Have you ever thought a piece of clothing or an artifact could have supernatural benefits? Maybe a lucky charm or a bracelet that ensures success. This is the case with these traditionally handmade blankets from Morocco. They are quite a lot of them and apart from its traditional use for warmth, they also have cultural and spiritual significances.
The different types of blankets are peculiar to different tribes and are painstakingly hand woven by them. One can say it is a show of love as they put in so much work and dedication to these blankets.
As with every other blanket, the Moroccan blanket can be regarded as regular as the primary reason for the adoption of blanket making was due to their climate condition. The blankets were woven more for utility than for decorative purposes. Over the years, the blankets have gained popularity due to the fact that modern designers paired the blankets with their furniture giving it a sleek look and the required exposure.
The appeal of these blankets to the western world is the primitivism and the culture embedded in them. There are different types as each is peculiarly made according to the tribe. They may be thick and heavy to withstand the cold from the mountains and also very light for the heat from the desert.
These blankets are made from rural women and this provides them with a source of income.
First, they look for high-quality wool or cotton. When found, the wool or cotton is taken to the dyer’s souk where it is traditionally dyed.
Then when the wool or cotton has dried out in the sun, it is taken to artisans who weave them using looms. These looms have been associated with divine presence and it is said that the blessings called Baraka from the loom that has been used for centuries first falls on the person weaving these blankets and subsequently on those who use the blankets. The blankets are usually woven with skills and knowledge that has been passed down through generations.
In the present day, these handwoven blankets are paired with furniture according to their colors and are believed to carry blessings into the home.
As previously stated, every region has a peculiar type of blanket they produce. These are some of them.
Chefchaouen here is a city in the northwestern part of Morocco which is popularly known for its buildings which are always in blue. They have their blanket which is usually hand woven in the bright primary colors. They have blue, white and red Riffi blankets but the most popular is the blue sky blanket. Their blankets are not available anywhere else in the country.
These are peculiar to the people in the Jbala region. It is usually in red and white stripes and is made in wool or cotton. The quality and craftsmanship have improved tremendously over the years. It is worn by women both inside and out of their homes.
Pom Pom Blankets
These are blankets made by Berber weavers in the Atlas mountain in Morocco. They are hand woven from wool that has been handspun and large Pom poms are sewn on the sides. They are made from the traditional Moroccan style and they can be used as bed coverings, rugs, table coverings, and even drapes.
These are peculiar to the Ifrane region. They are hand woven from embroidered wool and are very hot.
Moroccan Wedding Blankets
These are popularly known as handira. They are hand woven from the Berber weavers and are done in anticipation of a wedding. They are usually done by the family members of the bride. It could take days or even weeks to attach the sequins to it. During this period, the collaborative work bestows blessings known as Baraka on the blanket and the family members teach the bride about bees and birds and her marital duties. It is believed that it bestows blessings and fertility on the couple and also wards off evil spirits. They are in simple terms labor of love.
Ultimately these handwoven blankets speak immensely of the culture and beautiful tradition present in Morocco. They speak of beauty and passion and the power of collaboration. It also speaks of elegance and class as these blankets are now a sensation in different parts of the world.