Normally at the end of February we get the coldest days of the year here in Northern Spain. In-fact, a huge cold front arriving from the North Pole is about to hit Western Europe. It is time to stay home drinking a cup of hot chocolate while reading a good book under a cozy blanket.
Talking about blankets, in the Rioja region here in northern Spain we have a long history of wool related textiles dating back to the Middle Ages. Remember that our economy was largely based in shepherding.
At the foothills of Ezcaray mountain we find the village that gives its name. In this small village a family run blanket factory was created in 1930 called Mantas Ezcaray.
Mr. Manuel García started the business with just a few hand looms, producing blankets made from local wool. Over time, the business grew, and the company began to expand its range of products to include scarves, shawls, and other textiles. In the 1950s, Manuel’s son, José García, took over the business and began to modernize its production methods, introducing new technology and equipment.
Despite these changes, Mantas Ezcaray has always remained committed to the traditional weaving techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.
In the 1970s, Mantas Ezcaray began to gain international recognition for its high-quality products. The company started exporting its textiles to countries around the world and began to receive awards for its commitment to quality and traditional craftsmanship.
Today, Mantas Ezcaray is run by the third generation of the García family, who continue to maintain the company’s commitment to quality and sustainability, using the finest natural fibers (many imported now) and traditional weaving techniques.
The blankets are made using the finest natural fibers, including merino wool, mohair, and cashmere.
One of the distinctive features of Ezcaray blankets is the unique weaving process used to create them. They still use a traditional shuttle loom to weave the blankets, which allows for greater precision and control in the weaving process. The result is a blanket that is not only warm and cozy, but also has a distinctive texture and drape that is unique to Mantas Ezcaray. I must say that each blanket is a small investment, but we have a couple at home, and we love them.
Their products can be found in luxury hotels around the world or super high-end luxury brands like Loewe. The company has also been recognized for their commitment to sustainable and ethical production practices, using natural materials and environmentally friendly processes.
Mantas Ezcaray represents the very best in traditional Spanish textile production, with a long history of excellence and a commitment to quality that is reflected in every one of their products. These blankets are a true treasure for anyone who appreciates the beauty and quality of handcrafted textiles.
It is time to get comfy in the couch and read a good book covered in my bright orange Ezcaray Blanket. By the way, I am reading a brilliant book a friend has just sent via Amazon, it is called “CASTE” by Isabel Wilkerson. I think I am going to need to read it at least a couple of times to let it settle in….
See you next week!