The purpose of a blanket is to insulate the body, keep cold air away and lock in the warm body heat. For this reason, certain materials are generally chosen for blanket production. When making or selecting a blanket, you want to look for a material that insulates without being heavy. Knowing some common blanket materials will help you decide what material is right for you.
Wool has been used for thousands of years to make blankets. The primary reason people choose wool is because it has high heat retention. It is also a natural fiber so it is eco-friendly. The primary drawbacks with wool blankets are their weight, and some types of wool have a tendency to shrink during laundering.
There are a number of synthetic fabrics used to make blankets including polyester, acrylic and nylon. Synthetic fabrics are most commonly used in the commercial construction of blankets as they are cost effective. Synthetic fabrics are preferred by many because they can be laundered easily and they are durable. That being said, excessive laundering may cause the colors to fade and threads to wear.
Cotton is used for blanket because it is soft, durable and aesthetically appealing. It can also be woven to increase its insulation ability. Oftentimes, these fabrics are used to make decorative quilts and bedspreads. The drawback to cotton is that it often shrinks when laundered. To combat this problem, cotton/polyester blends are often used to make blankets.
Fleece is used to make blankets because it insulates while still allowing the body to breathe. It is also soft and durable. Fleece is used to make everything from small throws to huge bedspreads. The drawback to fleece is that it can pill overtime making it less attractive. Fleece comes in many varieties including an anti-pill variation.
- "Professional Management of Housekeeping Operations"; Thomas J. A. Jones; 2007
- Fabric Manufacturers: Blanket Fabrics
- "More Fabric Savvy"; Sandra Betzina; 2004
- Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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