The costumes in The Banshees of Inisherin – a dark comedy about a platonic breakup between two friends living on a remote island off the coast of Ireland – shouldn’t have been such a talking point. And yet it was the knitwear that emerged as the breakout star – in particular the chunky rust-red jumper worn by Pádraic, played by Colin Farrell, midway through. “It just took on a whole life of its own,” says costume designer Eimer Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, who sourced all the film’s knitwear. “I love the knitwear myself, but I definitely wasn’t expecting that [reaction]”.

The Tweed Project The Colin, €790
The Tweed Project The Colin, €790 © Anita Murphy Photography

Inspired by the traditional Aran jumpers worn by fishermen in the early 20th century, the knit in question featured stockinette panels with moss diamond and purl stitches – though it was the large, pointy collar in particular that offered a unique spin on the Aran style. “I was obviously blown away by the film, but I was really blown away by the jumper,” says Aoibheann MacNamara, co-founder of Galway-based slow-fashion brand The Tweed Project, which is now collaborating with Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh on a collection based on the cult sweater. “Knowing the ethos of The Tweed Project and how they support local craft, it just seemed like a really good match,” says Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh.

The Tweed Project The Colin in turquoise, €790
The Tweed Project The Colin in turquoise, €790 © Anita Murphy Photography
The Tweed Project The Colin in tomato red, €790
The Tweed Project The Colin in tomato red, €790 © Anita Murphy Photography

Launching this month, the jumper (known as The Colin) will be available in four colours: tomato red, turquoise, Jacob’s grey and the cream-coloured báinín (€790), made using wool from Donegal and Kerry. In keeping with the tradition of hand-knitting in Ireland, each made-to-order piece is made by two knitters in the west of Ireland, taking about 50 hours to produce. “It’s a very slow process,” says MacNamara. “But it’s a celebration of the old techniques that need to be protected, because if you can’t buy an Aran jumper in Galway or the Aran islands then it’s a sad situation.”

The trio hope it might inspire a new generation of knitters. “In Ireland, knitting was always seen as the woman’s work,” says Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh, “so I love that it’s Triona, Aoibheann and I supporting these women who are knitting at home, and just really trying to keep the craft alive.” 

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