Pom-Pom Blankets: The Focal Point of Any Room
Morocco, the kingdom that gives Spain a cousin's kiss across the Strait of Gibraltar, still produces old-world handicrafts cultivated from thousands of years of mixing, blending and sometimes warring cultures. Merged from Berbers, Arabs, Phoenicians, sub-Saharan Africans and Europeans, modern Moroccans embrace much of their ancient traditions along with contemporary technology. Threaded, literally, throughout all of the traditional tribes and clans is the production of beautiful, handcrafted and unique textiles.
These earthy, colorful and ornate rugs, blankets, saddlebags and garments contribute a lovely and timeless touch to any home. As useful as they are beautiful, Moroccan textiles, particularly the pom-pom blankets, easily become the focal point of any room, no matter how you wish to display them.
A Berber cotton bedspread, with the simple contrast of black and white stripes surrounded by red pom-poms, is hard to resist. The above hand-made blanket may remind you of the zebras of Africa. But the bright puffs around it will add a zing to an otherwise stark bedroom.
Speaking of black and white: Women had few options in the tribal cultures, but because they became so very skilled at creating woven goods from wool or cotton with complex patterns, they were readily encouraged to produce and sell their artistic merchandise (once the household was nicely stocked). Developed from early childhood, their skills earned them a status rarely seen in Muslim and nomadic cultures. This elevation of women in their society renders Morocco one of the more advanced and liberal nations within the Islamic world.
Table Cloth or Runner
Although labeled as a blanket, Moroccan pom-pom blankets offer more versatility than just bed covers. They also look wonderful spread across a table or folded to serve as a table runner. A lovely blanket with multiple bold colors in its stripes is sure to pull in any number of hues in your decorating scheme. Protect wood tops while entertaining by draping the whole table, then fold to about 12 inches or so and store it as a great accent down the length of the table. Let the oohs and ahhs begin.
Why keep a great Moroccan blanket cooped up in the house? Take it with you to the beach or picnics in the park for all the world to see. A wool blanket in a checkerboard pattern keeps sand out of the sunscreen and ants out of the potato salad in handsome style.
When a wedding celebration approaches in Morocco, the family weavers create very special wedding blankets for the happy couple. Due to their intricate patterns and luxurious piles, these blankets may be too gorgeous to cover a bed in the recesses of your house. The artistic skill practically demands a proud display on a wall in the living room. There, you can regale your guests with your stories of how you captured such an fascinating, authentic piece of art.
After you've covered a wall, a bed and table, you'll certainly want to cover yourself with a Moroccan pom-pom blanket. When you aren't hunkered down under one with a good book, these blankets can grace the back of your sofa for additional color and interest. Woven from soft wool, an old-world blanket easily covers two for a romantic winter evening by the fire.
Native-produced Moroccan blankets, with their hand-made appeal, pair well with contemporary furniture in any room. The dichotomy of space-age rigidity punctuated by the irregularities of old-world, homespun blankets will start conversations every time. But these blankets defy conformity and fit perfectly in any decor.