Although it may seem counterintuitive, a good summer blanket is a must-have. And by good, we mean a versatile throw, perfect for packing up for a day trip, a weekend at the lake, or to toss in the car for an evening s’more roasting session.
It should have three distinct characteristics in order to enhance all your summer adventures:
1. Soft enough for longer, better picnics.
2. Warm enough for chilly evening bonfires.
3. Big enough to share at the beach.
This year as we considered the importance of a blanket that can serve as both a beach throw, and something to wrap around you on a cool summer night, we came across the Maine Heritage Weavers who have been making woven, cotton blankets since 1850.
They know just about everything there is to know about crafting a blanket that can be used for years on end in just about every circumstance.
Before they became the Maine Heritage Weavers, the company was founded as The Bates Manufacturing Company producing high quality clothing and bed coverings. Over the later half of the twentieth century they came to focus on their 150 year old specialty: cotton bedspreads.
The company was running for more than a century when it was sadly forced to close its doors in 2001 like many of its peers in the world of American manufacturing. Former Bates President and Founder of Maine Heritage Weavers, Fred Lebel, recognized the historic significance of Bates Mill and was not willing to let the cherished tradition fade into the past. With this in mind, Lebel and his daughter, Linda Cloutier (current President of Maine Heritage Weavers), salvaged the necessary equipment from closing mills to create Maine Heritage Weavers in 2002 in the likeness of the historic manufacturer that so many people had come to rely on both for its loved, quality bedding as well as for employment. Lebel further kept the weaving tradition alive by hiring former Bates Mill employees who had lost their jobs when the Mill closed.
Today, Maine Heritage Weavers maintains the high quality and standards of New England’s historic textile tradition and continues to weave many of the original designs under the famous Bates name. To this day, the products are truly “loomed to be heirloomed.”
The history and commitment to high quality, textiles was something we immediately connected with.
We’re happy to have worked with the Maine Heritage Weavers to create our custom line of cotton blankets just for you!
Combining warmth with beauty, these cotton throws are just as suited for a day reading in the sun as they are for adorning a sofa or bed in your home.
We hope your blanket will accompany you throughout this summer and many to come.