Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exporting Ponchos To A Land 'Where The Devil Lost His Poncho'

Date:
August 14, 2009
Source:
University of Leicester
Summary:
We may think of ponchos as quintessentially South American, but new research by a UK historian reveals that there was a time when a great deal of the ponchos worn in the southern end of South America were actually made in Britain.

We may think of ponchos as quintessentially South American, but new research by a University of Leicester historian reveals that there was a time when a great deal of the ponchos worn in the southern end of South America were actually made in Britain.

A study by Dr Manuel Llorca, recently reported in the journal Business History, shows that from the 1810s, following the collapse of the Spanish-American Empire and the trade restrictions it imposed, British exporters began to open mercantile houses in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Valparaiso and could judge what goods would sell well in those regions.

The Latin American market quickly became as important to British merchants as its North American counterpart, buying increasing quantities of British textiles and among them, ponchos.

Not that the British had it all their own way. The local people proved to be demanding customers, a local merchant pointing out that the "inhabitants are very poor and cannot afford high prices, though not one of them will wear second cloth coat."

British merchants also faced competition from the Germans, Belgians, French and Americans. However, as Dr Llorca discovered, the British did begin to adapt their merchandise to suit the South American market, as British sales of the poncho demonstrate, and soon they became "masters of the market."

As British merchants discovered, Latin American people remained stubbornly loyal to the versatile poncho, above any other form of cloak. The garment could offer protection against rain, dust and wind, warmth day and night, and could become a summer mattress. Ponchos were also, Dr Llorca says, handy in a fight, and could be used as makeshift "sails, pillows, carpets and mantle." Equally, they were an ideal garment for people who ‘lived on horseback’.

Dr Llorca believes British exporters were more dynamic than tradition has suggested, and Yorkshire and Lancashire manufacturers quickly adapted their looms and dyes to suit the South American markets. Exporters were also able to undercut local suppliers, even though local ponchos were reckoned to be better quality.

This research also shows that in the process by which Britain incorporated Latin America as one of her main outlets during the nineteenth century, there was not always colonisation of taste.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leicester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Leicester. "Exporting Ponchos To A Land 'Where The Devil Lost His Poncho'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090814101837.htm>.
University of Leicester. (2009, August 14). Exporting Ponchos To A Land 'Where The Devil Lost His Poncho'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090814101837.htm
University of Leicester. "Exporting Ponchos To A Land 'Where The Devil Lost His Poncho'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090814101837.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Turns Out Jack The Ripper's True Identity Is Still Unknown

Turns Out Jack The Ripper's True Identity Is Still Unknown

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) After testing DNA from a shawl found near one of Jack the Ripper's victims, a scientist said he'd identified the killer. New reports refute the claim. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fish Fossil Shows First-Ever Sex Was Done Side By Side

Fish Fossil Shows First-Ever Sex Was Done Side By Side

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) A 380-million-year-old fish may be the first creature to have copulative sex - and it was side by side with arms linked, like square dancers. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

As Sweden Hunts For Sub, "Cold War" Comparisons Flourish

Newsy (Oct. 19, 2014) With Sweden on the look-out for a suspected Russian sub, a lot of people are talking about the Cold War, but is it an apt comparison? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins