For over 5,000 years people have been using wool to make clothing, carpets or blankets. This is mainly due to the ability of wool to store heat and regulate. A rug made of pure wool is warm than one made from synthetic fibers.
There is just one thing in common whenever you want to use wool i.e. the risk of pilling after heavy use. Although this so-called pilling looks bad but it is actually an indication of the good quality of the rug. The safest way to remove the pills is to use a special wool knife and with a little skill, you can remove these even with help of the scissors or a disposable razor.
A blanket tends to produce odors, so it is important to get it exposed to air regularly. Direct sunlight should be avoided to protect the colors from fading. Also, avoid exposing the rug to the moisture like in the bathroom or keeping them outside on a foggy day.
It always pays to invest in a blanket of pure natural materials. Also blankets carry a label on which you can see the material composition. A quality rug has a wool content of 100 percent. The proportion of wool in smaller rugs can be of high quality. Many manufacturers also mix different types of wool together, such as merino wool with cashmere wool which you choose depending on your personal preference.
Among the oldest and most widely used textile fiber includes the sheep’s wool. Among the wool fibers it is also the cheapest and the rugs made from sheep wool are warm, temperature-regulating and fluffy and soft. The production is mainly done in Australia, Spain, New Zealand, China and Russia. The sheep are sheared once or twice a year, and their wool is generally very uniform, soft, and light and fine.
The finished blankets are softest and warmest if they are made from the lamb’s wool that is the wool obtained at the first shearing of sheep. You should not wash the sheep wool blankets yourself, but give them to the dry cleaners. You can also brush up well by hanging and exposing them to air.
The finest precious wool is cashmere. The fibers are so fine that a rug from Kashmir is nothing but a soft, cuddly blanket free from scratching. The goats that provide this exquisite wool live in extreme altitudes (up to 5,000 meters) in Mongolia, Persia and Afghanistan. This soft wool protects the animals from extreme weather conditions. The silky wool is obtained by not shearing but combing. Per animal the yield is only 100 grams. Thus, Kashmir wool is the most valuable and expensive.
Mohair is the name for the wool of Angora goats, which were first bred in Turkey. Their wool is characterized by long, white, silky and shiny curls. Rugs made of mohair have more vibrant colors and they are wonderfully soft. The fiber structure is so tight that you can get a new volume by vigorous brushing your rug again. Mohair blankets you should never wash, but should be dry cleaned professionally.
Next among the finest wools in the world is alpaca. Blankets made of this material are distinguished by their luxurious softness that is made possible by the extremely fine and thin fibers. Alpacas live in the South American Andes, a region that is known for its harsh climate.
A popular material for cuddly blankets is the camel wool. In most cases, the precious baby camel wool is used.