There was a time when winter was too cold and windy in Martina Franca and people need more than a jacket to shelter from the coldness. There was a time when some black wool could be woven to get a coat, so warm and impervious that a touch was enough to shake the snow off.
It was called “Capano” (in vernacular “Capen”).
In Martina Franca, there werer several goat breedings. These animals’ long hair was perfect for a kind of weaving, called “A lard” in dialect. A “Capano” needed a long and hard work but the result was amazing, a very heavy jacket, made in wool with tartan lining, a bit longer than a jacket but shorter than a coat.
The origin of the “Capano” is stated in “Le Confezioni a Martina Franca tra artigianato – industria e commercio dalle origini alla svolta degli anni ‘70” (Tailoring in Martina Franca – From handcrafted to industry and business. From his birth to 70’s turning point), a book edited in 1990, written by Maria Ancona. She wrote about how home weaved wool became “Vunnedde”, (“orbace” in Italian), a typical Sardinian fabric which was made impervious by a wool fulling process.
Another typical outwear was the “Cappa”, a wide cape which was wear mostly carters during their trip along dusty roads and rugged paths. Commonly, the “Capano” was weared by rich people, who could add some details, like fur collar, instead the “Cappa” was considered an outwear for lower class people.
The heritage of this tradition is the habit of choosing the best among all. We are used to well made products, we can’t be contented easily.
Our style has guided us from long time ago and now it’s running through our veins.