Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wool Blankets are Warmer...A Testimonial

I can honestly say wool blankets are the best!

Last week husband had a cold and was snoring up a storm.  In order to get some sleep, I had to sleep in the spare room.
The room is currently set up for my grandson and his occasional sleepover, with a faux fur polyester blanket imprinted with cartoon images of beagle puppies.

As my husband snored, I grumbled and stumbled into the spare room.  The nights hadn't been very cold, so I had been fine with this polyester blanket; until that night - it was really cold, about 17 degrees.
I pulled the polyester blanket and the little beagles around my body and closed my eyes.  No, this wasn't going to work. I was really tired, and knew a wool blanket was somewhere in the depths of my closet.  I hoped I could find it.
I padded into my room, entered my very cold closet and moved piles of  linens around.  Voila!  There was the wool blanket.
I placed it on top of the polyester beagles and burrowed under both blankets.
Within 10 minutes I was toasty warm, my body heat was being retained by the wool fibers.
I dropped off to sleep...

I've been selling wool blankets at Northwest Woolen Mills for 16 years and proud to say wool blankets are effective!
Stay warm,

Northwest Woolen Mills


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wool Blankets Tranformed into Wool Shirts

Our wool blankets are being made into warm clothing, thanks to
Carol Colburn of Minnesota.

Boys & Girls Wool Blanket Coats.  Photos by Scott Pederson


Carol teaches a two day class called
Nature's Insulator:
Sew Your Own Wool Blanket Shirt

Students personalize the basic pattern for their preferences, then they cut and sew them in the two days.  Some are beginners at sewing; it is a pretty easy project to start on.  Often they leave the buttons and trim until they are back home.  Many learn to make the shirts in the class using the Blackstone Valley Collection from Northwest Woolen Mills, and then they go home and make the shirts out of used blankets that they wash and prepare for sewing. The two little boys in one of the photos are wearing shirts made for them out of old camp blankets.
The blanket shirts are great for the cool and often damp weather of Northern Minnesota, and I have had students from Canada making these shirts too.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Made in America

I am happy to share this awesome list of Made in America companies and their products.

List of Made in America companies

Join me in supporting these companies!
Given a choice, would you "buy American"?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wool Blankets for Camps and the Outdoors

Swimming dock at Camp Wiquanuppek

Summer Camp Memories

I started swimming laps in my pool this week.  Every summer I my endurance seems to pick up where it left off, and I can swim for a really long time.
As I was swimming back and forth last night, I thought of the endless lap swimming I had done at summer camp for seven seasons, and was thankful for this skill that has stayed with me.
Camp Wiquanuppek was on Lake Kanawuake in Bear Mountain, N.Y.  We swam twice daily, honing our skills to achieve the various award levels in the American Red Cross Swimming system.  Swimming laps from the wooden dock to the float seemed far away; it felt like I could swim forever without having to turn around and change direction.

I have shipped out wool blankets to several summer camps this season, and my mind always drifts to happy memories while I'm on the phone or emailing these seasonal customers.  It makes me happy to think of all the boys and girls having outdoor experiences.  I know they are sleeping well under our warm and cozy wool blankets!
What camp memories do you have?

Enjoy the summer,
Northwest Woolen Mills

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wool felt products...who knew?

There are so many items we use everyday, and never give a thought about
how or where they are made.
Author: Paulette Butler

Bouckaert Industrial Textiles (BIT) is a sister company to Northwest Woolen Mills.  BIT products are made in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Industrial felt is used for stamp pads, highlighter nibs and cosmetic applicators.

Wool felt is used for automotive applications like gaskets and soundproofing in the
hood of our cars.


Wool felt and synthetic felt are manufactured and made in saddle pads, keeping the
horse and rider comfortable.

B.I.T. manufactures the felt hammers for pianos, the little felt strips on chalkboard erasers, the felt on the bottom of revolving doors and the seals for clothes dryers.  Who knew? 
Have a great day,



Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wool and Baseballs?

Northwest Woolen Mills, a division of The Brickle Group, manufactures the three styles of yarn used for the production of Major League baseballs.
Author: Paulette Butler

We are proud to be a supplier for America's summertime sport...Play Ball!

Enjoy the game!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Disaster Supplies and GSA Advantage

While at the VEMEC Conference  in Washington D.C. recently, I had the pleasure of meeting wonderful and dedicated people focused on helping others during disaster relief situations.
Author: Paulette Butler

The consensus was the Federal Gov’t is not efficient at handling large scale disasters.  The major suggestion was that States, Counties and Cities can serve their local population much better than various departments in Washington.

One topic in the forum was the task of finding reliable and qualified vendors for various supplies.

GSA Advantage is an internet portal with pre qualified vendors offering a wide range of supplies.  Federal agencies can order directly from this website.  Local governments can order products and services under the Disaster Recovery & Cooperative Purchasing Program.  Go to GSA Advantage . Scroll to the bottom and click on State & Local Governments to see the details.

If you need items and it is not a declared emergency, simply entering an item in the Search field can provide all the information needed to contact the appropriate company.  For example, a search for “wool blankets” brings up several vendors and styles of blankets.  A search for “Northwest Woolen Mills” shows all the items available from our company.

I hope this is helpful, let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wool Military Blankets

 Wool Military blankets are hot! 

It seems lots of people want them lately for a variety of reasons.
Author: Paulette Butler

Northwest Woolen Mills is the prime contractor for the U.S. Dept of Defense.  We manufacture the olive green blankets with the U.S. logo and the Caduceus medical logo.
The blankets are made to military specification Commercial Item Description A-A-55188A.
The wool content is of 95% minimum.  The wool requirement is Grade B; new wool and reprocessed wool blend.  The reprocessed portion cannot be more than 35% of the blanket blend.  Both blankets are Type I  (Twill weave).
The blanket with the US logo reflects the requirements of the National Stock Number 7210-00-282-7950 and the Caduceus NSN is 7210-00-715-7985.
I hope this information is helpful!
View our site for more wool blanket information

Northwest Woolen Mills
Wool Military blanket made by Northwest Woolen Mills on display at the Smithsonian American History museum.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why Wool?

In addition to its warmth and durability, there are many unique and important characteristics that set Wool apart from other fibers.
Author: Paulette Butler


Wool is inherently flame retardant, and it won't melt.  Unlike other fibers that are used for bedding, wool can be made so it will never burn.

Wool helps to regulate body temperature.  Its thermostatic properties protect the body from both cold and heat.

Wool is hygroscopic.  Wool is able to absorb humidity deep within the fiber, a feature that helps to regulate and absorb moisture on the skin's surface.

Wool is a natural insulator.  Its natural crimp and elasticity gives woolen bedding the ability to "store" air and create a perfect insulation layer which helps the body maintain its ideal temprature by allowing it to give off excess warmth.

Wool contributes to good health.  It is the only fiber that is able to neutralize many kinds of acids and chemical bases, a feature which prevents "nightly reintoxication," a common source of germs and sleeplessness.

Wool contributes to a more restful sleep.  Recent studies indicate that the incidence of irregualr heart rate and disturbed sleep patterns increases when both the humidity and the temperature are consistently higher.  Wool's natural ability to absorb and transmit water vapor is of inuque importance in maintaining Thermophysiological Comfort, a state in which the individual is free from thermal strain.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wool Blankets are Flame Retardant

Wool blankets are naturally flame retardant.
Author: Paulette Butler

Because of the natural moisture and oils in wool fiber, a wool blanket will not support a flame or continue to burn.  The natural moisture causes the flame to "self extiquish" and turn into ash.

For this reason, wool blankets would be an asset in every home. I had a firefighter tell me that he wished every child had a wool blanket in their bed.  In the event of a fire, the child could be wrapped up in the blanket and removed from the house with greater safety.

Wool bed blankets are used in homeless shelters, refugee camps, dormitories and institutions for their safety properties.
Flame retardant wool blankets are used in school buses, chemistry labs and fire extiquisher cabinets to put out fires.

Northwest Woolen Mills

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wool blankets for your home and car.

During the reported power outages during the recent snowstorm, Nemo, all I could think about was how people were staying warm.
Author: Paulette Butler

Wool is the warmest insulating fiber, but not too many households have wool clothing or blankets anymore...
Please consider buying a few wool blankets to keep on hand for both your house and your car.
Wool blankets make a practical gift, especially when other emergency type items are included.

Wool blankets make a great gift and are very helpful during power outages!

A great "gift set" can include the following:

Wool blanket
Latex gloves
DOT triangle kit
Use your imagination, it may come in handy some day!

Stay warm,
Northwest Woolen Mills

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Homeless Shelter Directory

This is a helpful homeless shelter resource to share!
Author: Paulette Butler

The directory was created for people who want to find and donate food and/or supplies to their local shelter.   If you are interested in donating wool blankets to a homeless shelter, please view our Friendship Blanket page.

Volunteer Opportunities are also needed at most shelters. See the listed contact information for volunteering at these shelters.

Homeless Shelter Directory

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Relief & Homeless Blankets: Needlepunch Style

For organizations and charities on a budget, needlepunch wool blankets are an economical choice to help as many
street living people as possible.
Author: Paulette Butler

These relief blankets are manufactured from pre consumer recycled fiber.
Northwest Woolen Mills blends the wool and polyester fibers, and runs the fiber through a needle loom.  A needle loom has thousands of sharp needles to intertwine the fibers, making a felt-type blanket.  Needlepunch blankets are often called non-woven blankets.
The result is a warm and fluffy blanket, made from wool, that is inexpensive. 
We don't recommend washing these blankets in a machine.  The agitation from the washing machine will stretch and distort the blanket, resulting in holes and thin spots.
Since most people living on the street to not wash their blankets, this is not an issue.  The blankets enable them to stay warm and comfortable by either using the needlepunch blanket as a ground cover or a blanket.

Northwest Woolen Mills website


Wool and synthetic being manufactured for a needlepunch wool relief blanket.