The many combinations of stitches seen on the Aran sweaters are not incidental. They can impart vast amounts of information to those who know how to interpret them. They were a reflection of the lives of the knitters, and their families. On the Aran Islands, sweater patterns were zealously guarded kept within the same clan. These Aran sweaters were often used to help identify bodies of fishermen washed up on the beach following an accident at sea. An official register of these historic patterns has been compiled, and can be seen in the Aran Sweater Market on the Aran Islands.
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