Pareo - a classic of summer fashion

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  • J00032 Pareo - a classic of summer fashion
  • J00032 Pareo - a classic of summer fashion
  • J00032 Pareo - a classic of summer fashion
  • J00032 Pareo - a classic of summer fashion
  • J00032 Pareo - a classic of summer fashion
  • J00032 Pareo - a classic of summer fashion
  • J00032 Pareo - a classic of summer fashion
  • J00032 Pareo - a classic of summer fashion
In many parts of the world, in which the sun is especially generous in distributing its warmth, one is bound to see a piece of garment, which is loosely tied round the body and provides a kind of practical skirt. In Indonesia this popular piece is called sarong, on the Philippines surong, in parts of Africa kanga, while on the islands of the South Pacific it is called pareo.

A little bit of History

Did you know that for centuries all pareos in the South Pacific were made exclusively from beaten cotton rind? The white rind, which is hard to find, was reserved for the rich nobles, while the common population had to settle with the brown standard commodities. To pep up the monotonous brown rind fabric, it was decorated with paintings of leaf and flower motives.
One only needs a little imagination to imagine that such a rind, even if beaten over many hours, would not have provided a great deal of comfort. Unfortunately even the otherwise abundant flora of the South Pacific had no better textile fibre to offer. Only after the arrival of foreign seafarers did fabrics of cotton or linen reach this region. And during the 18th century the first pareos of soft cotton fabrics were created, and of course they immediately gained large popularity. Originally the pareo was worn only as a light, airy skirt, while the upper body was left bare. But with growing influence of western missionaries, it was suggested that women should cover their upper bodies. Now the pareo was pulled up to the armpits, wrapped around the body and tucked in, similar to a bath towel.
Alternatively there was also a draping in which the cloth was run over one shoulder, in a way comparable to the Roman toga. A similarly asymmetric variation is presented in this example: both ends intersect beneath one of the arms, and are knotted on the shoulder. Witty and effective.

Formats and Materials

You can choose your favourites from our many hand-rolled scarves in generous formats.
If the offered formats should turn out to be not quite sufficient in size, you can also excellently use our fabric sold by the metre by just leaving the selvedges, and stitching only both of the small edges.
You can find an XL-scarf from the beautiful Crpe de Chine 10 in a format of 198x90cm. Its shimmering, dense quality makes the pareo especially versatilely wearable.
The popular Chiffon 3.5 scarf should be doubled because of its transparency. Also, sewing two scarves with differing colour gradients together on top of each other makes for a wonderful appearance.

Tips for designing Pareos

Dyeing: Pareos appear especially fashionable if the colour(s) of the top (be it a bathing suit, a t-shirt, or a light blouse) is readopted in the design. Modern effect dyeing makes for attractive patterns, which are often characterized as a tie-dye effect. Further effects of this kind can be created by tying or binding (Shibori). Today traditional resist techniques using hot wax can be complemented with easily applicable cold wax. Salt effects are also always great.

We hope you will enjoy designing and creating colourful pareos and will soon find a fitting occasion to present these gems.

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