Winter Warmers Special - Week 3


As I'm sat here writing this I have my windows wide open which is not ideal in this chilly weather. I'm cooking a chickpea curry and my extractor fan just isn't cutting it right now.

I could really do with a cosy and warmth throw just to take the edge off the chill!!

So I thought this week we could discuss the different options available.

Does anyone know - are throws and blankets technically the same thing???? Perhaps it has something to do with the size. I will have to investigate!

I saw some really gorgeous fur and fleecy throws in a local store recently that were perfect for snuggling under, then I looked at the price tag and put them back on the shelf!!

Looking both online and in person at throws, there seem to be a lot that are very cheap but the quality isn't so good - nothing worse than a thin throw that you then have to throw (no pun intend!!) out after a few washes.

So I'm now on a mission is to find/make a selection that are -

* Beautiful

* Cosy but not too heavy

* Good quality

* Reasonably priced

Think I've really got my work cut out for me! But challenge accepted!

Other things to consider -

* What kind of look are you going for? I'm looking for something like long grey, brown or beige coloured wolf fur but you may prefer something that's a funky colour or is more teddy bear like in texture. Or perhaps something that's quilted, hand knit or crocheted?

* Where are you going to use your throw? Different weights and textures of fabrics means different throws will vary in warmth. Something heavy will obviously keep you warmer but with central heating etc that might not be what you want or need. So think about where/how you will be using your throw before deciding on what fabric choice you go for.

So, here are the results of my research and some ideas for makes too.


Faux Fur Throws

These are amazingly warm and can be quite heavy, especially if they are double sided. I have an old one that hasn't worn very well and I often get a static shock from it but it definitely keeps me cosy and warm!

So I'm now in the market for a new one, preferably lighter and of better quality.

As I mentioned above, I found several beautiful ones in a local Wokingham shop called Maison Rustic. They have so many beautiful double sided yet light throws in a selection of winter/festive colours and patterns.

But as I said before they range from around £40 to £50 which seems rather on the pricey side to me! However, I've included the link above so you can check them out.

So I've been poking around online to see if I could find anything similar at a more affordable price.

Dunelm has some lovely ones but they seem to be fur on one side and fleece on the other and are more in the £50 to £80 mark which is far too expensive for my budget. They do look lovely though!! Perhaps they may be cheaper in the January sale (fingers crossed!!)

I found a couple on Amazon that I think look good quality but obviously you can't check that out in person before buying.

The first is one sided with fleece on the other side and comes in 3 colours. It's the cheapest one I could find which looked to be of decent quality, coming in at around £22.

The other - which is my preference - is double sided fur and comes half a dozen colours. The quality looks good - not as beautiful as the Dunelm ones - but passable. It comes in at around £35 which is a little more expensive but still more affordable than some of the other ones I mention above.

There seems to be quite a lot of different fur textures that come under the term 'faux fur'. Some seem to be quite realistically like long animal fur whilst others seem to be more of a 'teddy bear' type feel.

Both seem to be readily available as finished blankets but also reasonably easy to buy off the roll in fabric stores. So there's also the option of making your own!

I've tracked down several online fabric stores that sell faux fur and I'm beginning to think it might be a pricey idea to make my own!

Dalston Mill Fabrics Have a reasonably large range of different fur type fabrics. The photos aren't good enough to see the quality but what I do like is that you can order a sample piece for 95p. The most expensive fabric on there came in at around £25 per metre.

My Fabrics Has a nice range of fabrics including some leopard print patterns if that's your thing! The most expensive fabric was around £25.

Mohair Bear Making Supplies Had the most realistic and good quality looking fur fabric but the price per metre works out around £40 - £45 which means it's an expensive make.

Checking out Amazon and eBay, most of the fur fabrics for sale seemed to be of the lower quality 'teddy bear' type fur often in bright neon colours. The few good quality ones I found on there were over £50 per metre.

Apparently looking like a classy Chinchilla is far more expensive that looking like one of the Muppets!


Fleece Blankets

These can be really cosy and tend to be quite lightweight which might suit you better.

This kitten is clearly enjoying his snuggle!!

There seem to be plenty of fleece blankets on the market in so many places.

But as fleece fabric is easy to find, in loads of colours/patterns and doesn't fray, it's an easy 'no sew' make!

Just cut out your fabric to the required size and you're done!!

However, I would make it a bit more unique by adding some kind of edging. I have a lovely soft blue fleece throw - which I've totally misplaced so I can't take a photo for you - that has a beautiful cream blanket stitch edging which looks simple but just gives it that extra touch.

Or something like this crochet edging would really look great.

The other idea I've got in the back of my mind is finishing it with a simple co-ordinating fabric, in a bright cotton fabric?! Just a fabric strip about an inch in width will really make it an extra special.


Crocheted or Knitted Throws

You can buy these online but as they take a lot of work to hand make, they tend to be quite expensive.

But don't let that put you off making your own.

There are hundreds of free patterns available online, from very simple patterns to others that are a little more complex. But you should be able to find something that fits your skill level.

There are so many beautiful yarns available that you can create something that looks really professional even though you may be using a simple pattern.

And now that chunky arm knitting patterns are available, the time it takes to create a throw is significantly less .....although your arms might be a bit tired!!

The added benefit of making your own is that as your blanket grows you are keeping yourself warm at the same time!!!

I've saved quite a few patterns on Pinterest so please feel free to check out both the crochet and knit patterns I've saved.


Woven Throws

I love a good tartan blanket! There's something so traditional and cosy about them.

And of course, you can also find woven throws in all kinds of colour combos or plain colours so it's fairly easy to find one that fits in with your decor. The materials used for these are usually wool or acrylic blends.

They do keep those chilly nights at bay whilst being quite lightweight so they are a great option. And they look beautiful folded or thrown over the back of the sofa. The pure new wool ones do tend to be more expensive (& some are a bit itchy!) but they are a timeless classic!

I've seen some on Amazon made by a company called Tweedmill Textiles. They have a website but it looks like they supply wholesale rather than sell through the website so you might need to check them out at different suppliers. I've seen some particularly gorgeous recycled wool blankets for around £25 which is a pretty good price for wool.