It is impossible to imagine life without blankets. It is unfathomable how nights could have been had it not been for these cozy pieces of fabric.
Anyone who has spent a cold night without a blanket will tell you how much we take them for granted. Blankets have been essential to the survival of humankind. Unlike most animals, humans have very little hair and no fur at all.
Blankets weren’t always in the form that we know today. Ancient humans improvised blankets from animal skins.
These blankets were made of dried stretched skin from early domesticated animals such as sheep and cows.
Modern-day blankets are pretty different. These pieces of fabric are made from many types of materials. They are warmer and better than traditional animal skin coverings.
Who invented blankets?
Though coverings have been used for many years, modern blankets are attributed to Edmund Blanquette. Edmund was a renowned clothier in Britain in the 1300s. He was also a successful politician, having served as a member of parliament for Bristol in the 1360s.
The History Of Blankets
Blankets are essential pieces of fabric. They are cozy and comfortable. These pieces of fabric are available in all homes all over the world.
We never always had blankets. Before Edmund Blanquette’s genius invention, life was very different. Thanks to his genius design, we can now enjoy warm and comfortable nights and tuck in during winters.
Historians place the earliest known blanket-like invention in India in the seventh century. Back then, the piece of fabric was known as the Kambala. The Kambala had a very rudimentary design. It was a lengthy fabric woven from sheep hair.
Both humans and animals used Kambalas. People used to put these pieces of clothing on the backs of animals to make it comfortable for their owners to ride on them.
In other parts of the world, people used interwoven reeds and even random leaves to keep themselves warm. It was far from ideal, but it did the trick. As trade routes opened and people became familiar with weaving technology, people learned how to make blankets from animal skins.
The first modern-day blankets were made in the 1330s by Edmund Blanquette. These were simple blankets made from interwoven woolen strips from sheep.
Edmund knew that the idea would quickly catch on, and consequently, he set up the first large-scale production plant. Edmund decided to employ weavers to work in the plant, where they would spend their days earning a wage by making blankets.
The earliest known plant-based coverings that got used as blankets were the Sibudu. Thicker sibudu were used to create sleeping mats.
Large loom companies and corporations met Edmund with a lot of pushback. Wealthy aristocrats owned these firms, and they weren’t comfortable with the idea that Edmund opted to use human labor in production.
Weavers were peasant, hard-working people who offered affordable labor. The aristocrats tried to get Edmund to close his factory. King Edward III intervened and insisted that blankets had to continue.
Since the first basic blanket designs, we have come a long way. Blankets are made from all sorts of materials. Premium blankets are made from silk. They are pretty expensive, as silk is hard to come by.
The first safe electric blankets are credited to S.I. Russell. These are blankets that are heated to make them warmer. Thermostats regulate the blanket’s heat.
They contain wires that run into the blanket. Previous electric blanket designs failed due to issues regarding safety. Some of these blankets could spontaneously catch fire, endangering the user and their belongings.
Types Of Blankets
There are numerous types of blankets. These pieces of fabric can be made from a variety of materials and have varying designs.
The perfect blanket isn’t easy to select.
Here are the most common types of blankets:
Quilts are lightweight blankets made from multiple layers that ensure warmth. These blankets have three layers. The top and bottom layers are from the same type of material.
The top and bottom layers have stacks of fabric tightly bound together in intricate patterns. The middle layer has cotton. The layer isn’t filler but has the same density as the top and bottom layers.
Quilts are ideal for warm and temperate climates.
Duvets are special blankets that are used together with slipcovers. Duvets typically have three layers. The top and the bottom are made of the same fabric and are typically synthetic; however, it isn’t always the case.
The middle layer of duvets has filler.
It can be cotton, wool, or feathers. The intention is to archive a fluffy middle section for maximum comfort.
3. Sherpa Blankets
Sherpa blankets are multifunctional blankets made from two layers. The blanket is ideal for both hot and cool climates. One side of the blanket is made from a light synthetic material, while the other is a thick fleece.
It would help if you used the blanket in a hot climate that occasionally has an odd cold night.
4. Chenille blankets
These are unique single-layer blankets with beautiful designs and intricately woven patterns.
They are vintage blankets with a unique aesthetic. These blankets are functional and decorative.
Most chenille blankets are hand-woven. They are typically made from cotton.
Comforter blankets are dense multi-layered blankets designed for warmth. These blankets are similar to duvets, except they get used without slipcovers.
Comforter blankets usually have outer layers made from synthetic material. They are pretty thick, with the filler layer stuffed with either cotton, wool, or feathers.
While comforter blankets are perfect for winter, they usually are too heavy for the summer.
6. Throw blankets
Throw blankets are common in living rooms. They are light blankets that you use on your sofa watching television or reading a book. These blankets blend into your living room, as they should match your décor.
Throw blankets are handy in living rooms that lack air conditioning or fireplaces.
Vellux is a soft and thin blanket made from nylon. These blankets are ideal for travel, as you can compactly fold them to occupy very little space. Vellux blankets are pretty comfortable due to their plush texture. Many vellux blankets aren’t breathable.
8. Bamboo blankets
Bamboo blankets are unique pieces of fabric made from bamboo fibers. They are woven intricately to form thick layers, stretched out, and then cured. These blankets are soft and breathable.
9. Shearling blankets
They are a particular type of woolen blanket. These blankets get made from wool with sheepskin attached. The shearling blankets get carefully treated to make the skin flexible through several processes.
Choosing A Blanket
There are so many types of blankets in the market. Selecting the best blanket can be challenging. There are several things to consider when choosing the perfect products.
Here are some of the most important things to consider:
1. The size of the blanket
The blanket dimensions are essential when choosing the blanket type. You must select a blanket that suits the size of your bed.
A small blanket is uncomfortable, as it will leave you uncovered. An oversized blanket might be too warm, and it could also be challenging to keep clean.
The climate of the place you live in should influence your blanket choice. There are several blankets suitable for different climatic conditions.
If you live in warm or hot areas, you avoid blankets such as comforters and thick duvets. For cold climates, avoid vellux and Sherpa blankets.
3. The aesthetics of the blanket
A blanket shouldn’t only be about functionality. It would be best if you considered other factors such as the color and the décor of your bedroom.
Blankets should match the theme and feel of the room. They can make your living space beautiful.
It would help if you considered your allergies before purchasing a blanket. Some fabrics can trigger allergies, such as sneezing fits or watery eyes. Some types of fabric can irritate the skin, especially in babies.
It is possible to eliminate allergens on blankets by washing them in warm water. It, however, is only a temporary solution.
You must choose an easy blanket to wash and keep clean. The ideal blanket should be machine-friendly. Unfortunately, most warm blankets are challenging to wash.
Washing some blankets in machines might cause them to unravel or shrink. You must always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on washing your blanket.
Blankets have been in use for a very long time. Before the invention of blankets, people used animal skins to shield themselves from the elements. These skins had their shortcomings, prompting Edmund Blanquette to create better covering.
Modern-day blankets are so much better. They are cozy and softer than animal skins. They are essential pieces of clothing that everyone ought to have.