Blankets are essential items in every home. Blanket composition ranges from synthetic to natural fibers; from non-woven to woven fabrics; and from neutral colors to exotic prints.
Caring for (non-electric) Blankets
At some point in time, most blankets will need to be cleaned. It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning blankets. Although the Federal Trade Commission does not require care labels on blankets, care instructions are usually provided on a permanent label or temporary hang tag. In most cases, blankets should be machine washed on a gentle cycle in cold to warm water and line dried or tumble dried low.
Most blankets can also be drycleaned (except for electric blankets, which can be damaged by drycleaning).
Wool is Special
Wool blankets can be either of a woven or knit fabric construction and require special precautions when cleaning. Hot water or high drying temperatures may cause wool blankets to shrink and feel harsh and stiff. If the care label suggests, machine wash only in cold water on a gentle cycle with mild detergent, and line dry or tumble dry low.
Even though you may follow the recommended care instructions, some wool blankets may still experience shrinkage.
Industry standards for shrinkage in blankets allow as much as six percent after five washings. For example, a wool blanket that is 81 x 108 inches in size can shrink as much as 4 1/2 inches in one direction and 6 1/2 inches in the other direction, resulting in a blanket that is 76 1/2 x 101 1/2 inches in size.