The Seanamarena brand today is considered the Royal Crown Jewel of all the Basotho blankets.
This brand dates back to the 1930’s when it was created by the late Mr Charles Hendry Robertson who owned a trading store in Leribe called Seanamarena.
The word ‘Seanamarena’ means ‘to swear by the Chiefs’. The Collection features the famous Poone design with its corncob motif. In Basotho culture the corncob is a symbol of fertility and wealth. The Chromatic design derives its name from its creator’s initials C.H.R.
Producing Cultural Quality
Aranda Textiles manufactures a number of different products. From blankets and throws, to traditional shawls and blankets, the range is incredibly diverse. But what was the first ever Aranda product? The Magni’s initially started by making woollen shawls as their expertise and Italian heritage as textile manufacturers lay in woollen fabrics. It was not long after the first shawls were made that Aranda started to manufacture traditional South African travelling rugs. These checked rugs with fringes on the top and bottom were durable and warm and made a trustworthy travelling companion on ones journey. The rugs are still manufactured by Aranda today and are appropriately named the Italiano.
As a result of their woollen expertise, the founding family saw a lucrative gap in the market and also began manufacturing woollen fabrics such as tweeds, course jacket and over-coat materials during the late 50’s and early 60’s.
The 70’s saw the arrival of man-made fibres into the mainstream market. During this era the price of wool was becoming increasingly expensive and the decision was made to diversify Aranda into the spinning and weaving of man-made fibre products. Soon thereafter the first acrylic fibre shawl was produced using regenerated acrylic fibre.
When the 80’s came around it brought with it the arrival of the first jacquard looms to Aranda. Design possibilities had suddenly become endless and this heralded the beginning of the acrylic fur-pile bed and wearing blanket era. The striking designs and bright colours took the market by storm.
In the mid-eighties Aranda had grown to a size where the Physical Planning Act forced them to open a second plant. Aranda took advantage of the decentralisation benefits and opened a factory in Isithebe, KwaZulu-Natal. The factory, Associated Spinners, focused on the spinning and dyeing of open-end yarn and is still an integral part of the Aranda group today.
The early 1990’s is when Aranda started making the woollen Basotho blankets. Their long history and expertise in woollen spinning and weaving made them a natural fit to take over the legacy of producing such prestigious brands like the Seanamarena and Victoria England. During this period Aranda began spinning cotton/acrylic blends and acrylic micro-fibre. More recently Aranda has acquired a chenille plant and is one of only two spinners of chenille yarn in South Africa.
Aranda is today, the only genuine fully vertical, manufacturer of blankets and throws in South Africa. This means all products are created from raw fibre to finished goods ready to be merchandised. Raw materials are sourced both locally and internationally. These are then spun into yarns, which are dyed, woven and finished in a variety of quality blankets and throws.
A Basotho BackgroundThe story of the Basotho Heritage Blanket can be traced to European traders and missionaries who came to Southern Africa as far back as the 1800's. It began with the father of The Lesotho Kingdom, King Moshoeshoe I. In 1860, King Moshoeshoe I was presented a woollen blanket as a gift. He was so taken with it, that he abandoned the traditional leopard skin kaross in favour of the blanket.
The Basotho people soon followed their leader and to this day, the blanket is an integral part of their daily lives. It is also an essential feature of all important life events, from childbirth and marriage to initiation and the coronation of Kings. In 1865, when Queen Victoria gave her protection to Moshoeshoe’s kingdom at his request, he spoke of her as “spreading her blanket” over his country.
In 1897 Queen Victoria visited the then Basutoland during her Jubilee year. She gave King Lerotholi Letsie a blanket as a gift. The blanket was named the Victoria England.
The Basotho people had a great love and respect for Queen Victoria and the Victoria England blanket has become a sought after status symbol. The Victoria England is the oldest of the Basotho blanket brands and includes many famous designs; for example the Badges of the Brave which was designed by Mr R.D. Shrubsole. He was inspired by the Basotho regiments who fought alongside the allies during World War II.
The design features the various badges belonging to these regiments. However, through the years the Basotho have come to refer to this design as NZ, meaning Nazareth. This is more inclined towards their religious and Christian beliefs.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. This stripe was originally a weaving fault which has become a unique part of the design and dictates how the blanket is worn. When worn in the traditional manner, the pin-stripe runs vertically symbolizing growth.
Traditionally Basotho blankets are manufactured from wool which offers protection from the wind and rain and provides warmth in the high altitude of The Mountain Kingdom.
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Eligible orders will be offered the Guaranteed Same Day or Guaranteed Weekend delivery options at checkout, where a specific date will be given. You can view the costs of these in our delivery options section.
Your order will arrive by the estimated delivery date provided in your payment confirmation email and we will send you an SMS on the date of delivery so you know when to expect our Courier. At this point, if you won't be available to receive your order on that day, you can reschedule by calling the number provided in your SMS confirmation.