Published at Saturday, September 08th 2018. by Leila Castaneda in Blanket.
Then in the year 1896 the Pendleton Woolen Mill in Pendleton Oregon became the first mill founded for the sole purpose of producing trade blankets. Each of these mills had their own specific design to designate which mill it was produced in. Some of them were very similar in design, but the Oregon City blankets had a very intricate design that was different from all the rest. The plains Indians preferred the Capps simple design over all the rest.
Blankets made with synthetic fibers, on the other hand, prioritize warmth and are much cheaper as compared to those made naturally. The only downside to this type is that they lack breathability and can be uncomfortable during hotter seasons. Popular examples of synthetic fiber blankets include acrylic, fleece, and vellux blankets. Acrylic blankets are especially cheaper than natural fiber blankets plus they provide warmth, are soft to the touch, and are hypo-allergenic.
We don't use wool trade blankets today because we have a market loaded with blankets made of various materials that are a lot more comfortable than wool. They are made in many forms and materials such as cotton, fleece, cashmere, silk and chenille, and are called blankets, quilts and comforters. In my next article I will delve into the different blankets that are manufactured today and the material they are made from.
Native Americans are very much connected to the history of the blanket. Long before white settlers drove west the Indians could use their blankets made from plant fibers as trade items for food and tools. When trappers began to move west in search of animal skins, they would trade blankets to the Indians for beaver skins. Then when the settlers drove west the Native Americans could trade handmade blankets, strung beads and other items made from animal bones for commercially made wool blankets.
Today the interest in pre WW2 trade blankets is growing. They are being sought after by collectors. You can also find them in museums in almost every state in America.
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