Firefighters also use specialized blankets to protect furniture from water damage and themselves from flames.Among collectors, the most popular blankets are those associated with the North American fur trade between Native Americans and Europeans.
Native Americans would wear wool blankets as coats or robes, and in Mexico, colorful blankets called zarape, or serape, are often worn by men like shawls.
Blankets are also used to spread on the ground during picnics, at the beach, or to protect furniture during moves.
Horse blankets are placed on the animals to prevent them from growing a shaggy winter coat of hair; saddle blankets keep their skin from chafing.
This vintage coat was made in the 1960s from English made Hudson’s Bay Company point blankets.
In a departure from the usual way that these blankets are turned into coats, this one has the stripes running vertically, giving it a very mod look.
The first time any piece of cloth or bedding was called a “blanket” was in 1340, when Thomas Blanquette, a Flemish weaver living in England, developed a heavily napped woollen weave.In the early days, all blankets were made of wool, which provided warmth and was resistant to fire.Thinner, skin-friendly sheets were made of cotton or linen.These days, though, the term blanket may be applied to quilts, bedspreads, comforters, and duvets.These blankets are made of all sorts of materials, including cotton, linen, silk, synthetic fibers, goose down, and even old clothes.Blankets have come to serve all sorts of purposes, too.