Roll gently in a towel to remove more water.
• Gently pull the garment back into shape.
• Dry flat so you don’t stretch it, and dry away from direct heat and sunlight. Do not tumble-dry.
• Store your garment folded – do not hang it.
• Store it in a muslin bag or acid-free tissue paper to allow it to breathe and to protect it.
• Use a natural moth repellent such as lavender during the summer months, when your garment is not being worn so frequently.
Follow this guide and you will get many years wear out of your Aran garment.