Claíochaí (stone fences)
In Irish Mythology the great stone forts of Aran were built by the Fir Boilg, one of the first invading tribes that occupied Ireland and the Aran Islands about 2500 years ago.
Since then the islanders have been building the Claí (pron.klye) or stone fences to form an intricate labyrinth which the writer Tim Robinson estimates would stretch to 1,500 miles if they were all laid down in a straight line. Stone fences in all shapes and patterns depending on the quality of stone which they have been able to meticulously quarry by hand from the natural limestone paving that permeates the whole Aran landscape. This craft of fence or dry stone wall building has inspired the many artists who visited the islands down through the years including Seán Keating, Harry Clarke and more recently and expressly Seán Scully. — In our AW 2014 collection we have made this craft the inspiration for our knitting. We have designed a unique new pattern specially celebrating the craft of stone fence building. And we have revived some interesting and somewhat forgotten patterns that were island favourites and patterns that provided stability and strength to the work-wear sweaters that were worn everyday by islanders such as: The Beairtíní / Little Bundles, The Floating Moss, The Blackberry and The Sand stitch.