Dunder Mifflinites reading this are probably remembering the confusing exchange between Michael and his cohorts wherein a country, a blanket and a dog we’re all used interchangeably.
For those who don’t visit The Office regularly, we’ll jump straight to the point: In addition to being a pronoun used to describe a person native to or inhabiting Afghanistan, and a breed of dog, Afghan is the name for a specific type of blanket.
so, it's just a blanket?
An Afghan is just a blanket the same way that Manolo Blahnik just makes shoes. If you’re determined to suck the fun and fantasy out of the story- then yes, it’s just a blanket. But if you’re open to understanding the thoughtfulness, time and meticulous handiwork that goes into one, then an Afghan is so much more.
An Afghan is blanket handmade by knit or crochet using yarn. Originally, step one would involve knitting several smaller patterned squares followed by step two, stitching them together to create one large piece. The smaller squares making up the large piece were referred to as Granny Squares as the job of stitching them together was less laborious than the intricacies of making them and thus, a job that the older women would take on in the creation of an Afghan.
so, they're from Afghanistan?
Look at you with the word association! In a country home to lustrous textiles, vibrant colours and intricate patterns, it’s no surprise that Afghanistan was the inspiration behind the iconic knitwear.
The fact of the matter however is that while Afghans seem to check out as being a craft from the Middle East, they are of European origin. In the early 1800’s, essayist Thomas Carlye dropped the word Afghan as a noun referencing a colourful shawl in his work Sartor Resartus and after a few decades of repeated use in this format, Afghan just sort of became synonymous with handcrafted patchwork and knitted quilts. Talk about manifesting your future.
In a country home to lustrous textiles, vibrant colours and intricate patterns, it’s no surprise that Afghanistan was the inspiration behind the iconic knitwear.
so, they're which design era?
Back to that shoe analogy. Just like footwear, style and colourways are often the signal for a particular design era. For example, Nike produced running shoes as early as the 1970's paying mind to specific design trends of the time. Today, the king of shoe retailers continues to do what they do best following the same recipe; reflecting trend reports.
Afghans are hundreds of years old but because they are such a simple concept, just like the running shoe, the only way we can really measure their age is by their detailing. Afghans knit today might feature neutral colourways and simple clean lines; two very popular descriptors of the minimalist craze.
Mid-century modern Afghans like the ones here are evident through their use of the infamous 70's colour palette; reds, oranges & browns. Popular patternwork of the era are Chevrons (the horizontal zig-zag) which have been seen on everything from textiles to t-shirts and are a merciless giveaway of the time.
ok, so now what?
Now what? Now you get cozy! With winter still very much surrounding our every move, our dreams of sun-filled warmth are still out of reach.
Afgans are the type of textile that can be both used and abused so wrap yourself up in their cozy wool knit and give that worn-four-days-in-a-row-now sweater a much needed break. Just the same, an Afghan stuns when simply strewn over a piece of furniture for an extra bit of texture in any living space. Our vintage 70's Afghans add a particular level pop-worthy colour to neutral living spaces when draped over mid-century woodworks. Take a peek here
Acid Trip Afghan, $52
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