This thick woollen blanket is an iconic textile in southern Africa. Originating in Lesotho, they are associated with King Moshoeshoe I (c. 1786 – 1870) who was also responsible for popularising shweshwe fabric. Basotho blankets are worn around the shoulders secured with a large pin, reminescent of the way in which Sotho men would have traditionally worn a kaross (animal skin shawl). The blankets are now produced in South Africa by Aranda Textile Mills. This striped design is called Umbhalo and is worn by married Ndebele women. Collected as part of the Fashioning Africa project.
Creator: Aranda Textile Mills
Place: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Africa