Once upon a time, long, long ago, before duvets, comforters, eiderdown, and doonas, there was “National Blanket Week.”
My undercover work has revealed the following information: National Blanket Week was a fall promotion of the Nashua Manufacturing Company, of Nashua, New Hampshire. This company which operated from 1823 to 1945, was once the largest maker of woolen blankets in the world.
Do you have a favorite blanky or blanket story?
Here is my personal list of blanket honorees:
- A baby blanket – one pink for my daughter, and one blue for my son;
- A blanket of leaves – a Technicolor gift from of Mother Nature;
- A beach blanket – packed in the car, always at the ready;
- Beach Blanket Bingo - see Annette and Frankie on this Youtube clip;
- An electric blanket – invented in 1936, comes in handy during Northern winters;
- A blanket of flowers – à la Carmel Valley style;
- A blanket for flowers – the impoverished 17th century Dutch tulip grower who covered his precious plants with his only blanket;
- A picnic blanket – ‘thee and me’ alfresco dining anytime and anywhere;
- A horse blanket – a staple of the stable on Mornington Peninsula;
- A doggie blanket – dogs need blankys too;
- A blanket of snow –a fluffy white cover;
- A pig in a blanket- retro kids’ cuisine;
- A security blanket – everyone needs one these days;
- Blanket Bay Lodge in New Zealand – in my dreams;
- A blanket fort - over the clothesline at the cottage;
- A blanket of fog – toujours in Carmel-by-the-Sea;
- A blank(et) check - nice work if you can get it;
- A tartan blanket - plaids and tartans were a specialty of a great-grandfather, who worked in the mills as a weaver;
- A Native American blanket - the Navajo blanket my grandparents received a as a gift on their wedding day and now hanging on my wall;
- A boy named Blanket – thankfully not named “Blanky.”
Never having had my own “blanky”, I have been making up for lost time. From the size of my collection, it would appear that I suffer from princess-in-the-pea – or “a gal can never have too many blankets” syndrome. It all began with blankets of the heavy woolen Scottish plaid stadium variety. My latest additions are vintage plaid woolen blankets, stacks of which I found orphaned in Australian op-shops.
The quality and pastel plaids of these lambs wool or Merino sheep blankets are similar to their Welsh cousins, and less costly at around $10 each.
I recently re-established contact with an old acquaintance from my NYC Pier Antiques Show days. Always very gracious and complimentary when she would visit my booth, Laura Fisher is one of the premier New York antique dealers specializing in exquisite antique textiles, including vintage blankets. You might have read one of her many books on quilts, or seen her on Martha. She has a new space called Fisher Heritage at 305 East 61st street, NYC. Long a blanket collector, her current stock includes antique red plaid and checkerboard patterned woolens, and homespuns. She also handles colorful and whimsical Beacon blankets. Here are a few of my favorites:
(The following three images of Beacon Blankets, Courtesy of Laura Fisher, Fisher Heritage)
Snug as a bug,