What Is A Ruana?

August 18, 2021

What Is A Ruana?

Though you may not be familiar with the word, you have certainly seen a ruana in a store or on a fashionable woman. Ruanas are a stylish wrap that looks like a poncho, kimono or a cape but isn’t quite the same thing.

Shawls, capes, ponchos, kimonos, ruanas, wraps, pashminas… all these terms describe different garments that all look pretty similar. Each is a drapey piece of cloth (sometimes silky, sometimes woolen) that is worn over an outfit to add warmth and style. 

So what exactly is the difference? Is there one?



Ruanas are wool coverings that most closely resemble a poncho but unlike a poncho it has a slit down the front so you can wrap yourself in it. They are almost always made of wool or a wool-like material, often in a tartan print.

Ruanas are worn like a wrap but unlike wraps they are cut like a big square with a slit in it rather than like an extra large scarf.

The classic ruana is very long, like a blanket you wrap yourself in. Mini-ruanas are a more popular choice for many women hitting just above the knee depending on your height.

How Do You Wear A Ruana?

Ruanas are a very versatile garment that can be worn with just about anything. Think about what you would wear a poncho or wrap with and that’s something you can wear a ruana with. 

They are often worn over jeans and a sweater on a fall day or belted over a dress! Think of it like a stylish blanket you can wear out and about. They are a great piece to have in your closet during the fall.

So, What Is A Poncho, Kimono, Wrap or Shawl?

To understand what a ruana is it is important to better understand the other garments it closely resembles. Here is a quick breakdown...

  • Ponchos are like ruanas but instead of being a square with a slit down the middle it only has an opening in the center that you pull your head through.

  • Kimonos are generally made of a silky fabric and look like a ruana with large drapey sleeves.

  • Capes look like ruanas except the neck is more tailored to fit snugly and often has some kind of closure. Capes can be made in any kind of fabric but they tend to be shorter than ruanas hitting at about the hips.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Wonderful Wool

Our Wool Fall Favorites
Our Wool Fall Favorites

October 22, 2021

Autumn is everyone’s favorite season and for good reason. The temperature cools just enough so you can indulge in cozy fabrics and soft blankets to keep warm. It’s also time for deep colors and rustic neutrals in every tartan you can imagine.

Continue Reading

Classic Scottish Tartans
Classic Scottish Tartans

October 17, 2021

Tartan has been an integral part of Scotland’s history for hundreds of years. More than just a stylish pattern, different tartans also historically represent different Scottish clans and aspects of Scottish history.

Continue Reading

Find Your Favorite Neutral Throw
Find Your Favorite Neutral Throw

September 28, 2021

If you are looking to add something to a room or get a gift for a family member or friend you may be stuck on choosing what color works best for the space. Enter the neutral throw -- the perfect solution to your color palette problem.

Continue Reading