March 15, 2021 The Science of Blankets

The Science of Blankets

There is something about wrapping yourself in a blanket that feels sublime; the softness of Minky fabric around the skin; the heat all about you; the security of being separated from the world. For many, unfurling a blanket and putting it around them is the quickest way to experience comfort, safety, and warmth. No wonder then, why young children carry around their  Minky baby blanket for comfort; the world can be a big place﹘too big for them to take in and make sense of it﹘and a favorite blanket helps them feel anchored in a safe harbor.

For all that blankets can accomplish for us both physically and psychologically, there must be more to them than just being a covering. In fact, science suggests just that; under every effective blanket, one realizes that there are many principles of thermodynamics and positive mental association at play.

The Physics Behind Minky Blankets

Whether you’re traversing a frozen tundra or sitting in a cold basement, a blanket can feel like a total lifesaver. But how can one simple piece of Minky fabric make the difference between warm satisfaction and frigid discontent? The answer lies in your own body heat and thermal convection.

Trapping Heat

The purpose of any blanket, unsurprisingly, is to trap heat. Your body radiates heat every moment, but you are able to regulate your core temperature thanks to your internal systems at work. By placing a blanket around your body, the radiated heat is kept from dissipating into the wider space of where you are, and you stay warmer.

There’s more to trapping heat than just that, however. Think of a sauna: you sit in a heated room, sweating. By dropping water onto hot wood or coals, you create steam that not only warms the room further but creates heavy, moist air, perfect for conducting heat. Under a blanket, there is not just your body but a layer of air separating your body from the blanket; a thin, invisible layer of gaseous insulation. 

Because your body is putting off heat, currents get created in the air that circulates under the blanket. Normally this would be a bad thing, as air currents quickly replace warm air with cool air. But if your blanket is made of good insulating material, the air currents directly around your body will remain heavy as it circulates in the enclosed area, picking up moisture from your skin and keeping you warm.

The Psychology Behind Minky Blankets

Of course, there is more behind a good Minky blanket than can be explained by science gurus in a math equation. The psychological and emotional aspect of blankets is just as important to a person’s comfort as any talk about thermodynamics.

Conditioning for Comfort

Behavioral scientists have found that blankets carry properties of emotional and physical healing, based almost solely on our association with them. A blanket knitted by a mother or a grandmother will recall the fond memories of their love for you and release the positive endorphins in the brain that make you happy. An ancillary aspect of this is also the fact that simply speaking, making a blanket is hard work; gathering the Minky fabric, planning the design, working the needles or sewing machine for untold hours, and maneuvering around the bulk of the blanket as it begins to form are all inconveniences inherent in this process. And yet the sacrifice makes the gift all the sweeter.

Association with people, places, or times of our lives isn’t the only gift blankets have. They also help our minds quiet for sleep, because we so heavily connect them to our beds. When blankets get pulled over us our brains automatically begin to settle into their circadian rhythm which prepares our body for sleep in part by lowering our core temperature. Naturally, blankets help to keep you warm when this happens.

The Minky Mamas Philosophy

At Minky Mamas we believe that blankets aren’t just essential to keeping your body warm, but your mind happy. We remember the feeling of our first Minky blankets and the love our mothers shared with us each time they made a new one. Our business is to follow in that tradition, and in so doing, let you reap all the benefits of the science behind the softest Minky fabric on earth. Visit our shop to see what we have in store for you.

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