These vintage blankets, or handira, are hand-loomed from sheep's wool and cotton in tiny berber villages in the Atlas Mountains. The skill is passed on from generation to generation. Prospective brides and their relatives patiently sew each sequin by hand. A single blanket can take many months to produce, depending on the complexity of design and the number of sequins. The loom in Morocco is treated as a living thing and treated with extreme care. If the weaver takes care in the weaving process, then the textile she produces is believed to have talismanic power and to protect the user from the evil eye.
Such care is evident in these exquisite fabrications. The best and most trusted source I discovered for these precious textiles is Maryam, author of the blog My Marrakesh. Her eye is flawless and she handpicks each of the vintage blankets she sells. Here are just a few from her inventory:
All of the wedding blankets, as well as the incredible Beni Ourain rugs, Maryam has for sale can be found in her flickr collection here. I'm patiently saving up for a wedding blanket of my very own.
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