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Paul Durrant

Blanket

British soldier's blanket 1776
2005.153.001  

Provenance: "Broad Arrow British Blanket left by the British in Boston at
the time of the evacuation, given by Gershom Bradford." p. 135 of gift
ledger for 1952. Taken from Boston Common by William Hickling during the
evacuation of the British Troops in 1775 (Revolutionary War). Donated to
DRHS in 1968 as part of the Bradford House Collection, Gift of Gershom
Bradford III and Edward W. Bradford.

Dimensions:
81.5" (h) x 65.5" (w)

©& Courtesy of the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society

Please note: this information and photography is for educational purposes only and may not be reproduced, published or altered without permission of the DRHS.
John Waller

Any idea what the size of the GR marking is? The blue stripes are interesting. I have a couple of what I believe to be C20th ex british army wool blankets that have two blue stripes down the centre of the blanket. I think at Wollaton Rob Yuill had one with three stripes down the centre that he had liberated from government service. Perhaps a type of marking that has persisted over the centuries?
Ben Townsend

It brings to notice of discussion again the distinction between Navy and Army blankets. And for the latter, the various types- hospital, barrack or camp equipage. What were the differences, if any?
Iain Dubh

Blankets

Hullo all,
The US Company of Military Historians published an article by Robert Stone (who weaves excellant copies of AWI blankets) in 1997 which describes 8 existing military blankets in museums on this side of the pond.
According to the article, the Cypher was block printed and runs from 8" to 9" high, and 9 1/2" to 11 1/4" wide.
Each of the blankets has two small stripes about 1" to 3" from each end. Each stripe is two shots of coloured yarn separated by 4 shots of white. In the article, he describes the stripe yarn as medium to dark brown which he supposes to originally black, but it is interesting to note that his reproductions now have blue yarn for stripes. (I picked a second hand one a few years ago for the discounted price of $170!)
By the way, five of the 8 blankets are from captures made during the War of 1812.
Added to this post is a photo of the blanket at Ft Ticonderoga, NY
Aye,
Iain

Radford

British Soldier's Blanket

Greetings!

This is one of Robert Stone's British Soldier's blankets:


John Waller

Just been re-reading the notes I have on the Trotter archive and found this snippet fron one of the letter books:-

Out of 1000 pairs of (eight ¼) blankets each blanket to measure when furnished 84” long by 66” wide and to weigh when perfectly dry and free from oil or filth of any kind 8lbs and 6oz per pair. The warp and wool alike and not spun to hard and thready. The knap well raised on both sides, the colour clear and good and the wool itself good and sweet to be delivered as above free of every other expense at [blank] per pair

No date. poss circa 1803.
Obadiah

That's wierd! A pair of blankets??

Confused of Chatham
John Waller

Obadiah wrote:
That's wierd! A pair of blankets??

Confused of Chatham


Possibly for barracks issue? Two men to a bed?
Eddie

8lb 6oz ? That's a seriously heavy blanket !
My modern MOD weighs 3lb 12oz and is wider  - 72" and is about the same length.

Has any reenactor got a blanket that heavy?

I think I remember reading "somewhere" (sorry!)  that the men carried either a Greatcoat or a blanket but not both. A Greatcoat I think weighed 5lbs.
Will try and find references but someone probably has them.

Small wonder the men traded blankets and found wiling buyers among the Spanish peasantry.
Radford

Obadiah wrote:
That's wierd! A pair of blankets??

Confused of Chatham


One of the men in my AWI period company of the 33rd has a blanket which is actually two 3 1/2 point white blankets with black stripes which have been woven as one piece. There is a thread running across the weave to mark where they should have been cut into two blankets, but these were never cut. Could this be what is meant by a pair of blankets?
Mercian Pete

B.J. Bluth PhD: "Marching with Sharpe". Harper Collins 2001. P62.

"Since greatcoats weighed about five and a half pounds the rank and file did not normally carry a greatcoat and a blanket at the same time - it was only one, the other being back in stores."

Of the blanket:

"My usual bed was two blankets stitched together and made into the shape of a sack, into which I crawled, and if I rolled about, the clothes never left me until I took a fancy to crawl out again."

Bluth references all of his quotations to genuine sources but I haven't quite worked out how to attribute particular quotes to particular sources yet!
Paul Durrant

Mercian Pete wrote:

Bluth references all of his quotations to genuine sources but I haven't quite worked out how to attribute particular quotes to particular sources yet!


Ha! My first book I delved into for 'factual' stuff - unfortunately incredibly flawed and frustrating because of lazy production! As you've come to realise, he just bungs in a list of reference sources at the back with no linking up - hence one is unable to go to that source and check out if; 1) is what he quoted verbatim and 2) is it in the right context?

As Frank Packer said on our Facebook page;
"...a good historian will offer sources for scrutiny, and will present an interpretation of those sources, and will make it clear which is which."

Ditch it Pete. It is now of no use whatsoever! Suggest you start ploughing through the various first hand accounts/memoirs of soldiers in the Peninsular Wars. They are currently still being published by Leonaur.
Eddie

Pete
Your quote:
"My usual bed was two blankets stitched together and made into the shape of a sack, into which I crawled, and if I rolled about, the clothes never left me until I took a fancy to crawl out again."

This is from the account of Lt George Simmons - published in recent times by Leonaur as "Lieutenant Simmons of the 95th Rifles". It was edited by Willoughby Verner  in 1899.
Page 177  June 30th 1812 has the quote above.


By strange chance -we were at an event in June at Chalke Valley near Salisbury when the present owner of Simmons' actual diaries and letters came up and introduced himself and we now have contact details for him. He intends to transcribe all the papers and let us have a copy so that we can see if anything of interest has been left out by Verner.
Ben Townsend

The greatcoat and/or blanket issue is confusing because contradictory orders were delivered at different levels. For instance, lets say a hypothetical campaign is starting in Belgium, and the troops are ready to disembark. An order is received from CiC (local) ordering that only one shall be carried. Further standing orders are then issued at Divisional and battalion level (strangely not brigade) which may contradict the CiC's orders.

This will leave a paper trail for historians. If they only stumble across one of the orders, they will assume that that is representative. With poor judgement, they will then publish this as a didactic statement and announce to the world that they have solved any confusion FOR EVER.

With luck, and good judgement, the historian will find several references and be able to offer a reasoned assessment exhibiting greater balance.
Mercian Pete

Paul Durrant wrote:
Ditch it Pete. It is now of no use whatsoever!


There is courage, there is bravery and then there is stupidity. My wife bought me this book for Christmas about 10 years ago!  No point in engaging in action unless there is a good chance of a favourable outcome!

 q18

I have already acquired Kincaide's "Random Shots".
Ben Townsend

I am quite envious of the treat you are in for. Reading the wealth of memoirs for the first time is a great joy.

Suggestion: post it notes on pages holding items of interest will enable you to refer back to those points later. Lots of our members have done this, and their notes on the research archive enable us to build a wonderful resource for developing our understanding of the Georgian army.

We are over-represented by members with an interest in, say, material culture, but there are LOADS of gaps, as you will see when you get access to the forum. Its one of the great things about the 2/95th that we have collectively built this archive, and I'm very proud of it.

Not everyone contributes, or reads the forum, and that's fine, but you may find it easier to understand what the 2/95th is trying to achieve with that background. Without research one tends to end up copying the mistakes of others :(
John Waller

Obadiah wrote:
That's wierd! A pair of blankets??

Confused of Chatham


Dear Confused,
                      I found this on the Hudson Bay Company Heritage website which may explain a 'pair of blankets'

My blanket has four sets of stripes and is twice as long as it should be. Is this a mistake?

No. What you have is what is called an "unseparated pair" of Hbc point blankets. This is just what it sounds like: a doubly long blanket that has not been separated into 2 singles. Blankets are woven on long continuous rolls of about 25 pairs (50 singles) to a bolt. Until the 1970s they were separated into pairs by the manufacturer, packaged and shipped as pairs. They were separated only at the point of sale. A small nick or cut in the selvage of the blankets was made and the blankets were literally torn apart along the grain - much to the amusement to staff who loved to "surprise" unsuspecting buyers! They were also priced "by the pair" until the late 1950s or early 1960s. Unseparated pairs were particularly useful for campers and other outdoorsmen. By folding the pair in half a simple sleeping bag was created. Until the advent of modern outdoor gear Hbc blankets were often used in this fashion. Today all blankets are separated and packaged as singles during the manufacturing process. Unseparated pairs are highly collectible, so don't tear them apart.
Obadiah

Well I be jiggered. Thanks John, it's good to learn something new every day.

Dave
John Waller

So as a rough guide it would seem that a soldier's blanket was of unbleached natural coloured wool with two blue stripes at each end and marked with a GR -> stamp. In size around 7ft long by 5ft 6in wide and between 4lb 3oz to 5lb in weight.
Greg Renault

Quote:
The US Company of Military Historians published an article by Robert Stone

Here’s the citation: Robert G. Stone, "British Military Blankets, 1776-1813," Military Collector & Historian, vol. 49, no. 1 (Spring 1997), 37-39.

Quote:
In the article, he describes the stripe yarn as medium to dark brown which he supposes to originally black, but it is interesting to note that his reproductions now have blue yarn for stripes.

In his product flyer from July 2008 Stone states that his reproduction blanket is a composite of 13 original British Army blankets researched in various collections.  His repro blanket dimensions are 67” x 86”; has double woven stripes at each end (AWI blue, 1812 brown), and different placement of GR stamp for each period.
http://www.1stusinfantry.com/uplo...3/5123368/flyer_pg1_rob_stone.pdf

The Revlist forum has a few posts that expand on this information.  

On 5 November 2000 Katie Caddell noted,
The blankets are all in public collections which include the Lexington (Massachusetts) Historical Society; Fort Ticonderoga; New Windsor Cantonment State Historic Site, New York; Naval Museum, Washington Navy Yard; and the Maine Historical Society, which has an impressive 4 blankets in its collection.
http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Revlist/conversations/topics/24464

Dana Twiss posted this on 1 July 2007 regarding the blankets examined by Stone that are in the collection of the Maine Historical Society:

To add to the discussion, in my day job, I recently catalogued four or five British issue blankets that were aboard the HMS Boxer when it was captured. While the event is 1812, the blankets fully fit the description of 18th century British military issue blankets. While inconsistent in size, which may have been due as much from use as construction, they were all consistent in the following features:
1-top and botton there were two parallet brown stripes running from edge to edge. Each stripe was approximately 1/8th inch wide and the stripes were 1/4" apart. The outermost stripe ran 2" from the edge, top and bottom.
2-The broad arrow point touched the bottom of the top two stripes, the tips of the arrow are 4.5" apart, the shaft of the arrow was 4" long. (I neglected to measure how far in the shaft was from the edge for my notes).
3-Th GR was below the arrow, and 4.5" tall. The G was 3" wide, the R 3.5" wide, the space between then was 3.5", and the tip of the leg on the R was 1.5" from the edge.

This particular blanket had one yellow point and was apparently made in or around the Whitney area as it was woven full width, not pieced. Wool was a natural, "off-white".

The blankets, overall, measured approximately 93" long and 64" wide with some variation which can be attributed as much to use and "care" as inconsistency in manufacture.

Apparently the auction of the goods aboard the Boxer gave everyone in Portland (then known a Falmouth), Maine an opportunity to have a blanket as there are several in the collections of the Maine Historical Society.

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Revlist/conversations/topics/97233

In a post from the same date Steve Rayner noted that the blanket in the Ft. Ticonderoga collection is similar to the Boxer blankets.

Blanket size is interesting.  Here is a summary of what I’ve found so far:

Henderson article: 90 x 72
Trotter letter:  84 x 66 (4 lb 3 oz)
Bradford AWI: 84.5 x 65.5
Boxer 1812 (x4):  93 x 64
Stone repro: 86 x 67
Brit hospital: 90 x69 (4 lb)

Note that although the 1812 blankets from the HMS Boxer are approximately 93” x 64”, Stone’s reproductions are 86” x 67”, which is closer to the AWI blanket dimensions.  (My modern hospital blanket actually comes closest to the dimensions of the Boxer blankets, and at 4 lbs is close in weight to the Trotter letter specs.  Too bad it does not have the end stripes.)

My conclusions:  a British Army blanket from the 1812 period would be approximately 93” x 64”, have two black/brown lines woven at each end, and the broad arrow/GR marking as described by Dana Twiss.
Mercian Pete

In the meantime, may I ask what type of blankets 2/95 carry at the moment?  Have you stuck with the grey army surplus type or have you sourced from somewhere else? The blankets you mention above by Mr Stone look superb but they are obviously very expensive. - to the point where they may be inaccessible for many of our members.

It is a question that we, in 5/60,  are exploring at the moment and your guidance would be much appreciated.
Hagman's roadie

Mercian Pete wrote:
In the meantime, may I ask what type of blankets 2/95 carry at the moment?  Have you stuck with the grey army surplus type or have you sourced from somewhere else? The blankets you mention above by Mr Stone look superb but they are obviously very expensive. - to the point where they may be inaccessible for many of our members.

It is a question that we, in 5/60,  are exploring at the moment and your guidance would be much appreciated.


We have a varied array of blankets but as they're packed away in knapsacks most of the time this isn't a major issue. Ideally we would all like to have the right blanket.
I would focus on spending time and money on achieving a good level of accuracy on kit that will be seen by the public before worrying about spending silly money on accurate blankets.
Eddie

I would like to take the opportunity here to express my view that there are several period references to blankets stowed inside knapsacks - the rolled grey item seen atop the knapsack of so many contemporary images of British Infantrymen I believe are Greatcoats - I stand to be shot down in flames if I am wrong!  The straps which hold it in place are referred to as "Greatcoat straps" not blanket straps.

Has anyone any references re blankets on top of knapsacks?  I can accept that space inside the knapsack can be very tight without a blanket in there as well.
Ben Townsend

Blankets are 'white'. Greatcoats are grey. The method of carrying both or either changes as often as brigade orders or new knapsack design allows.
I believe we were reaching consensus that by 1812 the blanket goes inside.
John Waller

ben wrote:
Blankets are 'white'. Greatcoats are grey. The method of carrying both or either changes as often as brigade orders or new knapsack design allows.
I believe we were reaching consensus that by 1812 the blanket goes inside.


And didn't Wellington order that troops carried either coats or blankets, but not both, on one of the Penninsular campaigns? Due to the weight being too burdensome.
Ben Townsend

Numerous and often contradictory orders exist at different levels for different campaigns. It’s a good illustration of the dangers of taking one quote and running with it.

For instance:
Ditching greatcoats:

"General Orders, Bruxelles, 31st May 1815,
1. The Commander of the Forces is very desirous of relieving the Infantry soldiers of the British army from a part of the wieght which they now carry; and he therefore desires that the name and number of each man, and the letter of his company, may be marked upon his greatcoat, with a view of its being taken into store, and the greatcoats may be packed in packages, each containing twenty greatcoats.
2. The packages must be marked each with the number of the regiment, the letter of the company, and the words, `Greatcoats belonging to Captain _______`s company.`
3. This must be completed throughout the army by the 4th of June, on which day the commissaries attached to brigades are to send the greatcoats to the stores at Ostend.
4. The commissaries attached to brigades are to supply the regiments, upon their requisition, with the means of packing the greatcoats, as above ordered.
5. The commissary of stores is to take charge of the greatcoats, and to give a recipt to the Officer handing them over to him.
6. These orders are to be communicated to, and  obeyed by, all regiments on their landing."

The general orders of Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington ... in Portugal ... By Arthur Wellesley Wellington (Duke of), John Gurwood.

http://books.google.com/books?id=...RDERS#v=onepage&q&f=false

Ditching blankets:

"The soldiers are on no account to be required, as permitted, to carry their blankets, when that article shall be issued to the troops, nor is the weight of their equipment ever to exceed the proportion already specified (ie 12.5 lbs); unless it should be deemed expedient, on particular occasions, to order the soldiers to carry a greater than ordinary proportion of provisions.  The blankets, as well as any other extra articles which it my be found necessary to carry with the troops, are to be conveyed by the Commissariat."

Board of General Officers, clothing report, infantry of the line, 19th June 1811,   WO papers, (Kew dec 08 038)

Ditching greatcoat OR blanket:

This from General Orders: Celorico, 2d June, 1810






Mercian Pete

Thanks for your interesting and, as always, informative responses. We are acquiring great coats so i think we might consider our blankets are ditched with the commissariat for the time being! Excellent. q43
Paul Durrant

But yes, creamy coloured ex-army are close regards dimensions. Suggest you lay your hands on them as the opportunity arises as they're great to pile on during those cold tent nights (like in July & August!).
Mercian Pete

Thanks Paul. It turns out one of the guys has got a couple of that description which he acquired from some event in Nottingham a a couple of years ago. We are trying to build up our LH display from scratch, so these can be part of anything we do for that in the first instance. We still have a long way to go -  acquiring basic kit and getting that right. 2014 will probably be devoted to that and lots of training although we have managed to build up a fairly full events calendar.
havercakelad

Couple of instanses of 'improvisation' involving blankets.

1811: Peninsula, 23rd Foot
'some of the men had to whip their blankets that they had to lap them in to make trousers of.'

The Very thing : the Memoirs of Drummer Richard Bentinck

1815: 33rd Foot
'Soignies, Saturday , June 10, 1815
Under orders to be in readiness to march at a moment's notice, this arribved when we were all occupied wiyh our blankets, converting them into tents and greatcoats , our greatcoats having been ordered to the rear (Ostend).'

The journal of Ensign William Thain.
havercakelad

Following from Bentinck of the 23rd aluding to what appears a strange order..but note stowage of blankets in pack.

"We had orders on the previous night [17th June] not to put out our blankets but one or two or three others pulled them out against orders and put them over to keep the rain off. In the morning when the rain gave over we rung them out as well as we could. We put them in our knapsacks again before any of the Officers saw us."

The Very Thing: The Memoirs of Drummer Richard Bentinck.
John Waller

havercakelad wrote:
Following from Bentinck of the 23rd aluding to what appears a strange order..but note stowage of greatcoats in pack.

"We had orders on the previous night [17th June] not to put out our blankets but one or two or three others pulled them out against orders and put them over to keep the rain off. In the morning when the rain gave over we rung them out as well as we could. We put them in our knapsacks again before any of the Officers saw us."

The Very Thing: The Memoirs of Drummer Richard Bentinck.


Greatcoats?
havercakelad

Whoops! Ammended last post.

4th division had the following miscellaneous Standing order in 1813;

"2: It is the desire of the major general commanding that the men's blankets should be carried inside of their packs in preference to their greatcoats."

An Eloquent Soldier: the Peninsular war Journals of Lieutenant Charles Crowe of the Iniskillings. 1812-1814
Ed Gareth Glover
Der Warenfuhrer

Apologies if I'm covering old ground again here (I've not read the whole chain exhaustively), but I have a couple of comments on the preceding discussion:

The standard denomination of quantity in the 18th & early 19th C English Blanket industry in the  was 'the pair'. So orders are often placed for so many pairs, and weights, production quantities etc are usually defined per pair. The pair is two blankets end to end, which were usually cut for sale to the final customer. So the weight of '8 Ib 6oz per pair' equates to 4 Ib 3oz each, which is typical mid range of weights quoted for various period sources.

Commercial (i.e non military contract) English blankets were manufactured in various widths (denominated in 'Quarters', being quarters of a yard), up to 12 quarters (9 feet or 108") wide by 126" (10 1/2') long. Blanket making was a specific trade, highly regulated by the guilds, and the makers were quite capable of making a blanket that width in one piece.

References to blankets formed from two pieces being seamed up the centre are generally from foreign sources where access to specially made European (usually English, but I'm sure the French could do it too) blankets was restricted.
Der Warenfuhrer

Blankets were a Camp Equipage whereas Greatcoats were issued as part of the soldiers clothing, so they were issued and accounted for by different systems. Consequently the issue of one would not effect the issue of the other. Camp equipage (Canteen, Haversack, Blanket, Mess tins and tentage) was generally only issued when the troops deployed on operations abroad; so those arriving in the Peninsular via Lisbon had them issued from the depot at Belem before starting the march up country.
Der Warenfuhrer

What is confusing is the Trotter reference to an '8 1/4' blanket which is only 66" wide... an 8/4 blanket would be 72" wide using contemporary trade practice, and that indeed is the standard size of an Army blanket.

I have come across various references to 'Camp' and 'Barrack' blankets, but those that quote sizes quote the same ones suggesting that they were the same.

Virtually all references to do with control and issue of stores (i.e those not dealing with procurement or contracts) simply refer to 'blankets', suggesting that the Ordnance only had one type in store. Where they are listed as 'Blankets No 1' and 'Blankets No 2' I believe they are different qualities, in that sometimes the inspectors would accept items not entirely up to the required standard at a discount; these would be kept separately and issued where expedient; to foreign corps, in hot climates, or wherever it was though to be acceptable.
smeggers

Hi All, a newbee to the forum here Smilie_PDT

I've been reading the whole blanket topic with interest as I currently cover almost a millennia of reenactment periods. One of the most recent has been a historical vignette for the Highland Military Tattoo where the group portrayed the 92nd and the 79th at Waterloo. We do like to to do things right and the group director made all the uniforms for both regiments as men from the light companies. Anyhoo, we normally do Scottish Wars of Independence and the Jacobite rebellion (both sides Smilie_PDT). We try our best to get the LH displays correct as possible so my question to the Hive mind is this: in regards to blankets and that it is nigh on impossible to get period blankets at an affordable level, would it be possible to use dyed lines (yes I know they should be different yarn colours through the weave) on modern white army blankets of the correct sizing and obviously stenciling on the ordnance board Arrow?

J-P
John Waller

smeggers wrote:
Hi All, a newbee to the forum here Smilie_PDT

I've been reading the whole blanket topic with interest as I currently cover almost a millennia of reenactment periods. One of the most recent has been a historical vignette for the Highland Military Tattoo where the group portrayed the 92nd and the 79th at Waterloo. We do like to to do things right and the group director made all the uniforms for both regiments as men from the light companies. Anyhoo, we normally do Scottish Wars of Independence and the Jacobite rebellion (both sides Smilie_PDT). We try our best to get the LH displays correct as possible so my question to the Hive mind is this: in regards to blankets and that it is nigh on impossible to get period blankets at an affordable level, would it be possible to use dyed lines (yes I know they should be different yarn colours through the weave) on modern white army blankets of the correct sizing and obviously stenciling on the ordnance board Arrow?

J-P


It would probably be possible if you were very careful to prevent your dye or paint from bleeding into the fabric but why bother? The blanket is usually stowed on or in the knapsack where the lines can not be seen or in a tent where ditto.
smeggers

Hi John, I would agree with you on that score. Having said that we will often have at least one tent open to the public for LH purposes that they can poke around (under supervision of course!) so they can get a feel for the 18th/19th C soldiers life Smilie_PDT

I've managed to find a place that is selling the white blankets in bundles of 5:
http://www.action-station.co.uk/h...surplus-mil/showitem-BLANKET.aspx


J-P
John Waller

smeggers wrote:
Hi John, I would agree with you on that score. Having said that we will often have at least one tent open to the public for LH purposes that they can poke around (under supervision of course!) so they can get a feel for the 18th/19th C soldiers life Smilie_PDT

I've managed to find a place that is selling the white blankets in bundles of 5:
http://www.action-station.co.uk/h...surplus-mil/showitem-BLANKET.aspx


J-P


I wonder if you could use an embroidery machine to put a stripe on? My own blanket has two blue stripes down the centre of the length of the blanket. I don't think they are woven in, possibly printed on, I'll have a look. The Sgt Gower late of 2/95th had a nice GR stencil and kindly marked mine up with black acrylic.
Greg Renault

Here is my template for the blanket markings for the 1812 period, based on the measurements of originals, cited earlier.

I believe the black lines at the end were woven into the blanket; this is what Robert Stone does.  A friend with an interest in period blankets once suggested that I use a darning needle to manually weave a twist of black yarn into mine to reproduce this.  Possible, but for me, not likely.  And, as the lines are each 1/8" wide and 1/4" apart, both lines only occupy 1/2" of blanket; I did not trust myself to use marker or paint.  So, to date no lines on my blanket.

Note that the tip of the broad arrow is to touch the black line furthest from the blanket end.  The placement diagram above allows for the 1/2" space that the two lines would occupy.
smeggers

Hi Greg, much appreciated picture! Whilst I can sew, I can't imagine darning the lines  Smilie_PDT  They'd be about as straight as the roads in the Highlands!

J-P
Der Warenfuhrer

Dyeing stripes won't really work; the surface of the blanket is too fibrous to be able to do it neatly.

As to the colour, I have seen Blue ones and Brown, never black.

I believe the colours have a meaning rather than being random, but I have yet to consolidate my research.

I've counted the number of ends in several of the extant blankets (it was riveting, let me assure you) and compared them with manufacturer's 'makes' (i.e their working specifications). Measuring the sizes of the surviving blankets isn't very useful due to shrinkage / stretching, but when the number of threads in the warp tally with specifications you know you've got a match.
Greg Renault

Der Warenfuhrer observes:
Quote:
Dyeing stripes won't really work; the surface of the blanket is too fibrous to be able to do it neatly.

I agree.
Quote:
As to the colour, I have seen Blue ones and Brown, never black.

I believe that the indigo blue stripes tended to be on blankets from the AWI, while those from 1812 (at least those from the HMS Boxer) had brown stripes.  In his study Stone thought it likely the stripes were originally black.  I know that period textile dyes in the black/grey range would change colour to green or brown, depending on the coloring agent; I suspect this happened to the blanket stripes in question.  Same thing with period ink--black when originally written, but now appears brown.

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