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Why are throw blankets so expensive?

Why are throw blankets so expensive?

Throw blankets have become a popular home accessory over the years. They add a cozy touch to sofas and beds and provide an extra layer of warmth on chilly nights. But many people are surprised by the high prices that some throw blankets command. Why do these blankets often come with premium price tags?

The Materials Used

One of the biggest factors affecting the cost of throw blankets is the materials used to make them. Higher-end throw blankets tend to be made from premium natural fabrics like cashmere, alpaca wool, or lambswool. These materials are valued for their softness and warmth. But they also come at a high price due to limited availability and the effort required to produce them.

Cashmere blankets, for instance, are made from the fine undercoat of Cashmere goats. It takes about four years for a goat to produce enough hair for one blanket. Alpaca wool comes from Alpaca animals found mainly in South America, while lambswool is sheared from young lambs only once a year. The scarcity and effort needed to source these materials drive up costs.

Some luxury throw blankets also contain silk, angora rabbit hair, or merino wool. These are also premium materials that add to the overall expense of the blanket. The higher the percentage of these luxury fabrics, the higher the price tag.

Construction Quality

Another key factor is the craftsmanship and construction quality of the throw blanket. Finer blankets are typically knitted rather than woven, which takes more time and skill. The stitches are tighter, making the blankets softer and more insulating. They may also have serged edges to prevent unraveling and increase durability.

Many premium throw blankets are made using hand knitting or crocheting instead of mass production. This artisanal construction process requires more time and labor, but produces blankets with tighter stitches, consistent quality, and unique designs.

Details like fringe trim, tassels, embroidery, or applique work will also raise the price of a throw blanket. The more complex the construction and embellishments, the more labor required and the higher the resulting cost.

Brand Name

The brand name or retailer can impact the price of a throw blanket as well. Luxury designers like Faribault Woolen Mills, Pendleton, and Ralph Lauren command premium pricing for their throw blankets. Part of what you pay goes towards the brand name and cachet.

Popular retailers like Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel also charge more for their private label throw blankets compared to generic department store versions. You end up paying extra for the store’s reputation and customer service policies.

Size of the Throw

Larger throw blankets require more materials and manufacturing effort, which translates to higher prices. For example, a basic 50″ x 60″ acrylic throw might cost $20. But a giant 90″ x 90″ wool blanket could run $200 or more. The price usually goes up with both the length and width.

That said, square shapes are more expensive than rectangular throws in the same size. A 50″ x 50″ square throw will cost more than a 50″ x 60″ rectangular version since less fabric goes to waste in the manufacturing of squares.

Weight and Density

Heavier, denser throw blankets made with more stitches per square inch also command higher prices. The weight comes from using more yarn, which adds cost. And the density provides more insulation and durability.

For example, a lightweight 3 lb acrylic throw might cost $30, while a thick 5 lb wool blanket could be $130 or more. The heavier blanket contains more materials and labor.

Unique Fabric Blends

Throw blankets made from unique fabric blends also come at a premium. For example, mixing wool and cotton, alpaca and silk, or cashmere with chenille results in blankets with custom textures and qualities.

Researching and perfecting these fabric blends adds to the development costs. And the unique materials make the throws more exotic and scarce. Blends like wool and bamboo or milk protein and modal can add interesting marketing stories as well.

Ethical Production

Many consumers are willing to pay higher prices for throw blankets produced using ethical practices. This includes:

  • Using organic and sustainable materials like bamboo, recycled cotton, ethical down and wool.
  • Responsible animal husbandry for wool and down production.
  • Fair trade principles that provide fair wages for artisans.
  • Safe, socially responsible working conditions.
  • Environmentally friendly manufacturing.

The extra steps taken to ensure ethical production add to the costs. But they provide added value for discerning shoppers.

Unique Designs and Colorways

Throw blankets with unique, appealing designs and color combinations also command higher prices. Eye-catching patterns and high-end fabric treatments like ombre dyeing and tone-on-tone jacquards require more expertise. This raises the price over basic solid color blankets.

Limited edition throws released in small batches also cost more due to their exclusivity. If a particular color or pattern is only available for a short time, it can drive up demand and pricing.

Location of Manufacturing

Where a throw blanket is manufactured can impact its price as well. Blankets made in countries with higher labor costs like the United States, Canada, or Western Europe are typically more expensive than those made in China or other export countries with lower wages.

For example, a throw blanket produced by a small Vermont or Scottish company that manufactures locally often has a higher price than mass-produced blankets shipped from China or Mexico. The same goes for brands touting Italian or Swiss craftsmanship and manufacturing.


The bottom line is that many factors influence the retail price of a throw blanket. Higher quality materials, construction, ethical manufacturing, and exclusive designs all raise the price over cheaper acrylic and polyester blankets mass-produced overseas.

For shoppers seeking exceptional softness, durability, and style, the premium pricing can be worthwhile. On the other hand, budget-focused buyers can still find quality throw blankets at more affordable department or big box stores.

Being an informed shopper aware of the price factors allows you to choose the right balance of quality and cost for your needs. But in general, you get what you pay for when it comes to throw blankets. The softest, warmest, most beautiful throws do command higher prices for good reasons.