Nothing beats the feeling of snuggling up on the couch with your favourite throw, watching a movie whilst a storm erupts outside. The only problem is, it’s not always easy to find the perfect throw rug! With an array of options on the market today, we really are spoilt for choice – cotton, wool, tencel, faux fur – whatever your interior décor style, you’ll be able to find a throw rug to match.
Not only are throw rugs a practical addition to your living or bedroom but a throw is a simple way of introducing a splash of colour and texture without investing too much. But for a truly luxurious feel or a comfortable night’s sleep, it is important to purchase the right material for your needs and this can be difficult if you don’t know a lot about heat retaining properties of certain materials.
As you’re probably aware, some materials are much warmer than others, but the knitting style is also important in controlling warmth. For example, loosely woven textiles are actually warmer than tightly knit textiles due to the holes between fibres trapping warmth from your body. While this seems counter intuitive, make sure you keep an eye out for loosely knit or waffling throws for the greatest heat retaining qualities.
Materials to choose from:
The fine lustrous fur from the undercoat of an Alpaca, which is a type of camel, retains heat like angora, but is not as fluffy or soft.
A material which is shorn from rabbits; this luxury fiber is light, fluffy, soft and seven times warmer than regular wool.
Known as the fabric of kings, this textile comes from the undercoat hair of the Kashmir goat. The material is commonly found in winter jumpers and scarves and is roughly four times warmer than regular wool.
This familiar fabric is warmest in thick weaves like herringbone, mesh, waffle and basket. It will retain some heat but it is mainly a breathable affordable fabric which is best for a warmer climate where you don’t want to be overheated. Just remember to store light blankets in a cool, dry place.
Modern flannel is usually a mixture of synthetic fiber and loosely spun wool. Since most flannel is not 100% wool, it is not as warm as the real thing, but it is softer than wool making it better suited for close contact with the skin.
Down has the highest level of heat retention of any natural substance. It can also be heavy and bulky to carry around the house, so these blankets are usually relegated to the bedroom.
This is a hypoallergenic fabric well known for its draping ability and its luster, but it also absorbs moisture and reduces humidity, making it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
A lightweight durable fabric that is made using polyester fibers that can retain heat similar to wool.
This material, made from wood pulp, is great for summer blankets. It shares many properties with other cellulosic fibers such as cotton and linen. Therefore, it is soft and resistant to wrinkles. Much like cotton, tencel draws moisture away from the skin, keeping you cooler on humid nights. Tencel is also a low maintenance fabric, which means it is machine washable and can be ironed.
While a woollen throw is perfect for the chilly months of winter, wool can be a little heavy for summer. Unless you expect temperature fluctuations it’s better to opt for a lighter fabric, as wool will trap body heat rather than breathe. If wool is the way for you, remember you can remove pilling with a spare razor to extend the life of the throw.
This natural fiber comes from the soft downy undercoat of the Muskox, which is a very old species that has been around since the time of the woolly mammoth. Qivuit yarn is extremely expensive because it is one of the lightest, softest and warmest of all the natural fibers. It is also eight times warmer than regular wool.