The history of ponchos
Peruvian textile tradition is without a doubt one of the oldest in the world. The region has weaved its history for thousands of years.
Ponchos were discovered in Paracas, which is a pre-Inca culture. The Paracas region is south of Lima along the coast and was a great example of how textiles were valued above most other things. In their culture textiles were worn to indicate status and authority. Ponchos were also used as offerings during burial ceremonies. Paracas culture gave a lot of importance to the articles that should be kept with the mummies, so when the time came to be reborn they would have their most priceless articles such as textiles, ceramics, precious stones, jewelry, in the afterlife. Uncovered textiles from the region have been found including the brightness of their colors intact even after 2,000 years.
Andean people have worn ponchos for centuries in South America, there is no exact evidence as to where the first poncho was fabricated, but what is clear is that ponchos are part of our heritage and culture. Alpaca ponchos are linked to different indigenous cultures in the Andes and they are the most typical layer people wear year-round. Ponchos keep them dry from the rain and warm on those chilly mornings and nights in the high mountains.
Peruvian Ponchos usually have very detailed patterns, designs, and symbols; such as animals and geometric designs. These have special meanings for each community. Ponchos come in a variety of colors and it's very common to see them in bright, vibrant dyes. Children as well as their fathers wear these colorful pieces every day, and during special events or festivities in the communities and provinces, they decorate their ponchos in different ways to add something extra.
Ponchos are worn in different countries with some small differences in the designs, colors, and fibers, depending on the weather of the region, and some ponchos are even made out of cotton. Ponchos have been used by indigenous peoples since pre-Hispanic times and are still considered typical clothing in countries like Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.
It is believed that the etymological source of the word Poncho comes from the Quechua word Punchu. The poncho or “punchu” is an outer layer designed to keep the body warm and dry and protected it from the sun. It has a geometric shape and a cut to put the head through, with no sleeves to give you free movement.
Nowadays ponchos are recognized worldwide as a stylish piece and many famous designers include ponchos in their collections. Our ponchos are handwoven using 100% baby alpaca wool and will be the best addition to any wardrobe. Poncho is a piece you can use to layer up in winter but you can also wear on a chilly spring night. Functional and versatile ponchos will protect you from the elements while allowing you freedom of movement.