No, not that I’ve ever posted ponchos, but I’m seeing them a lot again lately in stores and on people, and they could be a great doll project!
In some cultures, especially those with long wool-weaving traditions, ponchos are a traditional, necessary outer garment to deal with cold night temperatures and may even serve as blankets. This week, we’re focusing on two types of ponchos common to South and Central America, the awayo (also spelled aguayo) and quechquemitl. Both of these are traditionally handwoven on a backstrap loom, with the fiber and pattern changing based on location. The awayo is a garment from the Andes, traditionally worn in Peru, Bolivia and northern Chile, but also produced on a more commercial scale and sold in other countries in the region as well.
(background image with llamas from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/)
The Nancy vote was overwhelmingly in favor of more for her! One outfit I was excited to recreate for Nancy was called “Andes” and included an awayo-like garment made from commercial fabric with a bias-bound neckline and grommets to cinch in the waist – not very authentic! The awayo you see her wearing below was handwoven by me, with the pattern done in a weaving structure called “pebble weave”. It is traditional to that area, and the patterned part is hand-manipulated (as opposed to loom-controlled) by switching the necessary colors in every row to produce a design that appears in opposite colors on the underside.
You can see some traditional weavers setting up a warp and some of their gorgeous colorways here. If you have at least basic weaving knowledge, you can learn how to do this type of weave with only a 2-shaft loom here. I think the pattern I used in Nancy’s awayo might actually be from her second ebook, also available in the patternfish link.
In Guatemala and parts of Mexico, the traditional poncho-type garment is called the quechquemitl and has a quite different structure that ends up looking a little more stylish, since its cut drapes the fabric in a different way. For dolls, the difference is negligible, but it does drape a little better at human scale since it’s not being worn on the straight grain, like the awayo.