Warm, durable and eco-friendly, wool blankets and throws are a smart investment that can last for generations. Derived from sheep, goats, and other animals, wool is a sustainable and extremely versatile natural fiber. Since the fibers resist moisture and prevent spilled liquids from setting, wool blankets and throws are less susceptible to stains than coverings made from most other fabrics. Wool's natural moisture-wicking qualities also help prevent bacteria from developing. Blankets made from wool provide excellent insulation when used outdoors and inhibit the growth of mildew by preventing dew and rain from seeping in. Household blankets created from wool range in texture from coarse to silky soft, depending on the weave and type of wool. Wool is often blended with acrylic, a lightweight and affordable synthetic fiber that inhibits shrinkage. Whether you need a hardy blanket to protect you from the elements on your next camping trip or a cashmere throw to add a bit of luxury to your bedding, Overstock carries the perfect wool blanket or throw for your needs. Respected manufacturers such as Pendleton, Woolrich, and Faribault ensure exceptional craftsmanship and offer a wide assortment of beautiful weaves, colors, and designs. To learn more about wool blankets and throws, keep reading.
Types of Wool Blankets and Throws
Merino sheep produce a type of wool that is easy to dye, warm, and strong. Frequently used in blankets and throws, Merino wool has a soft texture due to its fine fibers. It also offers excellent breathability. Merino wool is commonly produced in Australia, although it can also come from New Zealand or other countries.
Lambswool features in some of the softest blankets on the market. Derived from the first shearing of young sheep, lambswool produces fine, very elastic yarns. It is typically used in high-quality blankets, which often come at a higher price point.
Cashmere comes from the undercoat of a breed of goats raised in Asia, India, Australia, and several other parts of the world. This luxurious fiber is obtained by separating the goat's top coat from the soft, fine undercoat, usually by combing it by hand. This process takes a lot of time and labor, so blankets and throws made from cashmere are often considered luxury products.
Herringbone is a classic weave pattern that resembles the spine of a fish. Also called a broken head twill, herringbone patterns are composed of two diagonal lines that intersect to form a pattern similar to an arrow or chevron shape. This pattern produces a strong, durable weave.
Blankets featuring Native American patterns add the perfect accessory to Southwestern or country decor. Often rendered in bright primary colors, the blankets reflect the distinctive design motifs of various tribes. Arrowheads, sunbursts, stripes, and other geometric shapes are typical. With their vivid color palettes and bold patterns, Native American patterns integrate beautifully into rooms with rustic leather furnishings in earth tones.
Plaid blankets and throws lend a cozy, traditional feel to your home. Due to their simple, time-honored pattern, plaid blankets can evoke associations with rural America or England. Draped across the arm of a living room sofa or armchair, plaid blankets and throws invite you to snuggle down with a good book or relax in front of the fireplace. They are particularly appropriate for farmhouse or cottage decor.
A popular pattern for blankets and throws, stripes come in varying widths and configurations. Wide stripes in shades of blue offer an ideal complement to coastal or nautical design schemes, while narrow ticking stripes lend subtle pattern and texture. High contrast between the color of the background and the stripes adds energy and drama, while closely related colors produce a more muted effect.
Wool Blankets & Throws FAQs
How do you clean wool blankets and throws?
Since wool is naturally dirt-repellent, you may be able to get away with cleaning wool blankets less frequently than blankets made from other materials. Periodically shaking out the blanket and leaving it outside for a couple of hours can freshen it up. Although some wool blankets and throws should be dry cleaned, many blankets containing wool blended with acrylic are safe for home laundering. Always check the label to determine the best cleaning method. For machine washing, set the temperature on cool and use a gentle detergent. Avoid throwing your blanket or throw into the dryer, which can cause shrinkage. Air dry it instead. Roll up the blanket and gently press out excess water to hasten the drying time. Drape the blanket across a drying rack or other surface. Hanging up the blanket can cause it to stretch out of shape. For a quick alternative cleaning method, gently brush the blanket using a soft-bristle brush to remove dirt and debris. Work lengthwise and avoid brushing forcefully or in more than one direction, since doing so can damage the fibers. While wool is naturally resistant to liquids, you should immediately address spills to avoid potential stains. Gently blot the spill dry. For particularly resistant stains, spray on a mixture of water and a mild detergent and try blotting again. Before spritzing your blanket with any liquid, perform a test for colorfastness on an inconspicuous area to ensure the dye doesn't bleed.
How can you enhance the longevity of a wool blanket or throw?
As one of nature's most durable fibers, wool produces blankets of exceptional durability. To keep your blanket in great condition for years to come, follow some simple maintenance tips. Protect your blanket or throw from prolonged exposure to harsh sunlight, since it can cause fading over time. To store the blanket, fold it neatly and place it in a cool, dark, dry location, such as a chest or linen closet.
What's the best way to prevent insects from damaging wool blankets and throws?
Store your blanket inside an airtight container, such as a plastic bin or zippered bag, to prevent moths from gaining access to it. If you prefer to store it in a chest, make sure the blanket is clean before putting it away. Food residue and sweat attract parasites. Adding cedar chips to the chest can also be helpful since such chips contain an oil that repels moths. Replenish the cedar chips frequently to keep them effective.