By David Gill
T'is the season to cover the bed. As temperatures drop across the nation and the holidays approach, consumers are in the mindset to find that extra bed covering (or coverings) to make sleeping that much more comfortable.
That search for extra warmth is particularly important given the crazy winter of 2011, which dumped record snowfalls on many regions of the United States. When they aren't thinking of holiday gifts or snowblowers, shoppers will have that in mind as they visit the stores and surf the Web for blankets and throws.
Their use is not limited to cold-weather months. Some lighter blankets can also function as lightweight bed coverings during the summer months. Throws are a versatile product category, providing an extra bed covering or serving as a decorative piece when draped over a couch in a living room.
The company is known for blankets using native American design themes, and Zigzag, seen here, falls right into that category. The zigzag motif in native American culture often represents lightning, an important symbol of change connected with rain, fertility and renewal. In legend, lightning flashes from the beak of the thunderbird, a symbol of salvation and divine gifts. The blanket is unnapped in sueded trim and made of a fabrication consisting of 82 percent wool, 18 percent cotton. penwool.com
Since the 1990s, the company has specialized in blankets and throws with licenses including sports teams and entertainment properties. Here is one with the logo of the Dallas Cowboys, one of the National Football League's most iconic teams, measuring 60-by-80 inches. The Northwest's sports licenses encompass all of the major sports and a wide selection of teams. The company's entertainment licenses include Disney, and it's been known to combine Disney and sports in a number of products, including stuffed toys. thenorthwest.com
"Luxury" is the watchword behind Ibena's Luxury Faux Fur Throw Blanket. Made in Germany, where the company is based, the throw blanket is a solid-color faux-fur product that provides the soft and luxurious feel of the real thing. Ibena specializes in blankets made of jacquard weaves that are available both in solid colors and in jacquards, with matching embellishments. The company uses a variety of fabrications, including cotton, velour and acrylic, and also has a collection of blankets in southwestern motifs. ibena.com
My Favorite Blanket, shown here in three colorways, is one of a grouping recently introduced by WestPoint Home called the Five Star Hotel collection. This one is made of fleece reversing to sherpa, providing a soft, luxurious and supple feel. The Five Star Hotel line also includes the Five Star Hotel Plush Blanket, made with fine microfiber yarns; and the Five Star Hotel Mercerized Cotton--an all-cotton blanket, loom-woven and mercerized for an even softer feel. wphome.com
Manual Woodworkers & Weavers
The Nature's Sketchbook Throw is a brightly colored depiction of birds, flowers, script and stamps using a mix of mediums--including water colors and color pencils--creating a stylish and popular look. Created by artist Susan Winget, Nature's Sketchbook is a 100 percent cotton tapestry woven throw that is made in the United States. It's shown here with Manual Woodworkers' matching Climaweave trademarked decorative pillows, part of the company's outdoor brand. manualww.com