Italian Wool blanket-what's the hype?

Discussion in 'Sleep Systems' started by BushTramp, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    i just picked up another package from Sportsman's Guide which was my long awaited Italian Wool blanket.i had read numerous reports of how great and warm they are and must say although quite large i find it very very thin yet dense (3/16).i have to go through a major destinking process before i can try it but is this what everyone has?Is it warm due to it's density compared to others that are thicker?i don't know i guess i was just thinking i was getting a heavy thick blanket- thoughts? http://canada.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=406448
     
  2. Chert

    Chert Guide

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    I have a Swedish wool blanket from Sportsmans Guide and an Italian military wool blanket. They are totally different. The Italian wool blanket IS super heavy and warm, a bit scratchy though. The SMG one is way thinner, not as scratchy and not as warm, the colors are different from the one you linked but it seems to be the same thickness/look as the Swedish one.

    My Italian wool blanket looks like this:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  3. ehansen68

    ehansen68 Tracker

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    Not 100% sure what the other folks are talking about. But, I do know there are 2 types of Ital. blankets. a thin one for the troops and a very thick and heavy one for the officers. I bought mine listed as the "officers blanket" and it is too stiff, thick, and heavy to use on our bed in the winter time. I've seen others in the stores that are much thinner and softer. Hope this helps.
     
  4. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    Are you saying that an Italian military wool blanket from Sportsman's guide is not the same as an Italian wool blanket?that would suck
    Edit: ok I think I understand now -that's too bad, I had high hopes-makes sense though for the price -thx guys
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  5. RangerXanatos

    RangerXanatos Scout

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    I have the same kind as Chert. I bought three of them. One for my bed, one for the car, and one for picnics. They aren't all that soft, but they will keep you warm.
     
  6. BillCr

    BillCr Guide Bushclass I

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    The one from SG appears to be much lighter Super but cannot say with 100% certainty. The one I got from my local military surplus is very heavy. I singed the heck out of it one night next to a long fire when I rolled and the corner went in the coals. It never caught flame and now I plan to make some type of throw over with it and replace it.

    It has kept me warm next to a long fire in winter with shower curtain on the ground, blue foam pad and the Italian wool blanket on top with lean to tarp and reflector blanket. The low's got to high teens.

    I would not have been able to go to the Indiana meet last winter without it and for me that was a big plus for this particular piece of kit. There are perhaps better options on the table but it did the job those couple nights.

    I like knowing that with a wool blanket I can make do in winter around here if I have to as long as I've got plenty of fuel to burn and an insulator under me. Not at all the most comfortable, but it works on a short term basis for me until my winter gear is rounded out better.
     
  7. Crafter

    Crafter Scout

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    I noticed the ad says Italian style.

    This could be different than Authentic Italian, maybe.


    Does yours have a star, like the ad's picture?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  8. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    It is military issue for sure (tag and stamp)and does look like Chert's ( no star on mine either) so I don't doubt it is authentic
     
  9. Sweeneyguy

    Sweeneyguy Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    If it weighs like 5 pounds and smells like it's made of Naptha....it's the real thing you're looking at.
     
  10. knochelbiter

    knochelbiter Scout

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    I see that come up alot lately on SG: "military-style". Probably meaning they are mixing some cheap Chinese imports in with the good stuff... me no like.
     
  11. BillCr

    BillCr Guide Bushclass I

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    How much does the one from SG weigh that you just got Super? Can you weigh her?
     
  12. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    Oh man it stinks awful -I picked it up at coffee break at the post office and ripped it open right away and almost gagged.had to take a detour by my house and throw it on the line before going back to work for fear of the smell in my truck - I will weigh it when I get home
     
  13. Sweeneyguy

    Sweeneyguy Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Best thing is to just hang it in the sun for a week or two....it doesn't matter if it rains either.... Just let it be.
     
  14. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    [​IMG]
    Well it is 5 pounds!! - well then I guess it's the real deal -still just amazed at how thin it is -thx guys and yes I will be leaving it out on the line for awhile
     
  15. Crafter

    Crafter Scout

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    What are the dimensions of the stamp on the blanket? does the stamp have a 4 digit number that looks like a year? 1967? 1972?

    EDIT, ok ,I see the picture now.
     
  16. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    I guess I imagined a tag - all there is is this stamp that really cannot make out
    [​IMG]
     
  17. mbiraman

    mbiraman Guide Bushclass II

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    Supertramp' i bought the same one . I was aware that it might not be the real deal because of the "italian style" business and also their pic had an extra stripe on it,,,,,,,but was hoping it was. I ordered some other stuff and threw it on the cart at the last minute. 5# sounds like the right weight though. I haven't started to stink yet,,,,,but its comin.

    bill
     
  18. Skab

    Skab Staff Staff Member Administrator Vendor Lifetime Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    To answer your question, to get a wool blanket that big, that tight knit and well made besides the Italian blanket you'd have to go with a hudson bay, or Pendleton brand blanket and spend A LOT more money. Or get lucky at the thrift store or garage sale.
     
  19. Crafter

    Crafter Scout

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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  20. BushTramp

    BushTramp Team Canada Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thx Crafter -you nailed it there!
     
  21. pik

    pik Scout

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    Straight out of long-term storage they can be compressed; it might fluff back up a little if you wash it or just from blowing around on the line.

    But I think all the Italian blankets are relatively thin, on account of being tightly woven as Skab mentioned: you can really see each strand of yarn. The thicker blankets (e.g. Czech below) tend to be more felt-like and less visibly woven. Here is an Italian blanket compared to two styles of Czech blanket:

    [​IMG]
    italian and czech blankets by gaak0-0, on Flickr
     
  22. GreyOne

    GreyOne Elder Lifetime Supporter

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    They are very dense and warm, also a mite heavy. :)

    If they were priced as civilian blankets, these would be in the $80-$200 range, I suspect.

    However, they are what they are - a military surplus item that is inexpensive and very durable and serviceable. No real "hype" to it, just a good bargain for outdoors use.
     
  23. 45jack

    45jack Supporter Supporter

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    Air it out and wash it and it will fluff up a bit as G1 says.
    Also he's right about price. Price wool blankets, use it on a cold night and I think you will be happy.

    I have some 40 year old USMC blankets we still use around the fire, it's thicker than those.
     
  24. Rook

    Rook Staff Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor

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    I ordered a couple of these earlier in the week as well. Anxiously awaiting the brown truck to deliver.
     
  25. Trekon86

    Trekon86 Guest

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    Yeah, beware on SG of their blankets. If they are marked as "US Army STYLE" or "Italian STYLE" or "Swiss STYLE", stay away from them. Bad news, got a few of those USGI "Style" blankets and I think they are made in India by child laborers out of felted dog hair. LOL...

    PMZ
     
  26. AB McLeod

    AB McLeod Supporter Supporter

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    LOL

    That describes the Italian blankets perfectly.
     
  27. TXBulldawg

    TXBulldawg Tracker

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    The nice thing about the Italian blankets is they are good quality 100% wool blankets, in good shape, for a decent price. I'm sure they don't compare to a $300 wool blanket, but for $20, I don't expect them to compare.

    I think a lot of the "hype" is people rushing to get them before they disappear from the market, because in a surplus market, they will dry up. I bought a few last year and haven't seen a lot of them listed since.

    I also bought a couple German wool blankets (nicer and less stanky than the Italians) around the same time and paid a slight premium, as this was right around the time those started drying up from the market. Good luck finding them, now.
     
  28. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    I absolutely LOVE mine. Its used all the time. I use at the station on my bed, use it in the woods, use it on the couch..........

    After airing it out for a few days on the clothesline with daily sprayings of febreeze, followed by a woolite wash in the washer, its NEVER smelled again. Mine is very nicely made. I want a few more of them. Really good blankets.
     
  29. rumrunning

    rumrunning Tracker

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    I've got two from Maine surplus that they had on special for $16, cause they were covered in "moth balls". They arrived covered in what I can best describe as "moth ball flakes". It took me two hours to remove all the flakes and start the process of airing them out. All was good till I brought them in the house to wash them. My wife came home while the blankets were in the machine and boy oh boy did i hear about it.

    But after washing and hanging out to dry and air out for two days they have been great blankets. One is with my bushcraft gear the other is in our closet for use durning winter on the bed.

    My bush crafting one is getting a workout tonight as I am taking it out with my usgi gortex bivy. We are supposed to get down in the low 40's to high 30's tonight and I'm really curious to see how this combination will work for me. I have used it alone late spring and summer up here and it has worked great, more to tell tomorrow.
     
  30. Crafter

    Crafter Scout

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    Supertramp, I called 2 retailers / wholesalers in Italy this AM.

    I report what they told me:


    100% wool military blankets are procured and sold in 3 weights:

    1) "Barracks" weight: the lightest.
    http://www.militarygoods.it/product_info.php?products_id=10430

    2) "Camp" weigh: dense, relatively thin
    http://www.militarygoods.it/product_info.php?products_id=10429

    3) Officers' weight: fluffier. Note: When you read the lnk, it says "Official", not Officer. This is a translaton error on their part: I confirmed.
    http://www.militarygoods.it/product_info.php?products_id=10431

    Stamp shapes and letterings per se are inconsequential. they were used for inventory control by the original destinatary: these blankets were not only in the army but in hospitals, search and rescue organization, disaster relief and...prisons.

    In addition to calling retailers, I read some local forums in the subject, it appears that, within these 3 categories there is a lot of variability, mostly pertaining to sizes, older blankets being generally smaller. A blanket of about 5 LB and about 62-64" x 80-82" should put you in the ballpark of a "current" Camp blanket.



    ....Sorry... no special "Italian" recipe for taking the smell out of them. ;) just time, patience, air.....


    Trivia: The Italian navy also has 100% wool blankets.
    I did not know they existed before today:
    http://www.majorsurplus.com/Italian-Navy-Officers-Blanket-P16331.aspx


    Hope it helps some.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  31. J

    J Bushwhacker Bushclass I

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    Thanks crafter, thats a really helpfull post. I didnt know all that.
     
  32. zammer

    zammer Guide

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    That Officers blanket looks very similiar to Fleece...hmmm, appreciate the links tho
     
  33. Crafter

    Crafter Scout

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    Zammer, thanks.

    I felt exactly like you do when i saw it myself, especially comparing it to the other two, and I questioned him.
    His "Officer" blanket he claims is wool, just a different grade and construction, fluffier, built for comfort indoor or sheltered use. I recall some like these , so it is at least plausible.

    http://fashionandstyle.buyvip.com/c...tto/coperte-e-piumini/geisha-230x250-beige_2/

    http://www.tramit.it/prodotti.php?id_prod=9&id_cat=1&id_sotto=25

    having said that, I would not rush to buy one site unseen.

    Thanks.
     
  34. zammer

    zammer Guide

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    Crafter, thanks for the additional info.
     
  35. PeterCartwright

    PeterCartwright Guide

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    I bought four of them (@$15 a pop!) from Sportsman's Guide a couple Decembers ago. (Wish I'd gotten double that!) They stink to high heaven, but that can be dealt with as already described. Be advised: if you choose to wash them (I did) do it at a laundromat. It will help "domestic tranquility". :) Getting them wet seems to reactivate the odor BIG TIME. After they dry, the odor almost goes away. Dry them OUTSIDE your dwelling. (Ask me how I know this).:56: I use them every night and I keep one in my truck.

    PC
     
  36. marvin

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  37. mainewoods

    mainewoods Maine Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Mine Looks Like Chert. Took three day to air out LOL
     
  38. pik

    pik Scout

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    It looks like those are actual Italian surplus.

    That said, the original allure of these blankets was the $15 price tag on all virgin wool; for $50 you can find a very similar all virgin wool US blanket that smells a lot better. FWIW/YMMV...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  39. marvin

    marvin Tracker

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    Thanks, Pik. I'll keep shopping around.
     

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