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 poncho is fabulous .... quality great and price point even better .... getting lots of compliments whenever I wear it:)
Time, practice and patience are evident in this work of art. Yes, art. I would truly have to start my life over to achieve the expertise in the creation of this poncho. The color, pattern and symmetry drew me in and I had to add this to my wardrobe.
Just the right weight and softness.
This is a lovely, well-made poncho that provides just the right amount of layering for locations that fluctuate in temperatures. The lightweight construction does not bulk up under heavier outerwear.
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.
Mexican Hand Woven Red Wool Zapotec Women's Poncho, "Strawberry Wine"$89.99
Working on the handloom, Ruiz Bazan Family artisans transform wool into a beautiful poncho to wear with everything. Wide stripes in shades of red and berry find a complement in multicolor fringe. Because each piece is individual created, colors and size may vary slightly.
Grey Peruvian Poncho with Knit Cable Pattern, "Grey Inca Maze"
Stay warm and comfortable in this beautiful dark grey poncho that will keep you cozy on chilly days. Featuring a textured cable pattern, the lovely poncho is presented by Peruvian artisan Nestor Yana and knitted from a blend of acrylic and alpaca wool.