How We Measure Our Ponchos

March 23, 2017, by

Ponchos are unconstructed garments, meaning they are not fitted to a particular shape: neither do they have arms. The fit of the poncho is meant to be loose, but the garment can be short or long and always meant to completely cover the arms. At Shamans Market we show their length and width dimensions. These dimensions represent the garment shape when measured completely flat with the neck slit in a vertical position, in the middle, in the same orientation as the garment is intended to be worn. We measure width from side to side edge and length from top to bottom edge. Any fringe is not included in these measurements.

This image shows the total width but only half the length:

How to Determine the Fit

As an example a poncho that is 50” long and 69” wide will hang from the shoulders about 22” in the center and due to draping (because it is wider than long) will hang down another 8” or so on the edges with your arms down. It will also cover more of your arms as well. Following are more details on determining fit based on length and width.


To determine how far down a poncho will hang take the total poncho length minus 6-8” for draping and then divide that number in half. That is the measurement from shoulder down. As an example a poncho that is 72” in total length minus 6-8” for draping down the chest and divide in half and that is approximately the length from shoulder to the bottom edge in the center or 72-6 = 66/2 = 33 inches. The longer the poncho the more material will cover the knees and legs.


To determine how far down your arms a poncho will hang, take the total poncho width minus the width of your shoulders as measured from shoulder to shoulder at the widest point. Now, subtract the shoulder width from the poncho width and divide by 2. This is the arm length. As an example a poncho that is 56” wide and a shoulder width of 16” gives you 20” ([56” – 16” = 44]/2 =20) for draping down the each arm. The wider the poncho the more material will cover the arms.


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