I want to share something with you that I think are some of the most beautiful pieces of handmade artwork - Moroccan Wedding Blankets or Handira. Here are a few that are for sale as of right now from Beyond Marrakech.
Aren't they stunning?! The sequins are a shiny metal that make a jingling sound when the blankets are moved. Some of these beauties are amazingly heavy at over 10 lbs for a single blanket. They are made from wool and cotton that the Berber women weave by hand. Each blanket is begun at the birth of a girl child or when the girl is very young by the women of her family. These blankets can take a very long time to complete and each one is unique. The sequins and kilim bands are said to ward off the evil eye and bring good luck for the bride and her husband. The bride wears the handira on the day of her wedding as a cape over her head and shoulders to keep her warm on the trip to her new home. The mountains there can be very cold in the winter time, so some of the blankets are extra thick to keep the bride warm. The shoulder straps are for her to hold on to keeping the blanket in place. Here are a few more that have been sold:
I have an unhealthy obsession with these beauties and own a few of them myself. Each blanket has it's own story and a history rich with family tradition. The blankets shown here are all vintage blankets, meaning they are about 20 or more years old. Some have spots on them, some have tarnished or rusted sequins, but they all have a story to tell and each and every one of them was worn by a woman for her wedding day. Different tribes, sometimes, have different variations like the blankets below. These are from the Beni Ouarain tribe, who live high up in the Atlas mountains. The wooly side was worn facing out to allow snow to fall off of the tips of the fringe instead of soaking into the blanket.
Side of blanket facing bride:
Side of blanket facing out:
I am, by no means, an expert on these blankets. I'm just someone who loves them and wanted to share. There are other places online that sell handira, but Danielle has the best prices in my experience.
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