Last updated on July 11th, 2023 at 12:19 am
Definition of Blanket
Blankets are made of various constructions and compositions, which provide different degrees of warmth, softness, and durability. They are usually woven but can be knitted or stitch-knitted or the Arachne fabric forming technique, needled, or by flocking fibres onto a polyurethane foam base. The yarns may be composed wholly of cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, or polyester blends.
Types of Blankets
Blankets may be classified into three basic types: conventional, thermal, and flocked polyurethane. Their characteristics differ in appearance, texture, warmth, durability, and care.
Conventional blankets are usually woven with soft-twist yarns in the filling and higher-twist yarns in the warp. The yarns may be of wool, acrylic, polyester, or blends of these fibres. Combinations containing nylon are also used. The fabric is heavily napped to produce a thick, close, fuzzy surface.
Although conventional blankets made of wool or wool blends are the heaviest, they are not necessarily the warmest. Those of acrylic are in the moderate price range, are relatively light in weight, and provide good warmth. Acrylic and polyester blankets are fairly durable but tend to pill with use and laundering. Wool blankets are difficult to launder because they become very heavy when wet and can also shrink considerably unless given a preshrinking finish. These blankets can be dry-cleaned. Conventional blankets tend to be the most durable type of blankets.
Thermal blankets are either woven in a variation of the plain weave, such as a honeycomb pattern, or knitted in a manner that produces an open lightweight construction. The soft-twist yarns may be of cotton, wool, acrylic, polyester, or a blend of any of these fibres. The fabric is not napped.
The combination of soft-twist yarns and open construction is designed to provide air spaces to serve as insulation. However, these air spaces between the yarns are not really enclosed and there is a loss of heat by convection. This can be reduced by enclosing the blanket in a cover. Thermal blankets are better suited for lightweight or summer blankets. Of course, warmth will also vary with the type of fibre used.
Flocked Polyurethane Blankets
Flocked polyurethane Blankets are composed of polyurethane foam base covered with fibre flocking, usually nylon, held in position with an acrylic adhesive. They are very soft, resilient, and sometimes spongy. They tend to have a misty appearance, particularly in the lighter colors, due to the flocking. They are relatively light in weight.
The polyurethane makes these blankets more difficult to fold and drape around the body. Although such blankets are warm for their weight, they generally are not as warm as conventional blankets. Polyurethane blankets are the weakest and least durable; they particularly have poor abrasion resistance because the flock tends to rub away leaving the polyurethane exposed – which can further abrade easily. They are best suited where heavy use and great warmth are not mandatory. Polyurethane blankets can be safely machine washed and machine dried.
Sizes of Blankets
All types of blankets are made in four sizes and the dimensions are fairly standard. The twin size is produced in 66 inches X 90 inches (168 X 229 cm) and 72 inches X 90 inches (183 X 229 cm); double or full size is 80 inches X 90 inches (203 X 229 cm); queen size is 90 inches X 90 inches (229 X 229 cm) and 95 inches X 90 inches (241 X 229 cm); and king size is 108 inches X 90 inches (274 X 229 cm).