Ever wondered who invented blankets? Almost everyone keeps a blanket on their bed at night, and you’ll be surprised to know that curling up in a blanket to sleep has physical benefits too! As weight blankets stimulate serotonin production, they can lower anxiety and stress.
Serotonin modulates sleep regulation, decreasing depression and insomnia. The result? A better, more comfortable sleep!
There has been a long line of contributors to the evolution of blankets. This includes the Chinese and the Egyptians. Chinese came up with the idea of filling the rugs with wool, while the Egyptians used to stuff blankets with feathers for the cold weather. The latter even invented the raised bed!
Fun fact – Greek philosopher Aeschylus offered blankets as prizes for sporting events around 400 B.C.
Let’s find out everything about blankets, including who invented them in detail!
Table of Contents
Who Invented Blankets? And When?
Thomas Blanket invented, or at least came up with the word blanket.
Thomas Blanket (Blanquette), a Flemish weaver living in Bristol, England, in the 14th century, came up with the term “blanket fabric” to describe a densely napped woollen weave.
There is a French origin to the word blanket as well, and it comes from a white English term. Shakespeare first used the term in “The Taming of the Shrew” to describe a blanket-like covering.
There is a suggestion that the word derives from Scandinavia, maybe from the Norwegian dialectal blanketje. However, this is unlikely. A more probable origin is Middle Dutch blancke, meaning ‘white,’ which is relevant to the fabric’s white wool content.
What would be if the blanket was not invented?
At that time, people were trying to keep themselves warm when it was cold outside by using plants leaves, and animal skins – Yes! Animal skins. This was the most difficult method of staying warm but gradually, people are discovering a faster, easier way with domestic resources and livestock. While basic, early blankets worked.
Types Of Modern Blankets
The evolution of blankets has changed a lot throughout history. Over time, they have become softer and less expensive, thus accessible for everyone. Here are some different types of blankets used all around the world today:
These blankets are common today, but no one knows who invented them. These types of blankets have a bag-like structure and are filled with soft but warm material like feathers or wool.
Electric blankets (Heating blanket)
It is a blanket with electric heating wires integrated into it. The heating element in an electric blanket is an insulated wire that is inserted into a fabric so that it can heat up when it is plugged in. The temperature control unit, located between the blanket and the electrical outlet, governs how much power gets into the blanket’s heat elements.
A quilt is a heavy blanket, composed of three layers.
A quilt’s top is its decorative part. This element can be stitched or pieced using techniques such as piecing and applique. Then, there is batting, which is the innermost layer of a quilt, providing warmth to it. Quiltmakers traditionally use fluffy fibres such as cotton or wool, but synthetic fibres are equally popular today. Worn-out blankets or quilts have been used for batting in the past. The third layer is the backing, which is usually plain, though some quilters have created unique backings.
Comforters are thick, quilted, fluffy blankets used as blankets to keep you warm. In most cases, the filling is synthetic fiber and quilted or stitched to keep it secure and evenly distributed.
Wool is one of the best materials for blankets – it’s strong, flexible, soft, and has excellent thermal properties (it keeps you warm even when wet). Wool blankets are made by weaving together wool fibres in all directions and are warmer than cotton blankets.
Lastly, we will talk about fleece blankets. These aren’t the thickest, but they’re very popular for their softness and warmth. There are a variety of colors and patterns to choose from. The comfort of fleece blankets makes them great gifts for children and adults because they come in many sizes: from small for children’s cribs to XL for adults. In addition, if you don’t want to get a heavy blanket, throw blankets or baby blankets are a great alternative. It provides the same warmth as a blanket without taking up as much room.
As the name suggests, fire blankets have fire-resistant properties, that can be used to extinguish a small fire or wrap around a person in the event of a fire. Two layers of woven glass fibre fabric are combined with an inner layer of fire retardant film to create a fire blanket. This type of blanket work by blocking the fire from gaining oxygen.
Weighted blankets are a type of blanket that was created for people with autism, ADHD, and anxiety. The heavy weight of the blanket helps people to feel safe and secure. This type of blanket has become one of the most popular types of blankets in modern times.
Why Was The Blanket Invented?
It is easy to assume that blankets were invented to keep people warm during the cold season. Initially, only wool blankets were available, and they were used by wealthy and influential people. However, over time, they became accessible to everyone and these days, blankets are not only used for sleeping, but you can also use them as decorative pieces for your couch or walls.
Who invented the electric blanket?
The electric blanket was invented by S.I. Russell, and is considered the inventor of modern electric blankets. A crude blanket, however, was pretty bulky and hazardous in the early 1900s. A separate thermostat in a blanket was invented in 1936 in order to address the safety issue.
Are blankets made from animals?
Fabrics made from animal fibres are known as animal fibres. Rugs, carpets, and blankets are made from coarser fibres. It is possible to differentiate animal fibres based on the animal they come from, their chemical structure, the way they are obtained, and their length.
And that is about it!
We hope that our guide about the origin of blankets was informative for you. Our favorites are the wool blankets and the weighted blankets. What are yours? If you think we missed some points worth mentioning, please let us know or feel free to check out our full list of inventions.