While the post-digital world evolves at a breakneck pace, constants — the things untouched by disruption — can seem few and far between. Since the 17th century, however, loomed wool blankets have changed very little. Today’s most celebrated woolen mills have been in operation for more than 150 years, and often use the same now-antique machinery that they did at the outset. Camp blankets, also called trading blankets, first grew popular among shepherds, settlers and traders for their uncompromising warmth (even when wet) and natural resistance to fire. Today, they’re the finishing touch on a well-made bed or an accessory to a couch — and just as warm as they were nearly two centuries ago.
Woolrich Rough Rider Wool Blanket
Pennsylvania-based Woolrich Woolen Mills popularized buffalo plaid by way of hunting attire: the now-ubiquitous red and black checks were a predecessor to blaze orange, designed to make hunters visible in shaded woods. The Rough Rider blanket serves as a testament to the company’s heritage and dedication to quality, the latter of which has remained largely unchanged since 1850.
Imperial Stock Ranch Shaniko Throw
Imperial Stock Ranch has quietly stood as a standard-bearer of quality and sustainability for more than 145 years. The Oregon-based ranch dyes its yarns in colors intended to capture the local landscape. The lemon yellow-striped Shaniko camp blanket is exclusive to Schoolhouse Electric, bringing with it a jolt of color (and a dose of ‘70s style).
Amana Woolen Mill Camp Blanket
In 1855, a community of German immigrants settled in the Iowa River Valley and founded the Amana Woolen Mill. Today, its blankets and linens are woven in the same way — and in the same building — as they were more than 150 years ago. Whereas other camp blankets are dark or dyed with bright colors, Amana Woolen Mill’s wares are refreshingly subdued.
Pendleton Yakima Camp Blanket
Modeled after the blankets 19th century Pacific Northwest shepherds used as protection from cold or inclement weather, the Pendleton Yakima series applies accessible earth tones to the mill’s best-selling, famously durable camp blanket — a contrast to its better-known Native American-inspired wares.
Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket
Marked by red, green, blue and yellow stripes on an off-white background, the Hudson’s Bay point blanket has been coveted ever since its debut in 1780. Introduced by British fur traders working in Canada, the blankets feature black dashes, or points, to indicate a blanket’s size when folded — four for a full-sized blanket, six for queen-sized and eight for king-sized. While widely available today, vintage point blankets — particularly those dating to the early 20th century — are considered collector’s items.