How to choose an Aran sweater

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Hand-loomed, hand-knit or machine-knit? Not all Aran sweaters are made the same, and the prices can vary greatly, too. That’s why it can be helpful to know what the differences are to make the best decision about which one to choose.

Hand-loomed Aran

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This is made by a person directly operating the loom by making stitch adjustments between rows. They can create very intricate patterns of Aran a row at a time and produce sweaters of a very high quality.

The sweaters are usually made from good, thick quality wool or wool blends. These look similar to hand-knit sweaters but are thinner and lighter, with less definition and depth in the pattern. They cost a mid-range price of 80 to 150 euros.

Hand-knit Aran

The best quality and the most expensive Aran sweaters are hand-knit. These are usually made by women as a home-based enterprise. They tend to be made from heavier yarn and knit tightly, which makes the patterns well-defined, such as the mens single button shawl collar Aran sweater.

A hand-knit Aran sweater keeps its stitch definition and shape for many years. For a hand-knit Aran sweater, expect to pay 200 euros or more.

Machine-knit Aran

The machine-knit Aran has a flatter texture, is thinner and has a tendency to loosen with wear. The patterns are far less intricate and are often made from blended yarns or from a lower-quality wool. Expect to pay around 40 to 50 euros.

Type and Weight of Yarn

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When you pick it up, a good-quality Aran should feel much heavier than you expect. The yarn that is used today is usually dyed and treated pure wool. Aran sweaters are also made from cotton, silk, wool blends or linen, and they can be beautiful despite not being traditional.


Creamy off-white is the traditional colour, but with the more commonly used dyed wool, all sorts of colours are available, such as mens single button shawl collar Aran sweater.

Hand-knit Aran: Why it’s worth buying the real thing

In addition to the better quality, you will also be buying something that will eventually become a collector’s item. There are fewer and fewer talented women in the knitting force and the time may come when it is not possible to buy a real hand-knit sweater.

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