Swiss Army/Hudson's Bay/Woolrich
No adventure should be without a blanket, because a blanket can save your life.
The blanket derives its name from the heavy napped, woven woollen fabric pioneered by Thomas Blanket (Blanquette), a flemish weaver living in Bristol, England, during the 14th century.
Thick woollen blankets are exceptional at trapping body heat to keep you warm, which is why the military always use them. My grandfather was wrapped in an army blanket to stop him freezing to death after he swam out to the evacuation boats at Dunkirk. He'd lost his uniform and equipment (for which the British army docked his pay), but, he was alive, thanks both to his ability to swim (he was raised in Australia), and the blanket.
Here at The Obsessive we've chosen three classic blankets, all of which will keep you warm, whether you're camped in the great outdoors, or just sitting in front of the TV.
These amazing blankets are considered to be the ultimate military blanket, and were first produced for WWII. Handmade from pure wool, they are exceptionally thick and warm, whilst also being soft.
During the war, the Swiss army stored the blankets in secret Alpine caves, along with other supplies to be accessed when the weather became extreme.
The simple design of the grey-brown colour with the red stripe and woven white Swiss cross, make them sought after by adventurers and collectors.
The Hudson's Bay blanket is one of the most instantly recognisable designs on the market, being white, with the distinctive trademark green, red, yellow and indigo stripes of the Hudson's Bay Trading Company, which was founded in London in 1670.
These blankets were first used in 1780 to trade with the Native Americans for furs. Woollen blankets were highly prized by indigenous Americans and by trappers alike, both for their invaluable warmth, and the fact they could be easily sewn together to make hooded coats called Capotes.
Hudson's Bay blankets are still made in England.
In 1830 an Englishman called John Rich emigrated to America and opened his first mill in Pennsylvania. He sold his woollen wares from the back of his mule cart, building a company that his family still run to this day.
Woolrich supplied blankets to the Union army during the civil war, then the US Army during WWI & II.
Woolrich introduced the iconic red and black Buffalo Check plaid in 1850. The Sherpa Rough Rider blanket is a hefty 24oz 85% wool and 15% nylon mix, and is backed with a fleecy sherpa polyester lining. It's warm, soft, durable and made in America.
Country of Origin : Switzerland/UK/USA
Brand/Make/Model: Swiss Army/Hudson's Bay/Woolrich
Type: Woollen blankets
Year: 1780 to date
Why: Stay warm in style.
Photography: Jonathan West
Location: Donnington Barn