All this ridiculously cold, spring weather in London has me wanting to bundle up, BIG time. Thus occurred a search for the best blankies out there, to bundle up in. Surprisingly, I found these best blankets in Africa, no surprise that I explored this part of the world first, as I continue to thoroughly immerse myself (from afar at this point in time) in the arts, crafts, culture and rituals inherent in this rich and diverse continent.
The Shnu Tribal and Basotho blankets are produced in South Africa and are steeped in tradition, and carry a language in pattern, symbols and stories, so significant in everyday culture in Africa. The Basotho Tribal Blanket is unique to the Kingdom of Lesotho, the first of these now famous blankets were produced not long after the founding of the Basotho nation in 1833…that’s a whopping l80 years ago! Blanket fashions today vary from district to district and tribe to tribe. Lesotho is the only nation South of the Sahara that illustrates the culture of an entire nation through such an individualistic item as the tribal blanket. To this day the blankets are still made of 88% virgin wool and 12% cotton and will look equally as good on your sofa as they do on your bod. Have you seen the Louis Vuitton blanket scarves that graced so many fashionista’s backs at the recent A/W 20l3 shows? It appears that the blanket as a fashion accessory has made its way to this side of the world as well. Trend alert!
The H.M.S. range as above, are named in honour of Queen Victoria, and manufactured in December only. I can easily see these across the back of some tattooed, East London beau or on his bed for that matter. Loving the cross-pollination mix of antelope and anchors in the first example especially and will never tire of hearts. Long Live Love! The Spring Magnetix range below are dedicated to Motlatsi, one of the seminal traders of the Basotho blankets and were designed by his son. The heart designs are inspired by the Rococo heart, another example of cross cultural pollination and express the love of Motlatsi for the Basotho and the blankets that are gifted traditionally throughout the initiations of life. For more Basotho blanket examples and information on price and heritage, visit the Shnu website.
Sustainable and with a royalty from each of the woollen blankets given to the Lesotho Kingdom and it’s people, there’s not much more you could want from a blanket that’s thoroughly beautiful too. Bundle UP in Shnu Basotho blankets this Spring….