The Baja hoodie, often known as the Mexican hoodie, Mexican jacket, or Mexican sweater, is assumed to originate in Mexico due to the plentiful supply and number of products or services in towns and cities. from the US-Mexico border. The distributors in these places use the stereotypical graphic to sell their wares to vacationers. Hypothetically, an undecided tourist at the end of their departure to Mexico wishes to purchase a souvenir to symbolize tradition, diversity, and international lands, and will usually settle on a serape blanket or Baja hoodie. And so the misperception continues, the Baja hoodie represents Mexico and all that it represents.
Maybe the error is in the name. The word Baja might suggest that the place of origin is Baja, Mexico. In fact, Baja is really a descriptive word for the material of the jacket. Baja is often synonymous with another Spanish phrase, franela, the literal English translation of which is flannel, suggesting the attribute of multi-colored and crisscross patterns. Franela refers more traditionally to wonderful woolen or cotton threads. Therefore, the phrase Baja describes the character of the material and ornamental structure of the jacket and not the location.
Why then would the Baja hoodie be sold in Mexico? The reality is that the Baja jacket made its way through Mexico, but it didn’t originate there. Its origins can be traced to the indigenous peoples of Central and South America. It is a derivative or trendy ancestor of the poncho.
An indigenous group in southern Chile, for example, is known as Mapuche is often linked to the appearance of the poncho. The poncho has a rectangular shape that features space in the center for the wearer’s top. The Mapuche observed the functional use of the poncho as being the simplistic structure that served a protective functionality in windy and humid climates by decreasing the publicity of the weather there. Some of the oldest archaeological finds of textiles or fabrics with elaborate styles and designs were found on cemetery websites in Chile and Argentina in 1300 AD, in places where the Mapuche thrived.
Camel’s hair was the main substance used to produce the weaves to help make the material. Later, colonizing Europeans introduced sheep to the natives. The natives began to raise sheep and weave their thicker wool into the fabric to assemble the poncho. Wool and cotton became the preferred content and characteristically described the poncho as warm and sturdy.
The simplicity and practicality of the poncho amplified its appeal and use throughout the venue. Because it is distributed geographically, it has naturally evolved into many useful versions of protective jackets, as well as what we now know as the Baja hoodie which includes an accessory hood and sleeves using a front pocket. The evolution of your poncho to the hoodie probably parallels the invention of our modern Snuggie, a sleeved blanket. In theory, someone imagined, “Wouldn’t it be good or not if I could keep this heat problem and have more use of my fingers?” What was not lacking in the translation or evolution was the very question that describes it in its title, the meaning of the fabric. And that’s why there is still a need for Baja hoodies right now, mainly because they are woven with substance to be sturdy, comfortable, and warm while maintaining what made their family simplistic and simple a few years ago.