When choosing blankets for the household, it is advisable to get them of the best quality, as they not only last much longer, but are warmer and lighter than the inferior ones. In texture they ought to be light, soft, and thick, the very best make having as much "fluff" on one side as on the other.
The price will range from twenty shillings to fifty shillings, according to size. An inferior blanket can be obtained for half this price, but after being washed a few times, it will become thick and non-porous, and consequently neither warm nor beautiful. When expense is a consideration, it would be much better to buy the ordinary grey or red military blankets than inferior white ones.
One or two pairs of blankets should be allowed for each bed, and they should be large enough to tuck in at both sides and at the bottom of the bed, but not so large as to touch the floor. Care should be taken when making the bed to have the open edges of the blanket at the top, so that half may be turned back easily if necessary. Many people prefer to cut a pair of blankets into two single ones, both for ease in washing and comfort in wear.
Blankets should be buttonhole-stitched neatly and evenly along each end with scarlet or white wool, and be marked from a sampler with the same wool.
For each bed an under blanket is usually allowed. This should be a small single blanket or an old one cut down. If this latter is very thin, it may be doubled and the edges buttonhole-stitched together. Old blankets may be utilised in several ways. Small blankets, or even pieces of blanket, are invaluable where there are children, either to throw over them as a covering when, as so often happens, they fall asleep uncovered, or for them to sit on, it being always a safe plan to place a folded square of blanket under a baby before putting him on his chair or in his perambulator.
Blankets which are not in use, and are likely to be in the cupboard for some time, should be wrapped in a good thick piece of brown paper, with plenty of camphor or naphtha balls between the folds, this being the only sure preventive against moths.
When the washing of blankets cannot be done at. home, great care should be taken in the choice of a laundry to which to send them, preference being given to one where they are hung in the open air to dry. In many cases it is better to have the blankets dry cleaned, especially if it is the first time they are soiled.
In cases of fever or infectious disease, where the blankets have to be disinfected, the best plan is to fold them up with the mattress, and to sew all together into a strong sheet. They should then be sent to be baked, after which they may be washed or cleaned in the ordinary way.