The Aran Sweater
An original artist hand pulled print inspired by the Aran Sweater – a piece of clothing named after the islands it originated from on the west coast of Ireland.
For centuries, these Islanders’ garments have been designed, knitted and woven with patterns that have evolved through the generations and reflect the unique island environment and character: Wild wonderful seas, labyrinths of stone walls marking out the small fields and the importance of friends and family.
This print is from our Irish Heritage and Traditions series which celebrates our Irish Heritage in a contemporary way.
- An original artist hand-pulled print. Not a digital reproduction.
- Designed and printed in Ireland
- Size: 24” x 36” (61xm x 91cm)
- Fits standard “off the shelf” USA and IKEA poster frame sizes – therefore no expensive custom framing
- Premium quality artist inks and paper
- Tube for easy transportation and protection of poster.
No. 705 The Aran Sweater
The Aran Sweater Story
FOR all of its history, the Aran sweater has been intimately linked to The Aran Islands, off the west coast of Ireland from where it originates.
Aran sweaters were, and remain, a reflection of the lives of the Islanders, their livelihood, beliefs, and surroundings. Each hand stitched pattern carries its own unique meaning, passed down from generation to generation, such as The Diamond Stitch which reflects the small fields of the islands; and The Cable Stitch which is a depiction of the fisherman’s ropes, – and their wishes and hopes for a good day’s catch.
The Aran Sweater was a very practical item of clothing for the everyday life of the island’s community of fishermen and farmers. The materials were locally sourced and the garment could be easily made on the isolated islands. Traditionally, an Aran sweater is made from undyed cream-coloured báinín (pronounced “bawneen”), a yarn made from sheep’s wool, sometimes “black-sheep” wool. The special properties of the wool meant that it retains its natural oils (lanolin) which makes the garments water-resistant and remains wearable even when wet. The natural wool fibre is also breathable, drawing moisture helping the body to maintain an ideal temperature. Wool has an excellent insulating ability – this was vital in protecting the Islanders against the harsh Atlantic conditions, keeping them warm on the cold days and nights at sea, or on the windswept Island farms.
The Aran “Sweater” is also known as the Aran “Jumper” or Aran “Pullover” or “Jersey” – this is largely determined by the regional version of English being spoken. In the case of Ireland, Britain, and Australia, “jumper” is the standard word with “sweater” or “jersey’ mainly found in America and Canada. But no matter what you call it – the Aran Sweater is a unique, beautiful and practical item that fascinates audiences around the world.
The patterns incorporated in traditional Aran hand knitting have been handed down over the generations. Each garment incorporates stitches representing age-old Irish traditions and culture – with similar patterns found at Neolithic burial sites such as Newgrange in Co. Meath. For centuries, these Islanders’ garments have been designed, knitted and woven with patterns that have evolved through the generations and reflect the unique island environment and character: Wild wonderful seas, labyrinths of stone walls marking out the small fields and the importance of friends and family.
A story in every stitch
For the islanders each pattern had a special meaning.
Below are just some of the patterns you can find on a Aran sweater.
CABLE STITCH “Luck”
Represents the fisherman’s ropes and the wish for safety and good fortune at sea and in life.
DIAMOND STITCH “Wealth”
Symbolises the fishermen’s Net Frequently matched with moss stitching. Wishing wealth, treasure and success.
IRISH MOSS “Nature”
Represents the Carrageen Moss found on the stone walls of the Island. Symbolises abundance and growth.
LADDER OF LIFE “Health”
Denotes the stages of life. Also thought to symbolise the path of a pilgrim to salvation.
Signifies hard work as illustrated by the work of bees. It is thought to be a lucky stitch and a sign of plenty.
ZIG-ZAG “Love / Marraige”
Half a Diamond symbolises Love, and represents the twisting cliff paths on the islands.Double Zig-Zag represents the typical highs and low of matrimony and marriage life.
Signifies hard work and the landscape patterns created by fields.
TREE OF LIFE “Family”
Depicts the branches of family and past generations. It represents the hope that the wearer will have long and fruitful life.
Denotes Nature – the Blackberry bush. Also called the Trinity Stitch – signifys the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. (Each “berry” is formed from three stitches to make one).
Why this Poster Print is special
Our posters are designed and printed in Ireland with the greatest of care and attention.
We love what we do, and we hope that love shines through in our work.
An original print
Our poster prints are original artist pulled prints. They are original artworks in their own right. They are not digital reproductions of existing artwork.
Skilfully printed by artists and print making artisans using traditional print making methods.
Each print is inked, printed and pulled from the press individually, one at a time ensuring they are off the highest quality.
As they are original artworks there may be slight variations in ink density and coverage between prints. This is a characteristic of original art prints.
Designed and printed in Ireland
The Aran Art Studio is based in Galway on the west coast of Ireland.
All our work is designed by us and printed by skilled artists within Ireland. We never mass-produce work from another country.
Our forte is to represent a traditional Irish image, location, person, custom or tradition in a contemporary way.
As artists and craftspeople we strive to make art that is beautiful to look at; made to the highest quality; and that establishes a meaningful connection with the buyer.
Size and impact
We take our poster art seriously. We like to create prints that are big, bold and really create an impact.
Our largest prints are our 24″ x 36″ (61cm x 91cm) prints. This is also known as American Poster size. These attention grabbing prints have a clear, attractive, eye-catching messages, while also being a great piece of art.
It is often commented that our work is very “Irish”, Many of our customers are tourists and expats overseas, looking for a bit of home – something that reminds them of Ireland.
Standard frame size
We have puopsely designed our prints to fit standard size frames. We do this so that customers can easily find ready made ‘off the shelf” frames that do not cost too much. There is no need for expensive custom framing.
Our largest print 24″ x 26″ (61cm x 91cm) fits a standard USA Poster frame available throughout the USA. They are also available in IKEA stores worldwide.
A feature of our prints is the paper and inks used. We use only artist quality materials designed for fine art works.
The particular characteristics of this prestigious and deluxe paper is its light embossed texture and its natural tactile feel. The acid-free paper is environmentaly friendly being of course produced elemental chlorine free (ECF) and is FSC-certified.
Well presented in tube
Many of our customers purchase our prints as a gift for others. With this in mind we present our prints in an attractive and functional art tube.
The tube makes for easy and safe transportation of the artwork, whether in a suitcase or mail.
The wide diameter of the tube means the poster does not have to be rolled too tight and risk damaging the paper fibres.
How to unroll and care for your print
Your print is sold and presented in an art tube for protection and presentation. The tube is very convenient for storing and transporting your print and protects it from damage when you are transporting it or receiving it in the mail. It also makes it easier to present to someone as a gift.
But when art prints have been rolled up in a tube, laying them flat can become a bit of a challenge. And sometimes the rolling can cause minor creases in the paper.
Please note that when you hang or frame a poster – any minor creases and wrinkles will disappear.
Here’s how to flatten a print to avoid creases and wrinkles.
Method 1: Roll the Poster Back on Itself
- Remove the endcap from the tube.
- Remove your poster from the tube by tipping it until it slides partly out. You can catch the protective brown kraft paper corner to help coax it out. Do not try and pinch or pull it out vigorously from inside the tube as this can cause wrinkles and creases
- Roll the poster out on a clean, flat surface so that it’s design down
- Ensure the outside of the tube is clean and undamaged. Carefully roll the poster around the outside of the tube, the opposite way to which it has previously been rolled
- Secure with an easy to remove sticker or weight. Some find it easer to wrap a sheet of plain paper around the centre and secure that with the tape – that way there is no way of damaging the print paper.
- Leave this for an hour
- Remove sticker gently and unroll to reveal a flat poster
Method 2: Weigh the Poster Down
- Repeat steps 1 & 2 from method 1
- Roll out the poster on a clean, flat and hard surface (like a table)
- Ideally if you could place a clean flat sheet of cardboard, wood or glass on top, it helps, but not always neccessary.
- Place something heavy on each corner and in the middle to weigh it down. Its a good idea to place clean paper undermeath your objects to keep the print clean. Books would work as an object.
- Leave this for 24 hours
- Remove weights to reveal a flat poster
Remove any creases - Iron Method
- Place the poster face down atop a sheet of cardboard on a clean flat work surface.
- Plug in the iron to LOWEST setting WITHOUT steam. Smooth a white sheet or thin ironable cloth over the poster. Iron the creased area of the poster by moving the iron back and forth over the sheet in the appropriate area.
- Keep the iron moving to avoid burns.
- Lift the sheet from time to time to see if the crease has disappeared. If not, iron some more.
TIP: A slightly humid environment will help your poster flatten between the cardboard pieces more quickly than an extremely dry environment.
If the poster doesn’t respond to the iron method, place a towel over the poster and use a LOW steam setting, using very little water. The steam will relax the crease in the poster. Keep the iron moving to avoid burns. Lift the sheet from time to time to see if the crease has disappeared. If not, iron some more.
Do not turn the iron’s temperature too high or it may burn or discolor the poster. Likewise, keep the iron moving to avoid burning the paper.
Please note that when you hang or frame a poster – any minor creases and wrinkles will disappear.
Important: Never leave any artwork or print material in direct sunlight.
We have designed our prints to fit standard size frames. The convenience of a standard size makes it easy to get ready-made frames to fit, therefore no expensive custom framing needed.
Where to get Frames for our prints
You can get standard size frames at most framing stores or readily available online. You can also get them from any IKEA store worldwide.
Below are some examples of how the prints would look in some standard size IKEA frames 61cm x 91cm
24" x 36" (61cm x 91cm) Black Frame
24" x 36" (61cm x 91cm) White Frame
24" x 36" (61cm x 91cm) Wood Frame
At a Glance
Our Poster Prints
Original Art Print
Our prints are original art prints, each one is individually printed by skilled printmakers and artists.
A link to a Proud Irish Heritage
Our prints nearly always have an Irish theme. They can celebrate a persons link and association with Ireland.
Great gift for any home
Whether purchased for oneself, friends or family, our prints are designed to be beautiful, powerful works of art.
Beautifully made and well presented
Our prints come in a strong kraft art tube that both protects the print in transport and easy to present as a gift.
Designed to fit standard size frames, therefore doing away with expensive custom framing.
Made with love and respect in Ireland
We love what we do and are extremely proud of our Irish heritage. We hope it shows in our work and the quality of our products which are made to the highest of standards.
Our prints are designed and made by us in Galway, Ireland.