Ever since the art of weaving rendered animal skins redundant as a means of keeping warm at night, textiles and fabrics have been the material of choice. For many years, that choice was wool. But now, advances in fabric technology have brought cotton blankets into their own as a versatile and comfortable option. So, here’s what you need to know if you are thinking about such a purchase.
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Why Choose a Cotton Blanket?
- Sustainability. Renewable and biodegradable, cotton is a 100% natural fibre, making it kinder to the environment than synthetic fibres.
- Durability. Cotton fibres are strong and resist the wear and tear of frequent usage well, meaning they can last for years, if properly cared for.
- Breathability. Natural fibres allow the air to move through them, meaning they will keep you warm without actually making you hot. This makes them the perfect choice for winter or summer bedding.
- Hypoallergenic. As a natural fibre, cotton is less likely to irritate your skin or cause breathing issues, so it’s a great choice for those of us who suffer from sensitive skin or breathing problems.
The FAQs of Cotton Blankets
HOW DO I CARE FOR MY COTTON BLANKET?
Cotton blankets can be washed in a machine, but do check the label. Use a cold or warm wash on a gentle cycle and avoid using bleach, which can damage the fabric. Tumble dry on a low heat or air dry on a line, but avoid high heat as this can shrink the material.
CAN COTTON BLANKETS SHRINK?
Yes, although many manufacturers pre-shrink their blankets before sending them to you to avoid this. Even so, there may be some small shrinkage after the first wash. As with all bedding, always check the label for instructions.
WHY DOES MY BLANKET SMELL?
Natural oils are used in the manufacture of cotton and this can result in a short-lived odour when the blanket is first used. But this usually vanishes after one or two washes.
ARE COTTON BLANKETS WARM ENOUGH FOR WINTER USE?
Of course. Even though they allow for circulation and are ideal for summer, they can be used in layers with other bedding in winter to help trap the heat and keep you pleasantly warm.
WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF COTTON TO BUY?
There are several types of cotton available and they are mostly of good quality. Pima and Supima have a smooth texture and the long fibres and especial softness of Egyptian cotton is well known for its quality and comfort. If you are concerned about the use of pesticides, organic cotton is grown using only natural methods and is an eco-friendly option.
100% Cotton or a Mixed Material?
One critical aspect to consider while purchasing a cotton blanket is to decide between a blanket made entirely of cotton or one made from a mix of materials. Your personal preferences will play a role here. It might also depend on how your skin interacts with different types of fabric. Pure cotton tends not to trigger allergic responses in most individuals. If you suffer from allergies, skin sensitivities, or conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, you might want to opt for a 100% cotton blanket. On the other hand, if allergies aren’t a concern for you, and you prioritize convenience, a blend of cotton and polyester, or a double-sided blanket (cotton on one side, polyester on the other) can be a durable and easy-to-care-for choice.
Considering the Price of Your Cotton Blanket
Cotton can be relatively affordable. If you find a cotton blanket without an expensive addition (such as silk), compare the prices to see if a cheaper option is available.
Choose the Appropriate Weight
Cotton blankets typically come in lightweight, medium weight, or heavy options. If your area experiences four distinct seasons and summers aren’t usually very hot, you might prefer a heavier blanket. Otherwise, opt for a medium weight blanket for use as a throw, or a lightweight one to layer with your other bedding.
Select the Correct Size for Your Cotton Blanket
Most cotton blankets are categorized by standard bed sizes like Twin, Queen, or King. Those intended to serve as throws might be listed by their total square inches or centimeters. Typically, cotton blankets have a few extra inches for tucking into mattresses of any height. However, ensure you select the size you need to avoid disappointment when it arrives.
Cotton blankets are an excellent choice for domestic use and serve as a perfect housewarming or college send-off gift. This guide should have helped you understand that not all cotton blankets are created equal. Fortunately, there is an abundance of beautifully crafted, affordable options available. By doing a bit of research, you are bound to find the perfect cotton blanket that suits your needs. Remember to buy a few extra ones to keep handy for those cozy moments. There’s nothing like the happiness that comes from making a smart, well-informed purchase!
Cotton has been a part of the world economy for thousands of years and is now produced sustainably all around the world, avoiding the use of pesticides and using water supplies responsibly in countries where demand is at a premium. Today, it remains available as a popular choice for comfort and warmth for all.