Blanket cloth

The term “blanket cloth” refers to the fabric used to create blankets, and while there isn’t a definitive origin point for the fabric itself, it likely developed shortly after the invention of blankets and quilts. Historically, blanket cloth began with wool as the primary material due to its insulating properties, thickness, and the ability to be woven tightly. Over time, cotton and polyester blends were introduced, broadening the use and characteristics of the fabric.

The earliest record of a blanket-like fabric is “Kambala,” a woolen material made from sheep or goat’s hair mentioned by the Chinese traveler Xuanzang during his journey to India between 629–645 CE. In ancient India, kambala referred generally to materials such as shawls and blankets. There were also variations of blankets in old Indian textiles, serving not just for warmth but also as coverings for animals like horses, elephants, and bullocks.

Blanket cloth is known for being heavy-weight and absorbent, with high water retention, making it suitable for wear in the rain. Its warmth and cozy nature make it a good thermal insulator. The fabric often has a nap, which is a raised fuzzy surface that can make it appear luxurious and soft. Due to its bulk and weight, garments made from blanket cloth can be quite heavy, which is something to consider when using it for clothing.

Through time, the use of blanket cloth has evolved, and today it is not just used for making blankets but also for overcoats, sweaters, shawls, and even cushioned furniture. The care for blanket cloth usually involves professional cleaning methods, such as dry cleaning and steam pressing, due to its heavy and bulky nature when wet.

In terms of the historical evolution of blankets made from blanket cloth, they have served various purposes beyond just providing warmth. They have held cultural significance in various societies, used in ceremonies and rituals, and reflected the artistic trends of their times. From the luxurious materials used in ancient civilizations to the diverse and functional textiles of today, blankets and blanket cloth have been a constant presence, providing comfort and protection throughout human history.

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Birdie Bailey

of Birdyberry.

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