Central American Clothing(89 items)
Welcome to NOVICA's Central American Clothing Collection designed and crafted for you by talented artisans from Central America.
The Village Council
Your answers straight from the village experts
Traditional methods of hand crafting robes vary by region, culture, and historical context. Two common techniques that allow artisans to create luxurious, wearable, highly-detailed robes are hand-painting and hand-stitching. In Bali, where the practice of making robes by hand has been passed down for generations, the traditional method of batik is a signature style. The Batik Tulis, for example, is a technique that utilizes wax-resistant dye that is then applied directly to the cloth. It is an intricate, patient process that can produce extraordinarily detailed pieces. Batik Cap is another classic technique where a copper stamp is repeatedly pressed with the wax-resistant dye onto the cloth. This process creates patterns on the garment that are then dip-dyed to saturate color into the unwaxed parts of the robe. Both batik techniques produce unique pieces that represent the incredible talent of our artisans in Bali.
Each region puts its signature mark on its handmade robes. In Thailand, for example, designs featuring geometric patterns and labyrinth motifs are trending. These patterns are hand-woven to create a ruched texture that highlights the intricacy of each garment. From Bali to Java, our artisans have seen their batik motifs become customer favorites. These wearable canvases feature both hand-painted and hand-printed designs, making for vibrant, one-of-a-kind pieces that allow for artisans and customers to showcase their individuality.
The fit, feel, and fabric of a robe should transport you to a place of rest and relaxation. Novicas handmade robes exude comfort, because artisans attend to every detail with painstaking care. Robes made from silk, cotton, or rayon can provide high levels of comfort and versatility. One should look for breathability, absorbency, and versatility when purchasing a robe. Additionally, hypoallergenic fibers, like cotton, can provide comfort to those with sensitive skin. Whether one is looking for a lightweight fabric or a lavishly-woven robe, every handmade piece from Novica artisans brings an expressive twist to new styles and a fresh take on the classics.
Handmade robes are fine, delicate pieces. These garments require a bit more care when it comes to laundering. Hand-washing in cold water always produces the best results. For machine wash, one can use cold water and the delicate cycle. Avoid twisting or harshly handling the fabric, and never use intense heat settings while drying the robe. Air drying while the fibers are laid flat will help to prevent excessive wear on the fabric, as well as preserve the vibrancy of the robes colors. Always dry a batik or hand-painted robe in the shade.
The journey of the traditional robe throughout history is meandering and culturally specific. Here are just a few of the important stops along the way. In Japan, kimonos are an adaptable garment that have been a staple of cultural fashion since the Heian period. The robes from Bali are influenced by the classic Japanese kimono and yukata. The kimono is crafted with silk and worn over many layers in the winter while the yukata is a summer garment made with a single layer of cotton. Both of these styles reflect the artisans' take on a traditional style. In prehistoric Rome, robes were used to identify social status and to signify special ranks within communities. And by the 1700s, dressing gowns were a fashionable piece in the western wardrobe.
The most popular materials for crafting handmade robes are natural fibers such as silk and cotton. Because silk is a light-weight, water-resistant fiber, it provides the wearer a sense of luxury and comfort. Rayon is a natural-based material made up of an organic compound derived from cotton extract or wood pulp. This fiber is extremely durable, breathable, and cost effective. Cotton is celebrated for its comfortability and elasticity, and it provides excellent insulation. These fibers make for garments that exude luxury and relaxation.
Featured Reviews on Central American Clothing
I had a beautiful poncho somewhat similar to this which I finally wore out. This is a finer texture than the bamboo cotton and the fringe carries a lovely sheen. The medium weight drapes well, perfect for those warmer fall days. The accompanying note read thanks for your support, hugs in Spanish. Well besos y abrazos to the wonderful women weavers in the co-op who so skillfully and lovingly support war survivors. You are amazing! As ever, I wear your beautiful work with love and pride.
This gorgeous poncho was a gift for my daughter s birthday. The colors are so beautiful and the fabric is so soft! I see this as a go to item in your wardrobe many times, as this is so versatile. This piece is not sized, but it will fit a plus size figure. It fit me at a 2X and my daughter even better at a 1X. Very pleased with this purchase.
Luisa Villavicencio Cotton apparel and accessories
"All our creations are 100% ecological, 100% natural undyed cotton that reveals the natural shades of the fiber. People are sometimes surprised to learn that we use no dying process at all."
"I'm a Guatemalan woman, born into a family where respect for the environment and for our country's culture have always been a part of our daily life. The story of why I'm here and do what I do is really the story of my whole family... read more
Popular Central American Clothing
Artisan Crafted Leather Slides from Guatemala, "Tierra Amor"
Guatemalan artisans Teysha craft a supple slide for women from quality leather. The saddle-brown slide features a non-slip rubber sole for comfort and jaunty tassels on the vamp. The slides arrive in a colorful hand-woven cotton storage bag.
Handmade Leather Sandals with Tassels in Russet, "Russet Cruiser"
Handmade from supple leather in a solid russet hue, these sandals are created by Teysha in Guatemala. Each delightful sandal arcs over the foot with an open toe. Leather tassels dangle from each sandal. This pair arrives with a complimentary cotton storage bag.
Handwoven Striped Cotton Poncho from Guatemala, "Beach Stripes"$67.99
Evoking the colors of the beach, stripes of turquoise, daffodil, strawberry, and pine green are created with cotton yarns that are carefully woven together by hand. Guatemala's Elena Ixtamer creates this artisanal poncho, which culminates in a pointed bottom that is accented by dangling fringes.
Handmade Sleeveless Cotton Maxi Dress, "Naturally Modern"
Belarmino Alvarez designs a sleeveless maxi dress with a round neck and coconut shell buttons. Featuring a wide elasticized waist, the lined dress is sewn of raw cotton in a natural hue. The fabric is known in Guatemala as the weave, a very fine, delicate type of weave that only a few weavers in Cobán are capable of achieving.