The Benefits of Choosing Wool
It should come as no surprise that wool blankets are popular because of their superb warmth, but what you may not know are the many other benefits that come with choosing a wool blanket. From their quality wool material that reinforces durability to their astounding affordability, you can’t go wrong with a Swiss Link Classic Wool blanket.
Whether used as a utility blanket or even a casual throw around your house or car, wool blankets are the superior choice. Unlike cheap materials such as polyester and acrylic, wool does a great job at trapping body heat for optimal warmth and comfort. Before you begin your search for the right military-style blanket to take with you on your next expedition, find out the history and top benefits of choosing one made out of wool and how to wash a wool blanket properly.
History of Wool Blankets
To give a brief description, wool is a material that is made from sheep and other animal furs. The process of obtaining it is called sheep shearing, which involves the woolen fleece of a sheep (or other animals) to be cut and then classified as one of the four main categories of wool: fleece (which goods are made of), broken, bellies and locks. From there the wool is scoured, which is the process of cleaning and prepping the wool.
While this process of wool shearing and prepping seems simple enough, it is steeped in decades-long tradition and has evolved immensely over time. The first wool textiles were found in Europe around 1500 BC. This was before shears were invented, meaning wool would have been extracted by hand during this time. While we may not know when the first wool blanket was crafted exactly, we can presume wool has been an important material for goods for quite some time.
More recently in the United States, wool was the fabric of choice during World War I because of its superior qualities and affordability. Soldiers trusted and depended on it during the toughest of times. And still today, it is the premier choice for consumers looking for military-grade blankets.
Benefits of Wool Blankets
Among the many benefits of wool blankets, warmth is the most known benefit—and arguably, one of the most important. Although, warmth isn’t the only quality you should consider when searching for the best travel blanket. A dependable blanket should contain all of the important features you need it to—like keeping you comfortable, dry and require minimal care.
While there are many different materials blankets can be made out of, there are only a few that can withstand the test of time. With a wool blanket, you can be sure all of your essential needs will be met when you need them the most. Here are the top benefits of choosing a classic wool blanket.
- Wool blankets are breathable
Wool blankets are breathable, which allows them to be used time and time again without building up a scent. This makes them perfect for keeping handy for a spontaneous expedition or emergency situation. While wool is breathable, it doesn’t allow an excess of air to escape—this keeps heat trapped and amplifies your body’s natural warmth.
This feature is great for those looking for an outdoor blanket they can keep handy for when the next adventure strikes.
- Wool blankets rarely need to be washed
As stated above, wool is a breathable fabric which keeps it from needing to be washed frequently. Unlike blankets made of other materials like silk and synthetic fibers, it can easily be spot cleaned or shook and hung outside in the fresh air. Wool blankets also have antibacterial properties that keep them cleaner for longer.
This feature is great for those looking for a blanket they can depend on for a long trip without access to cleaning supplies.
- Wool blankets are water and fire-resistant
Given that wool blankets are resistant to many elements, they are excellent for emergency situations. This is likely why wool blankets are a great item to keep in mind for disaster planning. Whether kept in storage with other essential supplies or merely in the trunk of your car, they can come in handy if you’re put in a dangerous situation without heat. And if you haven’t started a disaster kit yet, now might be a perfect time!
This feature is great for those looking for an emergency blanket to include in a survival kit with other essential supplies.
- Wool blankets are biodegradable
What’s one more added benefit of wool blankets? Their biodegradable properties make them a conscious effort in supporting our planet. Many blankets are cheaply made from synthetic materials such as polyester. These types of materials are non-biodegradable and take decades to decompose—if ever. When taken care of properly, a wool blanket should last close to a lifetime. And when its time it up, you can rest easy knowing it won’t contribute to landfill overcrowding.
This feature is great for minimalists who need a dependable blanket for everyday use.
How to Care for a Wool Blanket
Your new wool blanket will be warm and cozy and you want it to stay that way for as long as possible. So, while there are a lot of misconceptions about how to clean and care for a wool blanket, it’s essential to know the top tricks if you plan to keep it around for a while. This way you won’t need to replace your favorite blanket—maybe ever!
So, what’s the best way to care for a wool blanket? Remember, wool is a natural material. That means it may take a little more attention than synthetic materials that are made to be washed and dried over and over again. But trust us, the extra precautions will be well worth it when you can use your blanket just about anywhere. Here are the top tips for keeping your new blanket in excellent condition for years to come.
First Step: Shake It
Wool blankets don’t necessitate much cleaning, but if you’ve used it a handful of times and it’s looking a little rough, you should first try shaking it out outside. Since wool doesn’t need to be washed frequently, it’s important to avoid doing so as much as possible to ensure it keeps its same comfortable properties. Bring your blanket outside and give it a few good shakes to try and get rid of any loose debris. Then, if you have a railing or clothesline to hang it from, let it rest there for a few hours to let any remaining dirt fall off. Avoid setting it in direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Pro tip: You can also lightly comb your blanket with a soft-bristled brush in places it needs more attention. Be sure not to put too much pressure on it or it could cause it to lose its natural texture.
Second Step: Spot Treat It
If you’ve happened to spill something on your blanket—let’s hope it’s not red wine—then you’ll need to clean up any visible spots. It’s best to opt for a more natural cleaning solution to ensure it doesn’t damage the wool. Vinegar usually resolves most stains when applied quickly. If that doesn’t do the trick, try a bit of cold water and just a touch of laundry detergent.
Pro tip: Avoid scrubbing or agitating your blanket. Rather, let the solution sit and then soak the spot or blanket entirely to remove any remaining residue.
Third Step: Store it Properly
A wool blanket is best kept in a cool, dark place. This makes it an excellent item to keep in the trunk of your car or in your basement with other essential supplies. As previously stated, too much sunlight can fade a wool blanket so you should limit its sun exposure. That doesn’t mean you should be afraid to take it to your next picnic—just be aware of how often you do so. Storing your blanket the right way is a more important contribution to its life cycle than many realize. So be sure not to neglect this essential step.
Pro tip: For long-term storage, place your blanket in a tightly sealed container or bin to ensure it’s properly stowed away.
Is a Wool Blanket Right for Me?
If you’ve read all you need to know about wool blankets but are still unsure if it’s the right choice for you, take into consideration the different styles you can choose between. From plaid blankets to Swiss Army reproductions, there’s a design for everyone’s unique style. If you find a blanket that suits your preferred style AND it’s durable enough to get years of use out of it, why not make it yours?
Determining if a wool blanket is the right choice for you is a decision you need to make for yourself, but it’s helpful if you first consider what you want to use it for. Are you looking for an emergency blanket? Or how about a casual, outdoor blanket for everyday use? In both cases, a wool blanket would be an excellent option for your next purchase. With its durable natural, excellent warmth factor and affordability, you can’t go wrong with a classic wool blanket.