Welsh blankets are a fantastic source of warmth and comfort. They are also officially a 'Thing!'. According to the A list ‘go to’ design and interiors website Remodelista (fans include Gwyneth Paltrow and Martha Stewart amongst others) patterned blankets and notably Welsh blankets are a very current trend (this was posted just a couple of weeks before I wrote this blog), https://www.remodelista.com/posts/vintage-patterned-wool-blankets-trend-alert/
Early Welsh blankets were made on narrow looms and stitched together with a seam up the centre. These gritty textured narrow loom blankets usually date to the 1800s or early 1900s . Later blankets were woven in one piece on wider looms.
Perhaps the best known Welsh blanket is the Welsh tapestry blanket. Tapestry is a bit of a misnomer – also known as double weave blankets they consist of intricate designs which give the appearance of tapestry. Decorative on both sides they offer the option of ringing the changes by turning the blanket over and come in a great range of colours from subtle neutrals to vivid hues such as violet and purple. Popular right through until the late 1970s until they gradually fell out of fashion. The decline in woollen mills meant that Welsh blankets were in danger of being consigned to history but due to the efforts of individuals such as world renowned Welsh textiles specialist Jen Jones https://jen-jones.com and Jane Beck https://www.welshblankets.co.uk they have seen a resurgence in popularity. Makers such as Melin Tregwynt , who are a long established mill that has adapted impressively to modern craft and retail, lead the way in contemporary Welsh blanket production https://melintregwynt.co.uk/
We are incredibly lucky to be on the high street in the heart of Welsh blanket country. Many of our blankets are sourced directly from the original owners who bought them (or had them as gifts) from new, or via family members who have inherited granny's collection. We launder each one by hand and wherever possible we dry them in sunlight (contrary to myth it really doesn't rain all the time in Wales). This is particularly important if there is any waft of those ubiquitous mid century mothballs. It also gives us a chance to thoroughly check for any imperfections, holes or darns - we always mention these in our descriptions. We then photograph them. If the weather is good we usually take them to Laugharne, one time home of Dylan Thomas and the setting for the TV series 'Keeping Faith' (and also where Trudi spent her teenage years). They then go online and into our bricks and mortar shop where we are the custodians until they end up in their second home.
We love our vintage Welsh tapestry blankets but we are just as enamoured of the plainer Welsh blankets, whether it’s just a simple plaid in subtle shades of grey and tan or a fabulous huge ‘carthen’ (fringed heavyweight bed cover). 100% wool with a great look and and as warm as toast – what more could you want.
We always have a few blankets in the shop. We usually also have some Welsh tapestry clothing as well, such as this super cool Welsh tapestry cape. Pop over to our online vintage textiles collection and see what we have https://foundandseek.co.uk/collections/vintage-textiles