January 27, 2019 4 min read

Welsh tapestry blankets - Hiraeth**

Our Welsh tapestry blankets range is named ‘Hiraeth’. Nothing, maybe says Hiraeth more than an iconic Welsh tapestry blanket. A stunning addition to any home, traditional or contemporary. Looked after well, they will become a family heirloom of the future.

** Hiraeth is a Welsh concept of longing for home, which can be loosely translated as 'nostalgia', or, more commonly, 'homesickness'. Many of us Welsh claim 'hiraeth' is a word which cannot be translated, meaning more than solely "missing something" or "missing home."

Welsh tapestry blankets for sale together with throws, floor rugs and cushions are iconic Welsh products and are stunning additions to any home. Welsh Tapestry blankets are sometimes known as 'Welsh Rugs'. They  can be used in different rooms of your home from a bedspread to a 'decoration' in your living areas.

Carthen or Carthenni (in plural) is the Welsh word for traditional Welsh blankets, such as iconic Welsh tapestry blankets on narrow looms and subsequently wider looms in traditional double weave patterns and colours. They are blankets made with several coloured to produce a check design. They normally have fringes and are sometimes known as a Fringed Quilt.

Welsh tapestry blanket - Hiraeth - Carthen - Carthenni

Using pure new wool on 1930's Dobbcross looms, each tapestry is traditionally woven. Each warp is threaded through the heddles by hand using the skills and processes of the last one hundred years. The traditional ‘double weave’ patterns produce reversible blankets, known in Welsh as ‘Carthenni’, that are practical, hard-wearing and genuinely warm. In sizes ranging from Baby Blankets to Throws and King sizes, these blankets are suitable for use in living rooms as well as bedspreads. Our range of tapestry cushions complement each of these beautiful Welsh tapestry blankets 

These tapestry blankets are woven in Wales and although these blankets are universally known as Welsh tapestry blankets, they are not really tapestries at all. They are basically two layers of cloth, often known as a ‘double-weave’ cloth, each in a different colour and usually with a geometric pattern. The weaving itself requires a complicated stitching together of the two layers of cloth to produce one double-weave blanket. This double-cloth structure creates practical, hard-wearing, large and heavy blankets with bold reversible patterns. For all these reasons, Welsh tapestry blankets have become famous the world over and are almost guaranteed to keep you warm in all weathers and will give an iconic reversible patterned blanket to decorate any home.

They are as popular today as they have been for over 100 years. Traditionally they would have been given as wedding gifts to be handed down from generation to generation. They are long wearing blankets and if cared from well, they could be part of your family heritage to pass on to your future generations. 

Our tapestry blankets and throws are made from new wool and are not vintage, used or second hand blankets.  Our sizes are a generous true to size - if it says a single, double or king then that is the bed it will fit from foot to head and draped at the side.

Welsh Tapestry Patterns

The Caernarfon (or Portcullis) of many of our blankets is among the most iconic Welsh patterns. If you think of a Welsh tapestry pattern, then this Caernarfon pattern is likely to be the most familiar thanks to its mass production in the 1950s and ‘60s. There are some experts that believe the classic Welsh patterns were the precursor of many of the North American folk art textile traditions, largely as a result of widespread Welsh emigration during the 1790s onward. In areas such as Pennsylvania, where the Welsh settled in significant numbers, the quilts and blankets of the neighbouring Amish are almost identical to Welsh tapestry blankets.

The other classic patterns are the Dyffryn and Pennsylvania patterns (also Anglicised as Duffryn) which is woven by Meiln Teifi in Drefach Felindre, Carmarthenshire. 

Dyffryn (anglicised to Duffryn) Welsh tapestry pattern

Tapestry Bedspreads

Our Welsh tapestry blankets range from push chair and cot sizes as baby blankets, to throws, single, double and king size blankets and can be complimented with a Welsh tapestry cushions in various sizes. 

Blanket - Throw Size Size
(cms)
Size
(inches)
Weight
(kgs)
Weight
(lbs)
Throw  170 x 115 67 x 45 1.5 3.4
Throw (Large) 180 x 160 70 x 65 1.7 4.0
Single 230 x 180 90 x 72 2.0 4.5
Double 230 x 230 90 x 90 2.4 5.0
King 255 x 230 100 x 90 2.7 5.8
  

To get the correct size, you need to decide if you want the blankets to drape over the sides of the bed and also at the end of the bed. For example, in the UK a double bed is 140cms wide. Using the measurements above, a single blanket would drape to the floor about 20cms (or 8 inches) on each side of the bed (180cms -140cms divided by two). A double blanket at 230cms wide would drape approximately 45 cms on either side (18 inches) and hence would drape almost to the floor on either side of the bed. (See UK and Overseas Bed Sizes)

Welsh tapestry blanketsWelsh tapestry cushions

Welsh tapestry blankets, often known as Welsh Rugs, have a long and rich heritage but are nearly as popular today as they were 100 years ago. They make great presents which will last a lifetime and are the warmest of bed blankets for any weathers. They are also great for a cwtch - everybody can cuddle but only the Welsh know how to cwtch :)

Welsh tapestry Baby Blankets

These baby blankets are available in a smaller and larger sizes suitable for a push chair or a cot. looked after well, they can become a family heirloom of the future

About FelinFach

Our company, FelinFach Natural Textiles is located in the heart of the Preseli area of Pembrokeshire near to Boncath. We design Welsh blankets, Welsh woollen blankets and throws which are traditionally woven at Welsh mills. We also design and make natural hand dyed yarn, cotton, silk and wool scarves and other handmade products. We are a proud supporter of the Campaign for Wool, Global Welsh and Wales International.

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Last updated 12th August 2020



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