An international beacon of knitted design and simple luxury, the Inis Meáin Knitting Company sits perched near the edge of Europe, 30-miles from Ireland’s Westernmost shores and on the middling of the three Aran Islands, 4-by-2 mile Inis Meáin.
A landscape of inspiring rugged beauty and age-old simplicity, Inis Meáin is an oil painting of rough, turbulent seas, labyrinths of stone and carpets of moss and wild flora, all of which are reflected in each design, knit and stitch of the area’s famed ‘fisherman’s sweaters’.
Steady odes to, and reinventions of, local tradition and centuries old formal wear, the company employs a local workforce of 16 - 10% of the islands population – who hand-finish each cable and diamond pattern and each tree of life and moss design that are known to adorn each of these knitted emblems of island living (and in-the-know fashionable warmth).
Warm-wearing against the wind and sea, Inis Meáin Knitting’s wares are mixed with silk, cashmere, alpaca wool and linen, sourced from mills across Europe and South America – imbued with further odes to a lifetime of simple, rural luxury.
Founded by Tarlach de Blácam and Áine Ní Chonghaile, they arrived on Inis Meáin and decided that this was to be home, but making a living in such rural settings is hard, so Inis Meáin Knitting Company was born out of necessity, independence and sheer resourcefulness, as much as a love and eye for design.
A family accustomed to success and international notoriety, Tarlach and Áine are the parents of Chef Ruari de Blácam, a similarly renowned figure known as a pioneering restauranteur and co-owner of Inis Meáin Restaurant and Suites.
With a creativity and outlook born of a similar appreciation for the Aran Islands way of life and its dramatically beautiful landscape as his parents, Ruari remembers a time before the island had electricity, and when each family had their own cow. An upbringing that possibly influenced his simple yet legendary menus - each of which sees a focus upon elemental eating taking centre stage.
With up to 50 styles each season and a thread of tradition, heritage and simple luxe running throughout each and every creation, the Inis Meáin Knitting Company is a bastion of knitted design – the perfect accompaniment to see you through to warmer shores.
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