Experiment 058 - Alphawoollinen Blanket
Only available in New York State and select other US states due to local regulations.*
Warmth without overheating. To get there you need breathability. And that requires the best materials, in our case stonewashed European linen for soft and dry comfort, wool/PLA batting for dry thermoregulating warmth plus Alpha 60, a military grade synthetic insulation optimized for breathability.
The world is filled with warm blankets, but all too many of them work a bit too well. Most blankets just don’t know when to stop. They capture body heat and warm up to a nice cozy spot and then keep going until the sleeper is suddenly hot, sweaty and half out of the covers. We wanted to sleep better at night and that meant making a better blanket for ourselves.
|As is often the case we started by focusing on breathability. Most high quality insulations, whether they are down or synthetic, use lots of extremely fine fibers and thus require “down proof” fabrics. Down proof fabrics are extremely tightly woven and often calendarized which means they are lightly melted in order to seal up the gaps in the weave. This means down proof fabrics barely breathe at all, in fact the way to test a fabric for “down proof” is to see if practically zero air can pass through it. This creates two problems. One, as a person sleeps they sweat and the air around them increases in humidity and with a down proof fabric this humidity has nowhere to go, creating an uncomfortable body climate. Secondly, as a blanket traps heat inside of its insulation, there is no air flow in and out of the blanket, only heat. This is good at first as it helps accentuate the insulation, but over time it means the blanket can get too hot too easily, as there is no escape valve as temperatures increase. By using breathable, non down-proof fabrics there is both air and heat flowing allowing for the creation of stable and super comfortable body climate.|
In order to use non-down-proof fabrics, one needs high quality non-migrating insulation. Our absolute favorite of these is Polartec Alpha, a knit insulation developed for the US Military Special Forces and specifically optimized for dryness and breathability. Alpha is amazing but it’s also not really as warm as most people want their blankets to be, so we added a second insulation to the mix, an amazing insulation made from 80% wool and 20% PLA. The combination captures all the great moisture management and thermoregulating capabilities of wool, but with the ability to stay lofty without felting, making for a superior wool batting.
For the outside of the blanket we worked with another of our favorite fibers, linen. Linen can absorb moisture while staying dry to the touch, creating a drier feeling sleep. It also is relatively inflexible for a fiber, allowing it to hold relatively open weave structures that allow for lots of air flow, the opposite of a down-proof fabric. Linen softens over time but to make it cozy right out the gate we worked with a stonewashed European linen that sleeps like a dream.
Five layers of three materials calibrated for warmth without over heating. On the outside stonewashed European linen for soft and dry comfort. At the core an 80% wool, 20% PLA batting for dry thermoregulating warmth plus two layers of Polartec Alpha, a military grade synthetic insulation optimized for dryness and breathability.
- 150cm x 225cm (59” x 89”)
- Three layers of insulation, two layers of Polartec Alpha around a wool/PLA batting core
- Combined filling content 50% Polyester, 40% Wool, 10% PLA
- Stonewashed 100% Linen shell
- Masters of Linen certified linen, fully traceable 100% European grow, spun and woven
- Machine wash cold, do not bleach
- Dry flat or tumble dry low, do not iron
- Made in Portugal with American and EU fabrics
Photos by Emiliano Granado