The term “mink blanket” is a colloquialism referring to very large, luxurious blankets often made of mink. Mink blankets are usually used on beds and other furniture to provide an element of luxury.
These blankets can be made of various materials other than mink; one example is a cashmere blanket. While such blankets have a similar effect upon the bed or furniture they are placed on, some key aspects make them different from something that would be considered an actual “mink blanket.”
The blankets are usually lined with a fur of some sort [usually at least two sets of fur, one for the outer layer and another for the inner layer (which can then be made into either a blanket or a scarf)] and don’t always have the obvious decoration patterns associated with other luxury blankets. While they may appear to be simply large, plush blankets, it is not always so.
These blankets are often used in upscale hotels or other similar locations as an additional amenity. They are often made by hand.
Mink is a member of the mustelid family and is closely related to weasels. The color and texture of mink skins are the results of a diet that is high in salmon.
History of Mink Blankets:
Initially, mink blankets were made from the skins of animals trapped in and around Alaska. After World War II, tanneries in Germany and Belgium became the most common source of these pelts. After World War II, mink ranching became more popular in North America, with farms cropping up in Washington State, Wisconsin, Oregon, Idaho, and Canada. It was during this time that mink pelts began to make blankets. Some of the mink ranching farms sold the blankets they made as it is their primary source of income but most made them on the side to promote their farm or brand. Many of these companies are still around today and still make mink blankets. The state of Wisconsin is also home to several tanneries, one of which is large enough to process 100,000 skins per year into finished products like shoes, belts, and hats.
Are Mink Blankets Good for Health?
Mink is not all bad for you. Mink good oils such as vitamin A, vitamin E, omega 6 and 9 fatty acids, arachidonic acid, collagen protein, and certain flavonoids have recently been shown to provide significant benefits to our health. Aside from the creation of new products, mink is also used in many medical applications. Mink parts are dried and ground up into a medical supplement called mink oil. The oil is then used to boost our own body’s vitamin E levels. Some medications take advantage of mink’s high concentration of arachidonic acid to help reduce arthritis pain. In addition, mink oil is often used in livestock feed to help improve their Vitamin A status and coat quality. When it comes down to it, yes, mink do need to be farmed for their pelts.
Are Mink Blankets Warm?
The answer is yes, but some factors affect how warm a mink blanket is. The most important factor is the thickness of the wool and the number of layers in a blanket. A thicker wool blanket will be much warmer than one with thinner wool. A high number of layers can also make a blanket warmer if they are made well and tightly sewn together. Another factor that comes into play is whether or not the blanket will be washed before use. If the blanket happens to get wet, it will be much heavier and will not keep you warm. Most mink blankets are meant to be used only for a short period as they are fragile items.
Mink blankets are often associated with the cold North American climate, and mink blankets have a long history in Europe and Russia too. Mink farms started cropping up around the world during World War II but were one of the biggest industries during that decade. Most of these farms keep their operations afloat today and have been making mink blankets for over 200 years now.