A Welsh blanket or tapestry blanket is a double sided and fully reversible blanket. They consist of two layers of cloth which are woven together producing contrasting colours on each side of the blanket.
The two layers of cloth, often known as a ‘double-weave’ cloth requires complicated stitching to produce one double-weave blanket. This double-cloth structure creates practical, hard-wearing, large and heavy blankets with bold traditional patterns.
Carthen or Carthenni (in plural) is the Welsh word for traditional Welsh blanket. In earlier days there were woven on narrow looms but subsequently on wider looms in traditional double weave patterns and colours. They normally have fringes and are sometimes known as a Fringed Quilt.
Welsh Weaving Patterns
The tapestry blanket double cloth weaving produce patterns on both sides of the blanket. Many of these patterns were owned by Welsh mills and some of their names are still used today. For example, some of the most popular include Caernarfon, which is also called the Portcullis design, Pennsylvania and Dyffryn. The main features of these patterns are the bright colours, geometric designs and the reversible nature of the material.