Before the Euro came in, Irish coins featured a range of animals. Older Irish coins featured the bull, the pig and the horse. Bus Eireann, the national bus service, uses an Irish setter in its logo. The post office, An Post, has featured a range of Irish birds. One Irish animal is beloved by visitors and a treasured feature of the rolling green fields, but is generally overlooked by officialdom as a national symbol. What would the Irish landscape be without sheep? What would we do without wool? When you stop and think of how many beloved Irish gifts are made with wool and how many Irish postcards, photos and landscape paintings feature sheep, it’s a bit surprising that the sheep isn’t our national symbol.
Wool Aran knit sweaters are one of the most popular Irish gifts of all time. With their intricate and often meaningful patterns, they are distinctively Irish. And like sheep, they are well suited to the cool and damp Irish climate, making them the perfect choice for an autumn or winter outing. No, an Aran knit sweater won’t keep someone dry in a driving rainstorm, but on a mist damp day, what the Irish refer to as a soft day, a wool sweater or cardigan in an Aran knit is ideal. The patterns are more than just ornamental; they make the garment warmer. Those textures provide great insulation under a light raincoat.
Aran cardigans and sweaters are the most famous woolen Irish gifts, but certainly not the only option. Hats, scarves and even hand warmers more wooly ways to keep warm, whether they are Aran knitwear, tartan patterns or Celtic designs. Not all Irish wool is used to knit. Of course, for the ultimate in Celtic style and practical warmth, you cannot beat a traditional wool cloak with a hood. Yes, they are extravagant, and yes, they are also practical especially for women in cold climates who want elegant outerwear for dressy nights out.
Not every realizes that Irish wool is also a wonderful material for rugs. Soft and cozy for bare toes, Irish wool rugs add warmth to any room. They can also really pull together the décor whether the room features many other Irish designs or has a more minimalist look. They are a housewarming gift with a major wow factor, and they really do warm the house.
With the days getting shorter and the temperatures starting to drop, it is time to get ready to wrap up for winter. Nothing is cozier than Irish wool, whether it is Aran knitwear sweaters, hats, scarves or hand warmers. A Celtic cape in Irish wool is the ultimate way to face winter with style, and inside, Irish wool rugs and throw blankets are a very practical way to enhance the décor. When it is time to shop for Irish gifts for winter, the choice of items made of Irish wool is huge and spans a range of prices to suit every budget.