À Capucha: the age-old refinement of a technique by Raquel Pais

The Beginning

À Capucha!: À Capucha! was born from the passion for a place where life lingers, where things are still handmade. A place that comprises centuries of tradition, where knowledge is shared by grandparents and grandchildren. Their hands create objects that are born from the refinement of tradition so they can be reinvented in a modern and global environment.

And so we did, we found in tradition the most perfect design process: the capucha – the age-old refinement of a technique and a form for a specific function. We decided then that we had to tell the world about it! 

To create our capuchas we work closely with local artisans in a constant exchange between design and production. We explore the technique of handwork in burel, trying to understand its potential and limits. This artisanal process gives us the freedom to test and iterate in an immediate way, which allows us to create unique pieces, or small runs, which are the result of a continuing tradition, combined with new formal proposals and concepts.

Preserving history with a contemporary vision.

À Capucha!: We believe this process is shown in each piece, they embody the memory and the know-how that highlight their local as well as global aspects. They turn out to be ancient folk capes yet well designed and very contemporary. That is the secret: to preserve history without being trapped in it. 

We’ve started the brand five years ago, and for usour core values remain basically the same, but we think they now resonate with a larger audience, which is good. Nonetheless, we still feel that we work against the stream. 

For example, in developing these partnerships with the artisans we strive to bring a new drive to traditional handicrafts without relegating them to obsoletion or subjecting them to impossible standards of production. Therefore we don’t work by seasons, but we always have a new outlook on the capucha based on small details, including colour, cut and finish. The novelties we introduce are intended to make a sustainable, functional and beautiful item that proudly takes its place in contemporary life. We only work with natural fibers and materials, our capes are entirely handmade by local women artisans, and we try to have an eco-friendly package. This is something we constantly need to explain to our public: that we are not a fashion brand, that we really don’t care about trends, that our product is not that expensive if you consider that it will last a lifetime! People tend to forget that everything we buy is “expensive” somehow. It might not be expensive for their wallet but maybe it was humanly “expensive” for the person who made it, or it will be “expensive” for the environment. What we mean is that there is always a cost to it, and that is something consumers tend to still forget.

But honestly, we feel that even if slower than what we wished, consumers are getting more engaged with brands like ours.


Content Credit: © Raquel Pais/À Capucha and Through Objects.

Images: © Alexandre Delmar.

Trends: Experienced Narratives.