Guardians of the Aran Islands' culture and traditions 🍀
The Aran Islands lie off the west coast of Ireland, a reminder of the ancient society that modern Ireland has left behind. Stone walls divide property and grazing grounds. Irish is still the most commonly spoken language on the islands. The boat ride from the mainland to Inis Mor, the largest of the islands, will test the most sturdy stomachs, and serves as a reminder of the wet and windy conditions local fishermen face to make their living.
Inis Meain, the name of the second biggest island, means “middle island” in Irish. It is usually visited only for day trips, and only about two hundred people live there. These people are survivors - of harsh weather, of isolation, of modernity. One of the many survival skills they mastered is knitting. It’s this skill that the knitwear company Inis Meain draws on in their sweaters.
Former Celtic scholar Tarlach di Blacam founded the company with his wife with to protect and expand this Aran tradition of fishermen sweaters. Each sweater is produced on the island. Many are inspired directly by traditional designs, cable knits winding and crossing over each other like the stone walls that divide Inis Meain.