We hiked for hours in the Maloti mountains, the snow-capped peaks and green valleys laid out before us. The aloe plants were everywhere and were endlessly fascinting with their symmetrical spirals. I wanted to take a cutting but the guide warned it was a crime, 'besides they don't live long outside these mountains' - Diary of a Glen Shepherd
This Kharetsa Aloe Basotho Blanket is named for the spiral aloe found only in Lesotho's Maloti Mountains. The Kharetsa aloe plant is at the heart of this blanket's design surrounded by images of the traditional Basotho hat and shield.
These Blankets are reversible with inverse colouring on the backside.
Additionally every Basotho Blanket comes with a detailed history, wearing instructions as well as a gold tone safety pin. The pin is used when traditionally draped and worn as a garment.
History of the Basotho Blanket
Worn by the people of the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa, Basotho tribal blankets have a storied history and are worn for both ceremonial and everyday use as well as being used as cozy throws and bedding. Basotho blankets are sold all over the world and most recently were featured in the movie "Black Panther".
During the mid-19th century Lesotho was under attack from various fronts, and King Moshoeshoe I appealed to Queen Victoria of Britain in 1867 for protection. When she agreed to his request, the King spoke of her “spreading her blanket” of protection over the country, and so began an enduring relationship between the two nations that continues to this day.
What makes the Basotho blankets unique is the layout of the design, the various symbols used, the bold colour combinations and the characteristic pin-stripe. The designs have been developed over many years with the blessing of the Lesotho Royal Family and are intimately related to the history and culture of the Basotho people.
These Basotho blankets are manufactured from a wool blend which offers protection from the wind and rain and provides warmth in the high altitude climate. They are also some of the coziest blankets you can own and are perfect as throws or bedding.
155 cm by 165 cm / 61" by 65" inches
50% Wool - 50% Acrylic
Made in South Africa
Social ImpactA portion of the sale price of every Basotho blanket is donated to Sentebale, a charity founded by Harry, Duke of Sussex and HRH Prince Seeiso of Lesotho that provides support for children living with HIV.
Additionally, a portion of the profits from all Sykes & Ainley items goes to supporting the work of The Canadian Wool Council (CWC). The CWC is a Canadian non-profit organization devoted to supporting Canada's wool growers and educating consumers on the wonders of wool.