Fall is Poncho Season!

Fall is Poncho Season!

As temperatures drop, layering is a must. Here in the Midwest, it's too cool to go out without a jacket but, on most days, not yet cold enough for a thick sweater. Here are four reasons why you should add artisan-made ponchos to your fall wardrobe...

MacGyver of Apparel
Ponchos are classy and comfortable, no matter the weather and no matter what you've got going on. One of our customers recently raved about how versatile ponchos are. She keeps a poncho in her backpack whenever she travels and has used them when chilly on airplanes, to dress up jeans and a t-shirt for dinner out, and even as a mini-blanket for impromptu picnics! They're colorful and portable too, which makes ponchos essential for (just about) any and all occasion and situation!

On Trend
Fringe is in this season and it provides the perfect accent on the Fair Trade ponchos available at Global Gifts.

The Spanish word "ruana" means "poncho" in English and the Ruana Circulos from Loreto Fair Trade has got bold color and design, bordered with a row of fringe. Bolivian artisans craft this poncho from alpaca and wool. 

From the workshop of husband and wife team Fausdo and Zrisdina Lema in Otavalo, Ecuador, the Desert Journey Poncho is super soft and includes a hood for breezy days. 

Cultural Roots
The history of this modern fashion trend stretches back to the 18th century in Latin America where, particularly in the mountainous Andes regions, men wore ponchos daily. Some ponchos were diamond-shaped and others were rectangular, but all were handwoven with a hole in the center for the wearer's head. Heavier ponchos were made from wool and worn for travel while lighter weight ponchos were better suited for agricultural work. Of course, all clothing at the time was handwoven and made from vicuna hair, sheep's wool, cloth, or even silk. Weavers incorporated into ponchos geometric shapes and symbols for special occasion or used the garment to tell a story that was meaningful to or indicative of their culture.

While ponchos are worn by men and women around the world today, they are still often considered to be traditional South American clothing. Current day artisans hand weave alpaca, wool, cotton, or recycled acrylic fibers into vibrant ponchos with unique designs.

Best of all...
What makes a poncho so irresistible is how soft and cozy it is!

Imagine wrapping up in the rich color of the Ruana Cielo from Loreto Fair Trade! This poncho, by Bolivian artisans, is made from alpaca and wool and could easily be worn over a dress or a more casual outfit.  

When you choose a Fair Trade certified poncho, you can feel even better about your purchase! If the poncho was made from alpaca or sheep's wool, the animals were treated humanely and ethically. Artisans work in safe and dignified conditions, are paid fairly, and benefit from long-term relationships with buyers.

There are new styles and designs of all fall and winter woolens at Global Gifts locations, so stop by soon and try on a poncho!



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