Sunday, 17 July 2016

Caring for a Wool-Alpaca Blanket

A local buyer delivered his wool-alpaca blanket to me for hand washing. It was a gift in late 2014 from his wife who had bought it at my Station House Gallery show. I can remember exactly where on the west wall it was hung ... beside its partner blanket that also went to a local home.

Anyone with a wool blanket is welcome to return it to me for hand washing. That's easy if you're local - but a bit more difficult, although possible, if it requires transport. I also provide hand washing instructions for those who wish it, but most people are happy to hand over their blanket to me.

I am ALWAYS curious to see how a blanket has aged with use. My biggest fear in selling my work is that it won't stand up to reasonable use for a long time. Blankets should look well for at least 20 years, and I hope even longer.

So when I first saw this one, I looked to see how the cloth was wearing - any pills? No. How are the fringes, any unravelled? No. Has the blanket stretched out of shape at all? No. Is it aging well and was it good value for the price? Yes, I believe so.

Here it is drying on the line in the Cariboo sunshine.

A210 | Shetland wool and alpaca blanket | Private collection

Hand washing wool blankets tends to plump them up and freshen them nicely. Officially, I have to recommend dry cleaning since it is foolproof, but hand washing is gentler and I think helps extends the blanket's life.

I'll arrange to return it this week. The owner will appreciate my TLC, and I certainly appreciate the opportunity to make my own observations.

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