Known as Moroccan Wedding Blankets in the Western World, Handira are a blanket traditionally made for a bride to be by her female relatives in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Northern Morocco. The blankets are painstakingly woven over a series of weeks leading up to 'The Big Day'. Crafted out of linens, cotton, wool and metal sequins, it is said that the metal sequins are not for glamour, but instead to ward off evil spirits and bring good fortune to newly weds. The blankets patterns are often symbolic, bringing good fortune and fertility, each one personalised to the bride. Whilst the weaving takes place, the bride is taught about all the marital duties that lay ahead of her by her relatives. When the weaving has been completed, it is a gift, but also to be worn around the bride’s shoulders on the way to her husbands new home and as they cross the threshold.
Currently, we see a real demand for neutral schemes with accents of handmade textures and patterns, the Moroccan Wedding Blankets fit that description perfectly. Why do we love these blankets so much? Well, just look at them. They are visually stunning and tactile with their knotting and fringing. The neutral tones of the un-dyed wool and linen make them extremely versatile in terms of styling, but also usable pieces. As mentioned above, not all blankets are the same; they often vary in texture and size, though traditionally rectangular in shape. The blankets that have sequins are particularly desirable as they bring a touch of glitz to any space and become quite visually playful in different lighting. The only issue is they are becoming quite sort after pieces, therefore making them hard to find.
There are a few wedding blankets on the market in New Zealand, and they do come with a price tag. Am I surprised? No; When you know the history of these beautiful creations and the hours that go into them, I am not surprised in the slightest. At the end of the day they are a one off piece, no two are the same. On the bright side there is a way around the price tag, if you don’t mind not having the real deal that is. If you are on a tight budget to refresh your space, there are quite a few wedding blankets available that aren’t hand made and therefore much more affordable. These obviously wont be as elaborate as the real McCoy, but they can still give you that same textural and aesthetic effect.
As the name suggests, Moroccan Wedding Blankets are traditionally a blanket, but there are many other ways to use them. Thrown across an armchair in a lounge can be stunning, they are a great layering piece and add some real decadence that appeals to all the senses. Or perhaps as a wall hanging, find your self a bare wall in your home and create a statement artwork that has a softness to it, which cannot be achieved by canvas or frame. Another easy option is a simple statement rug, or why not keep it traditional, folded across the foot of a bed.
If you need any further styling tips or would like the team at Pocketspace Interiors to take a look at your space and incorporate one of these beautiful Wedding Blankets, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
The Pocketspace Team.