Vintage Moroccan wedding blankets, also known as handira or tamizart, have been popular with interior designers and stylists for some time. The neutral colour palette of the blankets makes them an extremely versatile addition to a bedroom or sitting room. They add elegance, texture, pattern, glamour and sparkle and can be used in a variety of ways: as a coverlet or footer on a bed, over the back of a sofa or a chair, as a stylish headboard, a casual throw or as a wall hanging. Have a look at the Pinterest board below for some ideas on how you can use wedding blankets in your home. Scroll down the Pinterest board with your mouse to see all the images.
Hand Woven By The Mother Of The Bride For Her Wedding Day
There are different types wedding blanket in Morocco. The cream and white variety comes from the mid Atlas mountains where they are hand-woven by the mother of the bride and her female relatives in preparation for her wedding day. They are woven from local wool and cotton in a natural palette of cream and white and can take several weeks or months to complete. Each piece is unique and reflects the skill and creativity of the weaver. Many blankets feature bands of kilim weaving, sometimes concealed by cotton fringing on the front but visible on the back. These coloured kilim bands often contain talismanic symbols conveying the hopes of the bride’s mother for her future prosperity, fertility and happiness.
Each sequin is sewn on by hand. The sequins form small clusters or rows or both and are said to ward off the evil eye. It’s also possible that their similarity to small coins is intended to symbolise future wealth. They also reflect the light whether it’s the light of the fire in the evening or daylight sun.
The blankets are worn like capes either over the head or around the shoulders and tied at the neck. They are traditionally worn by the bride on her journey to her husband’s home. After the marriage they are used as bed or wall coverings to decorate the marital home.
Our stock of vintage Moroccan wedding blankets is constantly changing but you can see a selection below.
Photos: Kristy Noble and Dave Bullivant
You can see our full range of vintage Moroccan wedding blankets here and our range of cushions from vintage Moroccan wedding blankets here. We think that as well as adding glamour to your home they would make a wonderful wedding present.
Graduation Gifts For Students Leaving Home
Need some gift inspiration for a daughter, son, relative or friend who has just graduated? Check out our suggestions below:
- An embroidered cushion to brighten up a sterile dorm room or tired rental. The motifs and stitches in this unique piece of Kutch embroidery have been handed down from mother to daughter over generations.
- Combine number one with one of our best-selling Moroccan pom pom blankets in beige and natural. These hand woven blankets are designed to withstand the cold in the Atlas mountains so are perfect for snuggling under on winter nights.
- For a boho look add Tanjaoui,one of our Souk Collection cushions, to the mix. Each piece in the collection is one-of-a-kind and mixes vintage fabrics, ribbons and silk screened henna prints with an old silk screened image of a Berber woman.
- Headgear, a cushion inspired by a traditional African saying “What you cannot carry on your head you can most probably live without”. Hand printed and hand painted no two cushions are alike in this collection. Mix with other styles in the Namibian collection to create a contemporary global feel. This piece works well with our Moroccan pom pom blankets too.
- Stylish storage in the form of this super size Swazi basket, Bonakele. Hand woven from indigenous grasses by social enterprise, Gone Rural, this large decorative storage basket is perfect for towel, throws, magazines or a plant.
- A firm favourite with interior designers, this versatile Moroccan pom pom blanket in black and white stripes, will instantly add warmth and style to a student bedroom.
- A bold, bright, beautiful boho kilim pouf, Nabila, perfect for adding a colour and pattern to a room. Use as extra seating or a low table.
- Eye-catching Clamp dyed cushion covers will instantly update a room. Mix and match styles and combine with 9, our natural wool Moroccan pom pom blanket to complete the look.
Thanks to Lola Hoad of Lola Hoad Design for letting us use her artwork, you can see her lovely Christmas cards and prints here. I agree with Lola that it is important to shop independent and not just at Christmas but throughout the year. Admittedly as a small independent online business owner I am biased but I fear that if we don’t our high streets will become the same countrywide. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for larger brands but there should be room for the smaller independents, with handcrafted, artisanal products, too and in London, in particular, rising rents are forcing the smaller independent shops out and global brands are taking over.
So I am shopping independent this Christmas. Here are some of my go to independents for gifts:
Cambridge Imprint, for beautiful printed notebooks, wrapping paper and office accessories. The printed box files and filing trays just make me want to get organised.
Gift vouchers from Bread Ahead, a bakery in Borough Market, London,which makes the most delicious artisan breads and unbelievably light custard-filled donuts.
Travel sets in beautiful Japanese prints and traditional travel slippers from Keiko Uchida. The room shoes are perfect for pottering around at home and lightweight for travel. They have padded arches so are great for anyone who spends the day in heels.
Handcrafted Gifts With A Story Behind Them
Stuck for a gift for that person in your life who is always jetting off to exotic locations? Why not give them a handcrafted gift with a story behind it? A travel-inspired gift which will evoke memories of their travels or create a desire to visit new places. Here are some suggestions:
1. First we head to India for these handcrafted copper seed pod tea light holders. Each piece is carefully crafted from copper by a Tambat craftsman in Pune. Each tea light holder comes in a presentation box and makes the perfect gift. Available in small £24 and large £28. By purchasing one of these tea lights you are helping to preserve the traditional craft of the Tambat coppersmiths which dates back to the seventeenth century.
2. From Mexico, choose from a selection of striped cushions hand-woven and hand finished in the heart of Chiapas by Mayan women using traditional back strap loom weaving techniques. £75 each. By purchasing one of these cushions you are providing an income for Mayan weavers and helping to fund health and education programmes.
3. From a cooperative in southern Morocco, a beautiful hand thrown ceramic bowl edged in copper. The distinctive glaze on these bowls, which creates a myriad of different greens, is created from a secret formula known to only twelve members of the cooperative. Each piece is unique. Small £40.
4. To Swaziland for large open ribbed hand-woven baskets from social enterprise Gone Rural. Contemporary design meets traditional weaving techniques in these versatile baskets. Each basket has three circles of ribbing, a complex technique, creating the illusion of three baskets in one.. One size £112. Gone rural employs over 700 women and through its charity BoMake provides health, water and education programmes for 10,000 women artisans and their communities.
5. Vintage Berber wedding blankets from Morocco. A favourite with interior designers, these blankets are guaranteed to add sparkle on the foot of the bed, over a sofa or chair or framed on the wall. Various sizes £380.
Photos 2,4,5 Kristy Noble.
Gift Inspiration For The Yogis In Your Life
A selection of gifts for yogis or for someone needing to relax, unwind and create a sense of calm after a long day at the office. Choose from our handcrafted copper sunflower tea light holders £19.00, which are perfect for creating soft ambient lighting for an evening practice. | 2. Aashe, one of our large hand embroidered, comfortable, floor cushions from our Kutch Collection for meditation. | 3. A hand beaten, fair trade, copper meditation urli(bowl). Just watching the coppery light created by floating tea lights reflecting against the tiny hammered indentations creates a sense of calm.
Handcrafted Gifts With A Global Twist For Mother’s Day
Choose from a range of light radiating, hand beaten, copper ware from India, beautiful hand woven woollen blankets from Morocco and cushion covers hand woven by Mayan weavers using techniques handed down from mother to daughter over generations.
Clockwise from top left: Sunflower Copper Tea Light Holder £19 | San Andres Brocade hand woven cushion cover in lime and white £85 | Copper and Brass Trinket Box £22 | Hand woven Moroccan Pom Pom blanket in natural from £149 | Sunflower Copper Tea Light Holder as above | Oxchuc stripe cushion cover Kal £65 | San Andres Brocade hand woven cushion cover in grey and taupe £85 | Small Sea Urchin Vase White £22.
Handcrafted Gifts With A Global Twist
Why not give your loved one a handcrafted Valentine’s Day gift this year, something with a story behind it?
For textile lovers, a hand embroidered cushions from our Kutch collection, like Advika, a vintage Rabari embroidery cushion cover featuring heart-shaped motifs would make a wonderful gift. The Rabaris are pastoral nomads living in Rajasthan and Gujurat with a distinctive style of embroidery which has been handed down from mother to daughter over generations. Steeped in cultural tradition this is a statement cushion to cherish.
If you are giving jewellery why not present it in one of our handcrafted Copper and Brass Trinket Boxes, which are perfect for storing chains, rings, earrings and cufflinks? Each piece has been handcrafted by a Tambat coppersmith in Pune, India, using techniques dating back to the seventeenth century. Tiny rows of uniform indentations on the surface, crafted with special hammers, create a mirror like appearance that reflects the light.
For romantic nights in try our super warm Moroccan Pom Pom blankets from our Souk Collection. These blankets are hand woven by Berber weavers and are designed to withstand the cold in the High Atlas mountains. They are perfect for snuggling under on chilly winter nights.
The Student Gift Edit
Stuck for a gift for the student in your family? I’ve picked a bright selection of our handcrafted global interior accessories which will bring colour and warmth to spartan student bedsits. Choose from a selection of unique, one-of-a-kind silk screened cushions and floor cushions, super warm Berber pom pom blankets designed to withstand the cold of the High Atlas mountains and quirky storage solutions.
Gift ideas for students clockwise from top left:
1. Large Storage Basket Bonakele £180 | 2. Trinket Box £22 | 3.Pom Pom Blanket Multicolour Stripe £149 – £183 | 4. Small Spiky Sea Urchin Vase White £25 | 5. Haimi Vintage Embroidered Floor Cushion Cover £110 | 6. Farida Berber Cushion Cover Orange Green £85 | 7. Nejma Berber Cushion Cover Orange £85 | 8. Berber Basket Green Orange £55 | 9. Namibian collection cushions and floor cushions £65 – £87
Gift Inspiration For Him
If you, like me, are only just beginning to think about Christmas presents and haven’t bought a single gift yet then our edit of handcrafted global accessories for him, below might help:
Gift ideas for him clockwise from top left:
1. Berber Bread Basket £45 | 2. Storage Jars from £33 | 3. Moroccan Pom Pom Blanket Natural Black from £149 | 4. Sea Urchin Vase Green Medium £45 | 5. Selection of Cushions from our Chiapas Collection £75 each | 6. Black and Natural Block Weave Baskets Bonakele from £34 | 7. Copper Tea Light Candle Holder Seed Pod Large £28 | 8. Table Runner Yox £110