Business Insider Edition

Black Panther made Basotho blankets world famous – but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from local sales

Bombi Mavundza , Business Insider SA
 Mar 15, 2018, 08:53 AM
    • Wakanda's Border Tribe wear Basotho blankets, albeit with some Vibranium enhancements the real-world manufacturers cannot match.
    • Aranda Textiles is the custodian of official Basotho Heritage Blankets, under an agreement with the Lesotho royal family.
    • There has been no real impact on sales, Aranda says, though global awareness of the blankets can't hurt.

    Aranda Textiles saw a small spike in international sale of the Seanamarena blankets since the release of the blockbuster movie, Black Panther, last month. This is according to the textile manufacturer marketing manager, Tom Kritzinger.

    "Locally there has been no change," Kritzinger.

    "The only thing the movie has done is bring awareness to the blankets locally," he adds. The company has the sole manufacturing and trademark rights to the blankets, also known as the Basotho Heritage Blankets, per the permission of the Basotho Royal Family.

    Locally, the blankets can be found at any textile shop, while they are sold on internationally. Fans of the movie got to see Vibranium draped Seanamarena's that also acted as armaments for the Border Tribe warriors. The Vibranium enhancements of the movie blankets are sadly not available in real life, but the blankets are.

    Since the move there has been a small spike in demand for its Basotho blankets, official keeper of Seanamarena Aranda Textiles says. That extra demand came from, one of Aranda's international sales channels. But that is about it.

    Black Panther director Ryan Coogler travelled to South Africa, where his encounter with the Basotho inspired the look of the fictional tribe.

    The Seanamarena, commonly known as the Basotho Heritage Blankets, have a deep cultural significance.

    "We have intellectual property rights over the blankets and their design and that is why all our blankets come with a warning for people to be on the lookout for counterfeit blanket," says Kritzinger.

    Aranda did not directly supply the movie with blankets, Kritzinger says, and the company is not sure where those came from. 

    Black Panther stylist Ruth E. Carter had over 100 buyers in South Africa, Nigeria and South Korea sourcing many of the movie's outfits and jewellery.

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