Round-Up: Ponchos, Capes & Wraps

I don't know about where you are, but the banner image on this post is a pretty accurate representation of the view from my window right now. It seems autumn is once again reclaiming the northern hemisphere but if, like me, you're not yet ready (or cold enough) to admit defeat and go full coat, the following is a sampling of the fine transitional garments on offer from across the Folk Ark Directory. Whether in wool, alpaca, silk or cotton, these are pieces to be slung day or night over your late summer gear for an extra layer of warmth and elegance.

Click on the image to go to the product or on the company's name to read more about them.

Thread Caravan

I'm very excited to have recently discovered the existence of Thread Caravan, a new company based in the United States that offers travel packages centred on art workshops around the world. Their current tour is Hilo Colectivo (Thread Collective), a week-long trip to Guatemala's Lake Atitlan to visit and learn from artisans of Maya Traditions Foundation, which promotes traditional crafts, in particular weaving, by supporting artisans and connecting them with international Fair Trade business opportunities. There is one tour in August and one in October.

Hilo Colectivo includes a comprehensive introduction to Mayan backstrap weaving, from dyeing to spinning to working on the loom. It also takes in surrounding sights including the colonial town of Antigua, and optional excursions to Volcano Pacaya or the Mayan Iximche ruins. Participants stay at the lovely-looking Pamakanya Villa. You can find out more at www.threadcaravan.com and follow Thread Caravan on Instagram.

All images from Thread Caravan's website.


With their combinations of rich colours, lustrous materials, intricate geometric patterning and the extraordinary skill required to make them, I've never met a traditional Lao textile I didn't like. So it is wonderful to see these techniques being revived and brought to an international market after decades of abandonment, and four companies doing just this with aplomb are Ock Pop Tok, Mulberries, Above the Fray and Laos Essential Artistry (Got Laos). All four work closely with weavers from across the region's ethnic groups to bring the craft out of the domestic sphere and into the international marketplace as a means both of sustaining the many ancient techniques involved in Lao textile production, and of promoting Lao cultural and economic revival.

The results of such a depth of tradition, technique and refined aesthetic combined with modern sensibilities are truly stunning and speak for themselves!


Ock Pop Tok is available to buy from their online market.


Mulberries is available at DARA Artisans and through their own website.


Above the Fray is available at DARA Artisans and through their own website.


Laos Essential Artistry is available at DARA Artisans and from their website.

DARA Artisans also carries an exclusive line of Lao textiles and offers this beautiful lookbook for more inspiration.

All images courtesy of websites mentioned.