The poncho originated in the Andes Mountains among the Mapuche people. Our unique collection of handmade and handcrafted artisan ponchos encapsulates the evolution of this versatile garment from practical rain and weather gear to contemporary fashion staple. Explore and discover the weaves, knits, and detailed accents artisans use to create versatile contemporary designs that are steeped in tradition.
The Village Council
Your answers straight from the village experts
Traditional methods of hand crafting robes vary by region, culture, and historical context. Two common techniques that allow artisans to create luxurious, wearable, highly-detailed robes are hand-painting and hand-stitching. In Bali, where the practice of making robes by hand has been passed down for generations, the traditional method of batik is a signature style. The Batik Tulis, for example, is a technique that utilizes wax-resistant dye that is then applied directly to the cloth. It is an intricate, patient process that can produce extraordinarily detailed pieces. Batik Cap is another classic technique where a copper stamp is repeatedly pressed with the wax-resistant dye onto the cloth. This process creates patterns on the garment that are then dip-dyed to saturate color into the unwaxed parts of the robe. Both batik techniques produce unique pieces that represent the incredible talent of our artisans in Bali.
Each region puts its signature mark on its handmade robes. In Thailand, for example, designs featuring geometric patterns and labyrinth motifs are trending. These patterns are hand-woven to create a ruched texture that highlights the intricacy of each garment. From Bali to Java, our artisans have seen their batik motifs become customer favorites. These wearable canvases feature both hand-painted and hand-printed designs, making for vibrant, one-of-a-kind pieces that allow for artisans and customers to showcase their individuality.
The fit, feel, and fabric of a robe should transport you to a place of rest and relaxation. Novicas handmade robes exude comfort, because artisans attend to every detail with painstaking care. Robes made from silk, cotton, or rayon can provide high levels of comfort and versatility. One should look for breathability, absorbency, and versatility when purchasing a robe. Additionally, hypoallergenic fibers, like cotton, can provide comfort to those with sensitive skin. Whether one is looking for a lightweight fabric or a lavishly-woven robe, every handmade piece from Novica artisans brings an expressive twist to new styles and a fresh take on the classics.
Handmade robes are fine, delicate pieces. These garments require a bit more care when it comes to laundering. Hand-washing in cold water always produces the best results. For machine wash, one can use cold water and the delicate cycle. Avoid twisting or harshly handling the fabric, and never use intense heat settings while drying the robe. Air drying while the fibers are laid flat will help to prevent excessive wear on the fabric, as well as preserve the vibrancy of the robes colors. Always dry a batik or hand-painted robe in the shade.
The journey of the traditional robe throughout history is meandering and culturally specific. Here are just a few of the important stops along the way. In Japan, kimonos are an adaptable garment that have been a staple of cultural fashion since the Heian period. The robes from Bali are influenced by the classic Japanese kimono and yukata. The kimono is crafted with silk and worn over many layers in the winter while the yukata is a summer garment made with a single layer of cotton. Both of these styles reflect the artisans' take on a traditional style. In prehistoric Rome, robes were used to identify social status and to signify special ranks within communities. And by the 1700s, dressing gowns were a fashionable piece in the western wardrobe.
The most popular materials for crafting handmade robes are natural fibers such as silk and cotton. Because silk is a light-weight, water-resistant fiber, it provides the wearer a sense of luxury and comfort. Rayon is a natural-based material made up of an organic compound derived from cotton extract or wood pulp. This fiber is extremely durable, breathable, and cost effective. Cotton is celebrated for its comfortability and elasticity, and it provides excellent insulation. These fibers make for garments that exude luxury and relaxation.
Featured Reviews on Ponchos
This is a beautiful sweater/pancho.
I love the soft cowl neck sweater. The color is a lovely beige and the workmanship is perfect! Thank you.
This poncho is fabulous .... quality great and price point even better .... getting lots of compliments whenever I wear it:)
Alfredo Falcon Alpaca apparel and accessories
"When I was a small child, my parents began teaching me to knit. Like me, they learned them from their own parents. So we are a family devoted to the world of textile arts for generations."
"I come from a humble family of textile artisans and my first jobs were making sweaters that we sold later in a small store in Huaraz — an Andean city famous among tourists and mountain sportsmen. Everything went well until our town was hit by the earthquake of... read more
Colorful Alpaca Blend Poncho from Peru, "Cuzco Sunset"$64.99
Inspired by the hues of afternoon, Peruvian artisan Nestor Yana designs this sumptuously soft alpaca blend poncho. This knit poncho features intersecting rectangle patterns in a variety of colors. A turtle neckline and a zip-up front complete this elegant poncho.
Long Silver Poncho with Zig Zag Pattern from Peru, "Silver Tulip Petal"
Patterned with a subtle zig-zag design, this elegant silver-grey poncho by Peruvian artisan Nestor Yana will be a chic addition to any style. The acrylic poncho's long length and soft fabric will keep you warm and cozy on chilly days.
Check Pattern Alpaca Blend Poncho Sweater from Peru, "Cuzco Morning"$74.99
Decorated with checked patterns of taupe, saffron, maroon, and indigo, this poncho from Peru is woven from a sumptuously soft alpaca blend. Nestor Yana creates this bright cape, which features a shawl collar with a zip-up front.
Handwoven Striped Cotton Poncho from Guatemala, "Beach Stripes"$67.99
Evoking the colors of the beach, stripes of turquoise, daffodil, strawberry, and pine green are created with cotton yarns that are carefully woven together by hand. Guatemala's Elena Ixtamer creates this artisanal poncho, which culminates in a pointed bottom that is accented by dangling fringes.