Not only aesthetically beautiful as well as traditionally meaningful, the Irish cardigans, were naturally practical as well. Made from wool of sheep, they are warm then insulating, providing a shield from the Atlantic winds, winter cold, in addition to the tough Irish rain. They are good for repelling water not becoming soggy, they hold nearly 30% of their own weight of water.
These classic knits have a tragic history- labored over for hours by mothers; they were initially created with mournful intent. Wives of fishermen stitched family patterns into these cardigans, knowing they could be knitting the last thing their sons and husbands ever wore. Families of men endangered their lives to set out for the risky but fish-rich sea waters of the Atlantic every day in order to cater for their families. After boats had overturned and sunk, usually there was little survival chance. As the dead bodies washed up on shore, at times days or weeks later, often in an unrecognizable state, the lovely stitches of the woolen sweaters helped islanders recognize the ill-fated men.
The story behind the Irish cardigan is what Quill’s reasons is making it a popular fashion staple.. Quill’s Woollen Mills began to sell the cardigans at local marketplaces, eventually developing into the family trade it is today. When The Clancy Brothers performed on the Ed Sullivan Show decorated out in corresponding Irish their mama had sent to help them brave the New York winter, it pushed them to fame among the American diaspora. Ever Since then, Muireann Quill has received contacts from popular New York designers about how to make these traditional garments. When asked what she reasons of the Irish cardigan turning to the latest must-have, she says ‘I’m absolutely pleased. I think it was at all times well recognized, however even in our family, seeing it get this credit is fantastic.