Let’s not mince words — wool is the king of cold-weather textiles. The product of shearing an animal, cleaning the coat, carding it into slivers and spinning it into yarn, wool is simple enough. But wool is high-tech, too: the cuticle of wool fiber is hydrophobic, meaning it dispels water quickly, and because those same fibers aren’t straight, you end up with air pockets that trap heat. Wool even wicks moisture and prevents the kind of bacteria build-up that usually leads to odors.
These attributes make wool the perfect material for blankets and throws. Get one to drape over the arm of your favorite chair, or simply keep it in the trunk of your car to safeguard against emergencies. Nine winter-ready options below.
Avoca Donegal Wool Cobble Throw
These days, Avoca sells ceramics, cookbooks and clothes but it’s bread and butter will always be blankets, which it’s sold since the 1700s. This Donegal new wool throw is woven with three different colors of yarn and comes in two sizes. It’s also affordable, as far as 100 percent wool blankets go.
Perf Herringbone Wool Blanket
This Herringbone weave new wool blanket is woven by hand in the homes of Mexican artisans who receive fair wages for their work. In the incredibly competitive and expensive world of textile manufacturing, that alone makes these blankets special. But Perf also guarantees a percentage of sales from every one of its blue ink blankets goes to Habitat for Humanity. It doesn’t hurt that they look great, too.
Woolrich Logan Ridge Sherpa Blanket
Woolrich may have closed its last US plant in 2018 but it remains one of America’s most storied makers. The Logan Ridge sherpa blanket is sherpa (polyester) on one side and wool on the other, while this ombre stripe pattern is an homage to the Woolrich archive. Toss it over your shoulders around a campfire.
Pendleton Harding Jacquard Blanket
Thomas Kay founded Pendleton, but it was his grandsons who infused the legendary company with Native American influence. Its Jacquard loomed new wool blankets are among its most popular designs ever, and it’s pretty easy to see why: they’re gorgeous.
Best Made Co. Lumberlander Blanket
Best Made’s Lumberlander blanket is designed in its NYC-based offices, but it’s made at the legendary Pendleton Woolen Mills. Instead of riffing on Pendleton’s iconic Native American-inspired prints, however, Best Made took a more minimal approach. The wool-cotton blend blanket comes in two striped colorways, both finished with a whipstitched top and bottom layer and selvage sides.
Coyuchi Striped Blanket
This striped wool blanket is one of Coyuchi’s most popular products ever. Made in a 140-year-old Canadian mill from the dense wool of Canadian sheep, it follows the same rigorous standards the company holds for its popular cotton bedding, meaning it’s GOTS-, Fair Trade- and Fibershed-certified.
Faribault Woolen Co. Scout Blanket
In operation since 1865, Faribault is one of the biggest names in American wool. The Scout blanket is a 100 percent wool reproduction of a Civil War-era blanket, and this one comes with a bit of added Gear Patrol flair. Dry clean only, please.
Schoolhouse Shaniko Throw
Brian Faherty’s Schoolhouse used to sell old light fixtures through a mail-order catalog. Now it’s a robust outlet, specializing in vintage-inspired homewares. The yellow and white Shaniko throw blanket is made in collaboration with Imperial Stock Ranch, a century-and-a-half-old ranch rolling out some of the best textiles the country has to offer. (Name sound familiar? Imperial Stock Ranch worked with Ralph Lauren on the uniforms for the 2014 US Olympic Team in Sochi, Russia).
Restoration Hardware Fine Merino Blanket
Restoration Hardware’s blanket disproves wool’s scratchy reputation — two layers of extra-soft virgin merino wool make for the softest option on this list. It’s reversible and comes in two muted colors for easy matching.