The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Emergency Preparations => Topic started by: Badhog on October 03, 2013, 09:58:00 PM

Title: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 03, 2013, 09:58:00 PM
Has heard of a Curaplex Wool Blanket? I'm making emergency kits for my home and car and saw they were 80% wool. Is a higher percentage wool better?

http://www.theemsstore.com/store/product.aspx/productId/19513/Curaplex-Wool-Blanket/?gclid=CNWE_p6j_LkCFckRMwodY3wAwQ
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: AvenueQ on October 04, 2013, 05:23:06 AM
Wool is naturally insulating, self extinguishing, and water resistant. Nowadays it's often combined with manmade fibers, such as nylon, for extra strength and softness. That listing doesn't say what the other 20% is, but I'd bet it's an artificial fiber. I don't have experience with that particular product, but it looks like something I should have as well.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Varginna on October 04, 2013, 06:07:31 AM
as I understand nylon etc is normal in wool fabrics because it makes it more durable.

the big negative thing with most plastic fabrics is the danger they are in a fire (the fabric melts into the skin if you wear it) So I would personally not trust a blanket with 20% that can be anything when it comes to fire (even if theres a Chance that the wool makes it safe)

We have a 100% wool blanket from a army surplus store in our car (but I don't Think they ship to the US)
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: bcksknr on October 04, 2013, 07:26:50 AM
      You don't see them much anymore, but along with fire extinguishers, you used to find "fire blankets". 100% wool will not melt and stick to flesh and can be used to smother the flames of a burning person. You could also wrap yourself in a wool blanket to escape a burning building.
     My family participates in Prue-1840's fur trade era reenacting events. All we use is wool blankets (as the mountain men did back then). The best are Hudson Bay trade blankets. The more stripes (thickness) the better. These are really pricey, but you do find them at garage sales, sometimes. Most of our authentic clothing is buckskin, wool or linen.
     I have a dozen or so Army wool blankets. I keep a couple in the truck with my emergency stuff. They seem to go for around $20 to $25 now,l new. I look for them at garage sales (much cheaper). Polypropylene clothing and blankets will also insulate even when damp, like wool. However they are dangerous around an open flame or in  fire situation. Cotton is the worst material for clothing in cold weather conditions. It will absorb moisture and rob you of body heat.
     Virgin wool is the best, then reprocessed wool, then wool synthetic blends. Besides the shrinkage factor when washing wool, you have to be careful not to remove the natural oils and lanolin with harsh detergents. There are special washes for wool items.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 04, 2013, 09:08:13 AM
The only Army blankets I can find are only 70% wool. I could try a surplus store, but I'd have no idea what percentage those are either.

I just did a search for fire blankets and they are 80% as well.

Does anyone know what percentage these Swiss and Czech ones are from Sportsman's? I called them and they didn't know.

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/new-swiss-style-military-wool-blanket.aspx?a=1123939

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/new-czech-military-surplus-wool-blanket-olive-drab.aspx?a=1510539
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: AvenueQ on October 04, 2013, 10:20:35 AM
There are special washes for wool items.
This is an excellent one:
http://www.kookaburraco.com/wash_buynow.htm (http://www.kookaburraco.com/wash_buynow.htm)
It's a no-rinse wash that contains lanolin and tea tree oil. You can also use it on sheepskin.

What's been said about blended wool around fire is absolutely true. It will melt and stick to your skin. That being said, my search for a fire blanket has also turned up only blends so far. My best guess is that since fire blankets are only intended to put out very small fires, there won't be enough heat or enough time for the artificial fibers to melt. Nylon, for example, has a melting point that varies from ~375 to ~660 degrees F, depending on the specific polymer used. It's also possible the fabric is treated with some kind of anti-flammable compound.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Varginna on October 04, 2013, 10:55:18 AM
the 100% wool blankets from "our" military surplus store is from Poland and Germany (they sell military surplus from alot of contreys) maby you can find a seller in the US who get them from Poland or Germany.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: JerseyVince on October 04, 2013, 12:06:21 PM
I found an Ebay seller that has 100% wool NOS Italian Army blankets 39$ They look like Woolrich blankets but about a 1/3 the price here's the item number just paste it in the Ebay search box   271289911043
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Black November on October 04, 2013, 01:39:41 PM
You want 100% wool. It is the only material that retains warmth even when wet. A great source is:
http://www.gr8gear.com/outdoor-gear-sleeping-gear-blankets.html (http://www.gr8gear.com/outdoor-gear-sleeping-gear-blankets.html)

They happen to be just down the street from my work. I have a few officer italian blankets that are great once you get the classic moth ball smell out of them
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 04, 2013, 04:55:12 PM
A few washes in woolite should do the trick.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 04, 2013, 08:47:58 PM
I bought the one on Ebay. I hope that seller is true to his word and they are 100% wool.  I'm glad to be looking for them now with hard they are to find.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Greekman on October 05, 2013, 11:12:40 AM
hey what happened to thsoe Greek surplus balnkets that a member bought sometime ago?
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: DarkEyes on October 06, 2013, 07:06:50 AM
I bought all of my Hudson Bay blankets from shopgoodwill.com...for $20 or less each...some people have no clue what they are...there are also good deals on there on cast iron.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Black November on October 06, 2013, 08:57:26 AM
I bought all of my Hudson Bay blankets from shopgoodwill.com...for $20 or less each...some people have no clue what they are...there are also good deals on there on cast iron.

I find great deals at the Goodwill near me, but never realized they had an online store. Thanks for the great link. I will check that site before buying any vintage stuff like cast iron pans.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Here Again on October 07, 2013, 10:44:04 AM
I bought all of my Hudson Bay blankets from shopgoodwill.com...for $20 or less each...some people have no clue what they are...there are also good deals on there on cast iron.

I had no idea they had an online "store".  Looks like an auction thing, but there are some good looking deals!  Thanks, you just saved me a bunch of time and gas money.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 11, 2013, 12:15:37 PM
Well, I received my blanket and washed it with Woolite and a cup of vinegar...it's now out back air drying....and my front loading washer smells like moth balls.

Did anyone else have this problem? How did you get the smell out?
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: AvenueQ on October 11, 2013, 12:29:00 PM
Try soaking your washer with washing soda (sometimes called soda ash). You should be able to find it with the laundry detergent at the grocery store. Put some washing soda in your washer, fill it with water, and let it soak for ~30 minutes. You can then add detergent and a load of laundry or just run it empty.

I used to work with molten sulfur and COULD NOT get the smell out of my clothes unless I soaked them first. It might take a few washes to get it all out.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 11, 2013, 01:15:46 PM
It's a front loader :( I'll see if I can find something at Walmart though to clean it though.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Poet on October 11, 2013, 01:55:34 PM
Just checked shopgoodwill.com. it's an auction? Ick!

I'll just pay the money at the local A/N. I hate auctions.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Aunt on October 12, 2013, 09:37:05 AM
Harbor Freight has grey 80% wool blankets 60" x 80" for $9.99.  http://www.harborfreight.com/60-inch-x-80-inch-wool-blanket-92625.html  They are, of course, smelly.  I washed mine in cold water and hung it to dry.  Then I used a soft hair brush to brush off the lint.  I left the blanket hanging on my back porch overnight to help get rid of some more smell.  It is a comfortable and warm addition to my bed.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 12, 2013, 11:28:28 AM
Glad you were luckier than I was. My washing machine still stinks. Not sure how I'll get that out, but I learned the hard lesson that you don't wash them until the moth ball smell is out. Just leave them hanging until then :(
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Black November on October 12, 2013, 11:56:59 AM
I usually handwash mine in the bath tube.

The smell in your washer will eventually go away, just give it a few weeks and a few more washes.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: JerseyVince on October 12, 2013, 12:02:35 PM
Tide makes a washing machine wash that's for front loaders. You could do a empty load of just bleach and hot water, maybe do a cpl of white towels in it not to waste the water
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 12, 2013, 07:10:12 PM
I've tried everything from washing machine cleaners, dishwasher soap, essential oils, stainless steel cleaners, to bathroom cleaner. I actually thought the bathroom cleaner made a dent, but it only masked it for a bit. I have no idea how it chemically bonded to the metal and plastic inside there but it's unbelievable. I'm debating trying tomato juice next...works for skunks, right?

I've Googled the heck out of it and also talked to an appliance repairman friend. All the research I found basically said it will go away, but a few people had to buy a new washing machine. I guess I'll be doing my wash at a friends house or testing out my emergency prep method with a plunger looking thing and a 5 gallon bucket. Worst $50 investment of my life.

Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: nelson96 on October 12, 2013, 07:27:09 PM
I've tried everything from washing machine cleaners, dishwasher soap, essential oils, stainless steel cleaners, to bathroom cleaner. I actually thought the bathroom cleaner made a dent, but it only masked it for a bit. I have no idea how it chemically bonded to the metal and plastic inside there but it's unbelievable. I'm debating trying tomato juice next...works for skunks, right?

I've Googled the heck out of it and also talked to an appliance repairman friend. All the research I found basically said it will go away, but a few people had to buy a new washing machine. I guess I'll be doing my wash at a friends house or testing out my emergency prep method with a plunger looking thing and a 5 gallon bucket. Worst $50 investment of my life.

Try vinegar.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 12, 2013, 07:29:24 PM
Tried that one too. It was actually in with the blanket. When I do something I do it right ;)
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Black November on October 12, 2013, 07:52:31 PM
If possible leave the door open when not in use. Air will help dissipate the smell. Continue usiging the washer and eventually the smell will go away. Unfortunately it will probably take a few weeks.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 13, 2013, 09:54:58 AM
So, if you've never experienced a crud hit the fan situation try telling the lady of the house her washing machine is out of order...and you did it ;) No, it doesn't help to have a 5 gallon bucket and a plunger looking device.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: archer on October 13, 2013, 10:17:51 AM
So, if you've never experienced a crud hit the fan situation try telling the lady of the house her washing machine is out of order...and you did it ;) No, it doesn't help to have a 5 gallon bucket and a plunger looking device.

oh... good luck sleeping in the dog's house
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Nadir_E on October 13, 2013, 10:44:01 AM
oh... good luck sleeping in the dog's house

The freshly washed wood blanket ought to come in handy for that! :D

Just ordered a couple of 100% wool blankets off e-bay.  Will see how smelly they are when they get here.  I guess I'll steer clear of washing them in the family washing machine, though!  ;)
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 13, 2013, 02:42:44 PM
Yep, just hang them in the back yard in the sun until the smell goes away. THEN you can wash them in the machine. I made the mistake of Googling how to wash a wool blanket. It wasn't until it was in the machine that the thought came to my mind to see if anyone's washer maintained the smell after. Day late nice smelling washer short.

It is making me wonder how I'd wash clothes in a long term power outage. Buckets and that plunger looking device will get old.

http://inhabitat.com/human-powered-giradora-washer-needs-no-electricity-and-costs-only-40/

For $40 I'd buy one of these in a second. I found their Facebook and it looks like they are still in development, but it won't be long. They didn't expect to have a market from preppers :)  I hope you all don't mind, but I'm going to start a thread on this. I think it's worth keeping track of.

https://www.facebook.com/GiraDora
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: mountainmoma on October 20, 2013, 07:00:24 PM
I bought 2 from Sierra Trading post as part of an order, and I liked them so much I just ordered 3 more. They are 100% wool, made in the UK.  They are Moon Wool Throw Blanket -59" x 72". The first 2 were $22.37 each and the next order they were $20.77 and the whole order had free shipping. I only order from here once or twice a year, esp when starting to think about christmas gifts. They change the "sale" deal almost daily ( I get emailed blurbs, that I usually dont open unless I need to shop) So, when I went to order more of these blankets, at first they were more expensive, so I had to check daily for another few days, and soon scored the lower price and free shipping. I also ordered a mora firestarting knife. The knife and 3 blankets are for gifts for family. The 2 other blankets for my own house/car.

These blankets wont get you sent to the doghouse. Im gonna give one to my dad for xmas, he likes to sit in his throne- I mean chair - with a blanket over his legs and handgun, he doesnt get around so good anymore.

The fire knife was 16.87 and a mens pair of smartwool socks for under $9
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Knecht on October 22, 2013, 04:21:05 AM
There are Polish grey wool army blankets available here in CZ, let me know and I'll arrange some for you. About $20 each, plus postage.
Also old Swiss army blankets are said to be good, never used one but the look great and they're 100% wool. But they are getting hard to find, even in Switzerland. Been there couple months ago and looks like those guys like their blankets a lot, willing to pay for them. Guess I should have bought one.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Nadir_E on October 23, 2013, 02:57:50 PM
Well, I received my blanket and washed it with Woolite and a cup of vinegar...it's now out back air drying....and my front loading washer smells like moth balls.

Did anyone else have this problem? How did you get the smell out?

I can't thank you enough for this warning.  The two ex-military blankets I purchased had a mild smell out of the box, but it seemed to go into over-drive once I washed them!  I was using a wool shampoo (i.e. specialty detergent) and no vinegar.  I washed 'em five times and it barely put a dent in the newly enhanced smell.  :P  Ultimately it took airing them out (during the day only) for a couple of days to really do the trick.

You were right - the washer smelled of mothballs afterwards (thankfully for me, it wasn't my washer because of your warning). 

-N
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 23, 2013, 07:23:39 PM
I'm glad it could help you! It's a simple fix one you know to just air them out.

If anyone ever has a problem getting the smell out of their washer I might be able to help with that too. Just PM me.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: OutWestTX on October 29, 2013, 03:25:06 AM
I have a couple of blankets from German army surplus that are nice, but the best ones I've found are the wool blankets from PRISON SUPPLY companies.  They are thick, heavy duty blankets, and best of all, they are machine washable.  Anything you get from a prison supply company is heavy duty and durable.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Badhog on October 30, 2013, 04:49:08 PM
I picked up a few from Harbor Freight this week. They seem decent for the price.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: Entity on October 31, 2013, 03:23:53 PM
I bought the one on Ebay. I hope that seller is true to his word and they are 100% wool.  I'm glad to be looking for them now with hard they are to find.

Well, you could test it. Trim a small amount of one end ( neatly, no point ruining it entirely), and see how it behaves with fire.

It should be very difficult to get lit, burn poorly ( dull or no flame, *black* smoke) and self extinguish rapidly. ( it may not light at all, that is still ok,   as it is retained lanolin that'd be burning, and that doesn't last long)

What it should not do, under any conditions, is burn well,  bubble, melt, bead or edge soften. if it does any of those, it has a substantial adulteration.

To detect small adulterations you do need a dissection microscope however

Edit: this of course assumed it has been well washed to get rid of any fire suppression coating (they are useful if you know that it's there and what it's covering, but i would never trust such a coating on its own)
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: iam4liberty on October 28, 2017, 08:09:58 PM
FYI for all those who have purchased a large wool blanket.  Wilderness Outfitters just put out a great video demonstrating both the "swaddling" and "robe cape" techniques. 

https://youtube.com/watch?t=491s&v=a_MeeQyJ0Ck (https://youtube.com/watch?t=491s&v=a_MeeQyJ0Ck)

The robe cape technique makes for a very easy halloween costume too.  ;)

Now if only they did a video on using a great kilt...
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: machinisttx on October 29, 2017, 01:24:31 PM
This is an excellent one:
http://www.kookaburraco.com/wash_buynow.htm (http://www.kookaburraco.com/wash_buynow.htm)
It's a no-rinse wash that contains lanolin and tea tree oil. You can also use it on sheepskin.

What's been said about blended wool around fire is absolutely true. It will melt and stick to your skin. That being said, my search for a fire blanket has also turned up only blends so far. My best guess is that since fire blankets are only intended to put out very small fires, there won't be enough heat or enough time for the artificial fibers to melt. Nylon, for example, has a melting point that varies from ~375 to ~660 degrees F, depending on the specific polymer used. It's also possible the fabric is treated with some kind of anti-flammable compound.

Not sure what you mean by "fire blanket", but you might try looking for welding blankets instead. You should be able to find them easily. I have wrapped 1000F+ degree parts in them to slow cool and never had a problem. Never seen one catch on fire either.
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: N8TV Whisker Biscuit on April 15, 2019, 04:23:40 PM
I see alot of wool blankets handed out at food banks, not sure of total of fabric mix of materials? But hey, if they free!
Title: Re: Wool Blanket
Post by: mountainmoma on April 15, 2019, 07:26:49 PM
At the moment, Old Grouch has a sale on Isreali wool blankets, they are I think 80%.  I used one last summer for putting out a fire ( colman stove leaked white gas) and here was no melting or burning of blanket, did all it should.  Plus it is warm and well made.  They are $10 each, plus shipping, but no sales tax so certainly less than 14.  I just bought 4 more.  I need to check with the kids and make sure everyone has one in the trunk, especially given how useful the one in my trunk turned out to be