ARANDA Textile Mills, manufacturers of the luxury Basotho blanket, this week announced it had come up with a new improved-quality Basotho blanket to replace the current range.
The new range which is expected to hit the local market early next month will also cost less than the old range.
Aranda representative Tom Kritzinger this week told the Lesotho Times the new blanket combined old and new technology which uses an equal blend of Merino wool and Dralon to develop the fabric.
He said the new blanket would also maintain the traditional layout of the well-known designs developed over many years.
“While our dedication to the original royal quality remains steadfast, the new range is visually extremely vibrant. The colours are brighter and the touch is as soft as ever,” Mr Kritzinger said.
Dralon is an acrylic fibre with unique qualities, such as anti-shedding and anti-pilling and it goes a long way in addressing some of the challenges with the 90 percent woolen weft and a lower price tag.
He said one of the reasons the new blanket was partly made of Dralon was the escalating price of wool which had accounted for 90 percent of the old blanket.
However, that challenge proved to be a blessing in disguise as they turned it around to produce a blanket that was not only affordable but had enhanced quality in terms of radiance, softer texture that does not ball and shed.
“Quality is very important to us and we have built our entire brand and business on the world-class product we manufacture and sell. Therefore we were very selective about the process, testing the uptake of dye, the weave and of course, the final product.
“We are proud to say the outcome is outstanding. The quality is maintained and many aspects such as clarity are improved,” he said.
The South Africa-based company said it would to introduce the new product in the first batch of the Victoria England allocation.
Aranda was established 65 years ago in Randfontein in South Africa by the Magni family after the Second World War and in its six decades of existence it has built up significant skills and experience making it globally competitive in the blanket and textile market.
It produces among other ranges, the Basotho blankets for Basotho people. It is the sole manufacturer of the prized blankets.
The company has invested heavily in Lesotho and encourages Basotho to create new designs, thus maintaining the heritage of blanket-wearing.
“We are committed to the proud heritage of the Basotho blanket and our support of this proud nation is steadfast. We are excited about the new quality and we are sure that the market will receive it with equal enthusiasm,” Mr Kritzinger said.