Canadian wool blankets are a great way to add cozy layers for fall, as well as mixing colours and neutrals. I’m sharing about our MacAusland’s wool blankets, including our trip to the woollen mill and some wool care FAQs.
Note: I have no connection with MacAusland’s Woollen Mill – I just love their blankets and promoting Canadian businesses.
Mixing Colours and Neutral Decor
I love decorating with colour, and I have so many favourite colours that it’s hard to choose just one. Often I use several colours in a room, like in our bedroom below. Our walls are Benjamin Moore Wythe Blue, and we have a lot of wood – our wood floors, headboard, and bedside tables. Then there are a lot of accent colours in the art, in the quilt on the bed, and on the shelves off to the left (which I haven’t shown you in full yet).
In order to balance out the colour, I like to incorporate a lot of neutrals. The shelves, ceiling, wardrobes, bench and rug are all neutral, and it gives the eye room to rest so that the colours are not overwhelming.
But now that it’s fall, I am feeling the need to be cozier, and it’s a great time to add in lots of neutral textures. My favourite way to do that is by adding Canadian wool blankets made at MacAusland’s woollen mill.
Our First Canadian Wool Blanket
We made a big road trip to three Atlantic Canada provinces in 2015, with just a couple days on Prince Edward Island (PEI). In a tourist shop at Peakes Quay, in Charlottetown, we found a wool blanket that we liked. It was a second, meaning it had some slight imperfections, and therefore no label on it. But we didn’t care.
We used that wool blanket as a much-loved extra layer on our bed in the winter for a few years.
Then in 2018, we made a longer trip to PEI. When I was researching our itinerary, I stumbled across the MacAusland Woollen Mill, where our blanket had been made. And lucky us, we were able to tour the mill. I was excited to add that into our itinerary.
MacAusland’s Woollen Mill – Canadian Wool Blankets
MacAusland’s Woollen Mill is located in Bloomfield PEI, and it is open to the public – except during the pandemic so check before you go.
According to their website, they are “the only mill in Atlantic Canada still producing traditional blankets of 100% virgin wool”. MacAusland’s is a sixth generation family business that has been making wool blankets since 1932 (although the mill was originally a sawmill and gristmill before that). They suffered a fire in 1949 that left them with only one original piece of machinery, but they use other machines that are quite old as well, and it is charming!
You can read more about the process MacAusland’s uses to produce wool blankets here.
We loved touring the factory. Here was the large room where the wool arrives from all over Canada and the United States. We loved seeing a really large bag marked from Rosetown, SK near where we grew up.
I believe that in this room the wool is washed and carded in giant machines. (All the machinery is enormous!)
Inside, the wool is spun into yarn (which they also sell), and then woven into blankets.
They have a shop area where they sell yarn and handmade items.
They also sell wool for felting.
And there are their famous blankets. They have a lot of lap blankets, as well as Queen and Double/Full. They have a larger selection available on their website than what is shown here.
Where to Buy MacAusland’s Canadian Wool Blankets
Buying More Canadian Wool Blankets
While we were at the mill in person, it was fun to pick out three more blankets. We also got some wool dryer balls.
We got two small throw sizes in a pale green tweed and a pale blue tweed.
As well, we got another Queen size tweed blanket in a pale grey with stripes. I just think they are so classic and timeless. I love to layer them on the bed with my colourful handmade flannel-backed quilts in the fall and winter.
In the coldest parts of the winter, we often add in a duvet, but for much of it we do just fine with a few layers of quilts and a wool blanket.I often keep them folded at the end of the bed and then we just pull it up as needed when it’s time for bed.
I love using natural fibres in our clothing and decor as much as possible, including cotton, linen, and wool. And I enjoy the combination of the colourful quilt I handmade myself and the wool blanket that was made in Canada, as well as the contrast between the textures and colours.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wool and Wool Care
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Virgin wool is wool that has not been processed or woven previously, or wool taken from a lamb’s first shearing. It is softer and stronger, and more resistant to wrinkling than recycled wool.
Wool is naturally more scratchy than a synthetic fleece or faux fur blanket, but these wool blankets are soft and cozy. Speaking for myself, I like to keep other blankets layered and avoid pulling the wool blanket right up under my chin.
Wool is naturally insulating, which means it will keep you both warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. Wool is also naturally flame resistant, burning at a slow rate and can even self-extinguish. This makes it a great choice for bedding. In addition, wool is very breathable, and its fibres make it very strong and durable.
If they are taken care of properly, wool blankets can last years or decades, making them a good investment. There is a reason you often see vintage wool blankets for sale.
Yes you can! MacAusland’s recommends washing on a gentle cycle or by hand with a mild detergent or wool rinse. Then lay it flat to dry or hang it up. The most important thing is to NOT put the blanket in the dryer.
The heat from the dryer will cause the fibres to shrink and weaken, resulting in a much smaller blanket (or an unwearable piece of clothing).
Choose mild detergents, or ones specifically manufactured for wool. Avoid using detergents with enzymes as they will break down the wool fibres.
The detergent that I use on my wool products is Kookaburra Wash, and I find that it works very well and has a pleasant scent.
In addition, the Woolmark website has a list of recommended wool-safe detergents available by continent.
Not often. Washing wool too often dries out the fibres and eventually wears away the lanolin, or the substance in sheep’s wool that protects it from moisture and bacteria.
The Woolmark website has some great tips for taking care of wool blankets, including airing outside, brushing, and treating stains.
Layering Canadian Wool Blankets for Neutral, Cozy Texture
I’m happy to support a long-running Canadian family business that makes such great products. And I love being able to pull our wool blankets off the shelf as soon as the weather gets a little chilly.
I want to hear from you. Do you like using wool products in your home? Are Canadian wool blankets (or any kind) something that makes you feel cozy? Do you find wool products hard to care for? Let me know in the comments below.
All the best,