How Our Ponchos Are Made

How Our Ponchos Are Made

surf poncho changing poncho made in kenya

Marlin Ray ponchos are made with great care to detail for quality and design at Wildlife Works Fair Trade Factory in Kenya. One of our favorite design elements of the Marlin Ray ponchos is the hand-twisted tassels. Having these tassels dangling off the straight lines of the poncho design patterns present a very precise production process that requires each poncho to be individually hand cut and sewn. 


Each poncho is made from precut fabric that comes with hand-twisted tassels on either end. We designed the hood and pocket pattern pieces to maximize both the length of the poncho and fabric yield to leave as little fabric waste as possible. The left over fabric pieces are used in other products such as our Beach Bungalow Bunting.

Conventional pattern cutting involves stacking many layers of fabric in order to cut pattern pieces for multiple garments at one time. In order to balance the straight lines on the body to the pocket and hood, each poncho pattern must be individually placed on to one piece of fabric only, carefully traced, and then hand cut. 


The pattern pieces are sewn together and then sewn to the body. The pocket placement for straight lines and centering is the most challenging. The pocket  edges are first sewn over then pinned for placed onto the body before it can be sewn on. The side seams of each poncho are reinforced with a strip of 100% cotton canvas that is sewn in between the seam folds. 


Attaching the stretchy terry lining to the non stretch shell is the most time consuming part of production. After the pattern pieces for the lining are cut and partially sewn to the shell by the hood, both the front and back of the lining must be trimmed to size in order to minimize puckering. The bottom edge of both sides are tucked and pinned to the body in preparation for sewing. 

The final stitches are last opportunities to trim and make sure every edge is clean and straight. 

Each poncho is then trimmed of loose thread, ironed and folded for packing and shipping. 

These ponchos are in the packing station ready to be bagged up for shipping.