Mom! Do I have to wear the tablecloth again?
Slipping that big square (or circle) over your head so that it blanketed you… it was like your own traveling fort. The poncho didn’t need seams or a sewing machine. All it needed was enough material and a good pair of scissors.
A giant circle with a hole cut for your head, the poncho is the oldest garment. It originated in South America as a brightly-colored, woven square or rectangle with a center head opening, worn as a blanket covering the body. The allure of ethnic garments and accessories during the late 60’s and early 70’s brought the poncho to American soil. Hippies adopted the Mexican serape blanket, while grandmas hand-knitted a homemade fashion for the little ones.
The return to handicrafts in the 70’s delivered crocheted and macramé style ponchos. Even after the fashion style faded, plastic ponchos remained a must for rainy day gear. The traditional style is still a favorite of many, a bulky body blanket that’s like a homemade sweater without all the work of sleeves.