Falu Rödfärg’s blanket is double woven from 2-ply wool yarn on wool warp on Jacquard looms. The exceptional quality of the blanket comes from the density of the fabric and the choice of wool. There are 14-16 knots per cm, whereas standard rugs have around 5 knots per cm. So, it’s the density (the number of knots per cm) which makes the distinction between a blanket and a rug.
The wool comes from sheep which live outdoors all year round in tough weather conditions. As a result, they develop a thick woollen coat which is an excellent insulator and keeps them very warm.
Once the blanket has been woven, it is washed, any excess material is removed and it is then dried on the flat. After that, it is injected with hot steam to make it as fluffy, soft and cosy as possible. Finally, the blanket is trimmed by hand and the label is sewn on.
FACTS ABOUT THE BLANKET
Double weaving can trace its roots back to the Swedish Middle Ages when it was used in several different types of carpet weaving. Double weaving involves two or more colours and the pattern is almost identical on both sides but the colours vary. The fabrics were regarded as Swedish but may have originated in Italy. The patterns are simplified versions of elaborate Italian designs and generally consist of small, symmetrically arranged trees and birds in pairs.
Jacquard looms were created by the inventor Joseph-Marie Jacquard. They are usually controlled and operated mechanically but there are also manual versions. The loom was patented in 1805 and seven years later there were already more than 11,000 such looms in use in France. The main difference from the traditional loom is that each warp thread can be controlled independently from other threads. This means that up to 1,792 warp threads can be controlled completely separately from the upward and downward movements of other threads. Electronically controlled Jacquard looms can control almost 10,000 threads independently of each other.
Wool fibres have small scales which vary in size according to the moisture uptake of the fibre. This means that wool can be felted, which occurs to some extent during the moulting process, when the fibres hook onto each other and make the blanket dense. Wool can absorb up to 40% of its own weight in moisture, whilst at the same time being water repellent. Wool retains its insulating properties even when it is damp. Woollen fabrics will become clean through exposure to the air and sun, which means that they don’t have to be washed as often if they are aired on a regular basis. If they become stained or heavily soiled, they can be washed at 30 degrees by hand or in a machine on a wool programme using a detergent which is suitable for wool/delicate fabrics. To prevent matting, there should be as little contact as possible with fabrics during washing. Wool is resistant to decay and can be used as insulation in the home or, in some cases, can be recycled as underlay.