So the cable sweater, also known as the Aran sweater or the
Fisherman sweater, originated in 1892 six miles off the west coast of Ireland on
Aran Island. The sweater’s distinct raised patterns produced by the cable
knitting technique functioned to provide greater durability and warmth to the
fishermen who wore them.

The designs in the knitting are inspired by the architecture
and design of the local Celtic ruins as well as fisherman’s knots. Each stitch
has a specific meaning associated with it:

The cable stitch represents safety at sea

The honeycomb represents hard work

The lattice or basket stitch represents a
bountiful catch

The diamond represent wealth

 According to legend, each sweater’s pattern was a unique
reflection of its wearer and his clan, and it was said that these sweaters were
often used to help identify bodies of fishermen washed up on the beach
following an accident at sea


By the 1960s, the cable sweater made its way to the US,
where it was popularized by Vogue and
the Clancy Brothers (a folk music group).

From then on, the cable knit took its place as a casual leisure and menswear staple.