March's Pattern-of-the-Month is 132 Moroccan Burnoose. This pattern is based on the typical outerwear of Northern Africa. The Burnoose was originally worn by Maghreb men in the Atlas Mountains. The enveloping, hooded cloak is effective protection from freezing nights, sandstorms, and whistling winds. It is typically woven of camel hair, in natural beige or brown, or more formally in black, or white in summer. Today, however, the Burnoose is worn not only by herdsmen and village craftsmen, by by urban executives in Casablanca and Tunis. These latter are often of the finest camel hair or wool and are worn over beautiful tailor-made business suits.
Our Moroccan Burnoose is a graceful sweeping cloak that can be worn year-round. It features the drama of a half-circle sweep, the shoulder area falls on the bias, and the Burnoose molds itself smoothly to the upper arms. A permanent center front closure holds the garment in place, just below the throat, but you can see from the photos above, that this closure can be done away with (or made into a clasp). The edges of the Burnoose can be finished with a variety of trims, from a crocheted lace (like above) to bias binding. Or, if using a felted wool or knit, the edges can be left as is or just turned under once.
The Burnoose is a striking wrap for women and men in the shorter daytime length or traditional ankle-length. You can make it with rain-proof nylon for a wonderful rain poncho, in a ponte knit for a super soft and easy wrap, or in a beautiful wool for elegant outwear. While we usually recommend a heavier fabric for this cloak, a lighter-weight fabric would work well to make a fun beach cover-up too! This garment also makes a great Star Wars costume.