About Our Handmade Blankets
We have the perfect handmade blankets for you bedroom. Get cozy and snuggle up in our bedspreads that fit a full to queen size bed. Its unique ikat design will brighten up your space and you'll be sure to stay warm underneath the luxurious handspun cotton.
Our unique throw blankets add one-of-a-kind flair to your couch and living room chairs. Stay warm on a chilly day while adding texture and style to your space that you won't find anywhere else!
All of our handmade bedspread and throw blankets are handwoven by artisans from around the world, using the traditional weaving methods of their regions that have existed for centuries. The blankets are made by women who hand spin their materials and use natural dyes. They all work on traditional looms that have been used in their countries for years, including backstrap and hand looms.
Our partnering artisans all use locally and sustainably sourced materials. They focus on using natural fibers and natural dyes.
Bhutanese Throw Blanket Materials
Bhutan's weaving practices, including the material sourcing, is rooted in the Buddhist value of the interdependence of all things, and that conservation is necessary both for nature and human health.
Our Bhutanese throws are made with yak wool, eri silk, and cotton. The natural dyes are sustainably foraged or locally grown materials like madder or onion skins.
Guatemalan Bedspread Materials
The bedspreads are made of 100% handspun cotton for both the warp and weft threads. The blue color comes from indigo, produced by the artisan and brought from El Salvador.
Laotian Throw Blanket Materials
The handmade throw blanket from Laos are made of 100% locally grown cotton. The dyes are a mix of natural and AZO free dyes.
Our handmade throws and bedspreads are ideal gifts for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, or housewarmings. The motifs in many of the the handmade throw blankets represent protection, wisdom, and freedom of spirit--symbolism that adds style and meaning to someone's home who is beginning a new chapter of their life!
Frequently Asked Questions
Caring for Your Handmade Blanket
For the Guatemalan bedspreads, wash on a cold cycle, and line dry. For the throw blankets from Bhutan and Laos, dry clean only.
Technique of Making a Handmade Blanket
Preparing the Fibers
The first step of the process begins with the selection and preparation of high-quality fiber, such as yak's wool, cotton, or eri silk. The weaver first meticulously cleans the fiber and handspins it into yarn.
Dyeing the Fiber
Once the fiber is prepared, it undergoes the dyeing process, where artisans use natural dyes, like onion skins, indigo, or madder, or AZO-free dyes.
First, the weaver prepares the loom on their backstrap or handloom. She stretches the warp threads vertically, creating the foundation for the blanket. The careful arrangement of these threads determines the size and structure of the final blanket. Then, she interlaces the weft threads (horizontal threads) over and under the warp threads (vertical threads). In our handmade bedspreads, the artisan weaves five panels, and hand embroiders them together in a zigzag pattern.
History of Making Handmade Blankets
Laos, Bhutan, and Guatemala boast rich traditions of crafting exquisite handmade blankets, each woven with cultural significance and artistic expertise. In Laos, traditional weaving techniques have been passed down through generations, with artisans skillfully blending vibrant colors and intricate patterns to create unique textiles. Bhutanese blankets, deeply rooted in the country's spiritual heritage, often feature symbolic motifs inspired by Buddhism and the natural world. These blankets not only provide warmth but also serve as tangible expressions of Bhutanese identity. Guatemala, renowned for its vibrant textiles, has a history steeped in Mayan traditions. Guatemalan handmade blankets often showcase intricate embroidery and vibrant hues, reflecting the country's diverse landscapes and cultural heritage. Across these regions, the history of handmade blankets is a tapestry woven with stories, traditions, and artistic mastery, embodying the spirit of the communities that create them.
The Artisans Behind Our Handmade Blankets
Bhutanese Throw Blankets by Wangchuk Lhamo
Wangchuk Lhamo is a third-generation weaver in the valley of Thimphu, Bhutan.
Wangchuk preserves weaving traditions with a focus on sustainable practices, starting from intentional material sourcing that ensures the plants--such as handspun nettle, locally grown cotton, and eri silk--will produce next year. After using homegrown natural dyes with a traditional fermentation process called bangtshoe, the yarn is handspun on a pangtha loom, one of the oldest looms used in Bhutan. Through careful measurements, no yarn is wasted in production, and the natural dyes become organic fertilizer for her kitchen garden.
Guatemalan Bedspreads by Doña Marta
Doña Marta and her family in San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala use a backstrap loom for weaving and natural indigo dyes to color their yarn. The family grows and processes indigo locally, and the rest is sourced from El Salvador.
In addition to the more traditional patterns of her hometown, the white patterns on top of indigo are created by a process called ikat, where parts of the yarn is protected with a resistant before dyeing.
Laotian Throws by Ms. Navone and a Collective of Female Weavers
In the Ban Nayang village of Laos, two collectives of female weavers work together to weave these patterned blankets from naturally sourced, local fibers and natural dyes.
The first collective of weavers is led Ms. Navone, a master weaver and dyer. The second is led by Ms. Manomanh and Mae Manh.
Both groups work of women with their neighbors, all of whom contribute to the process of hand spinning, dying, and weaving. Once a piece has been completed, they add it to the collective stock.The handmade throw blanket from Laos are made of 100% locally grown cotton. The dyes are a mix of natural and AZO free dyes.
All of his rugs are hand-crafted. A hand-woven rug can take about a month for a weaver to create, while hand-knotted rugs can take a few months to complete. Learn more about Hocine Bazine and his process.
Finding the Perfect Handmade Blanket for Your Space
When choosing the ideal handmade blanket for your space, several factors can help you find the perfect blanket:
- Size of the blanket and its location in the room
- Colors that you would like to complement or accent in the space
- Style of the blanket and room's decor
- Most importantly, a blanket you love is always the perfect choice. We think of handmade blankets as useable art. Like your favorite wall hanging art piece, it will bring out different textures and aspects of the room on its own.
I would recommend Elma Exchange to anyone looking for a unique handwoven blanket. I have not found pieces from Elma Exchange available anywhere else, so it's awesome for gift giving (for you or someone else).
The quality of the products and the story they each have is beyond compare! Elma Exchange is bringing a sense of community in a way that crosses borders.
Be 100% Certain You'll Love Your Handmade Blanket
Custom Blanket Orders
Our partnering artisans offer custom orders to meet your specific style and needs. You'll get a one-of-a-kind piece that is woven to last.
How to Get Your Perfect Handmade Blanket
Get Inspired: Browse our current selection
Get Connected: Reach out to us with any ideas you have for your perfect handmade blanket. If you're unsure, we can advise you through the process.
Get Ready for the Design of Your Dreams: Once we've confirmed the design, it will take about a month or more for your one-of-a-kind piece to be handwoven by the artisan.
At Home Viewings in Colorado
Make your home the showroom, and be certain you're buying the perfect home decor with a personalized viewing of our products.
We bring the rugs and textiles right to your door! You'll get to see how the items look in your home before making a purchase.
If you're not sure which one of our rugs or home decor is right for your space, we will come to you! You'll get to see the items right in your home before making a purchase.
What is Elma Exchange?
Elma Exchange is a home goods store that celebrates artisans who create traditionally made rugs and textiles with sustainable practices.
How to Get Your Perfect Rug or Home Textile
Browse our current selection to find your favorite items.
Call, text, or email us to schedule a home viewing. Let us know the rugs, blankets, and table settings that you're interested in.
Get ready for the room of your dreams
We'll bring all items right to your door! All you have to do is decide which one is perfect for your space.
We accept all forms of payment including credit card, check, cash, and Venmo. If you are paying with a check, please make it out to Elma Exchange LLC.
We have a 14-day return policy, which means you have 14 days after receiving your item to request a return. We do not cover shipping for returns and there will be a 25% restocking fee.