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While blankets tend to refer to the coverings that fit standardized bed sizes (see below),
today we think of a small blanket as a throw, when it has actually become an item
recognized in its own right. The word, “throw”, is associated with a “throw rug”
something that was, perhaps, hastily laid down to welcome guests, and moved
around based on circumstantial demands. A “throw” then, being an item to “throw
around” oneself or over an item of furniture is one of those wonderful descriptive
words and as such should not be limited for certain uses.

Many throws could easily be worn, “thrown” over a coat for an extra layer, and fashion
with its overlapping textile boundaries today between home furnishing fabrics and
attire, make the wearing of a “throw” --that would be an item larger than a shawl
or a scarf—simply modern.

Check out the Fairbault Woolen Mill website for more inspirational throws as well as
recycled wool pieces.

From a design perspective military history offers an interesting contribution to blankets. The
size of a military blanket is around 60 x 80”, or 66 x 86” which is similar to the size of a twin
size bed blanket, around 66 x 90” (just a little longer) and not far from the size of many
throws, at 57 x 72”. So it’s arguable that the “throw” emerged from military history, used
to help keep a soldier warm and also to decorate an officer’s campaign tent when not
in use to provide an extra layer of protection.  The Fairbault Woolen Mill in Fairbault
Minnesota has been making woolen blankets for over 150 years, wool will retain warmth
even when wet, and provided woolen blankets to soldiers in both World War I and II.
Their woolen Foot Soldier Blankets, measuring 64 x 90”, offer modern day styling in plaid
or stripe, with muted colors and an extra attraction of deep historical associations. They
may be used as blankets for a twin bed, or at the foot of a larger bed, or as a
decorative throw.

by Georgina Callan

We use them as extra covers, or as decorative items draped over the end of a sofa or chair. For some
they are much loved items, worn, wooly and forever reminiscent of good times, curled up and
undercover watching tv. For others a throw or blanket is a design statement, an emphasis of style
exuding a message of color and texture, perfectly positioned on the back of a sofa.

Blankets have ancient roots, woven from animal hair and fur and the cellulous fibers from the flax
plant, creating linen. Blankets are part of just about everyone’s domestic linen closet, even those
who have replaced bedding blankets with duvets and comforters. In the past blankets were often
inherited and passed down through families, and made part of a bride’s trousseau, today blankets
are selected for color, texture and weight and design rather than collected by necessity.

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While bedding mattress sizes tend to be standard, within an inch or two, bedding itself


Alpaca, cashmere, mohair, all are materials that find their way into the making of throws.
At the Citizenry, a company that sources artisanal work from all over the world, the
Cordoba throw is made in Argentina in small batches. It is made from 100% sheep’s
wool and measures 35 x 70”.
Add a strap for portability.  

If you can’t decide between a blanket, or a throw, and minimal design isn’t for you,
take a look at this Etsy Store for giant, oversize “knitted” pieces of merino wool,
offered in over 10 sizes and 15 colors.