The striped blankets we use today in yoga are called the Falsa, these blankets are a machine made blanket, and were designed for the tourist industry about 40 to 50 years ago. The blankets are produced in a continues roll and later cut down to size and the tasseled ends tied.
Years ago the blankets were made form new cotton materials, but the cost of new materials began to rise and around the eighties the materials used changed to regenerated cutting and clippings from the large garment factories. Today with less and less garments factories or clothing being made here in the U.S and Mexico the materials have changed again, today's blankets are made with recycled clothing from sources like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
Today's Mexican blankets are made with 100% regenerated or what you would call recycled materials, these are materials from clothing that is donated to Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
Materials are delivered in large 800lb bundles of mixed materials including Acrylic, Polyester and Cotton; the bundles are sorted in to colors, once this is done they are put though a process three different times to basically shred the material back to an original fiber about an inch and a half in size.
The fiber is then ready to be spun back in to a rough yarn. The yarn is now re-spun in to a yarn that can be weaved in to the blankets you now see.
The quantities of each clipping or cuttings fiber content is unknown, this is because the recycled garments are separated by color, not base materials. Some materials are a mixture of acrylic, polyester and cotton already, testing and calculating percentages for each blanket or blanket lot (color or style) would be costly and would drastically increase blanket cost.
Percentages are based on assumptions of clothing type. So fiber content 45% Acrylic, 45% Polyester and 10% Cotton. This assumption is a base for every blanket made in Mexico
Do to color variation and material content, blanket weight will and can differ from color to color.
I guess we would all like to think that these blankets are made by hand in a little casita (house) by little Mexican ladies, but the truth is not that romantic, the blankets are made on automated weaving machines that produce a continues weave pattern twenty four hours a day..
Today Mexico exports about twenty thousand Falsa blanket to the United States alone each month, this does not include the other blankets like the Diamond, Thunderbird the soft thick blanket, Serapes blankets and Falsa blankets being shipped all over the world.
There are a few blankets like the Serape and Specialty blankets that are still handmade but are now being automated as well.
The Falsa blanket is the most well known blanket from Mexico, they are sold by most yoga suppliers,with some yoga suppliers privately labeling them with unique names, giving you the essences of Mexico.
There are five grades of these Falsa blankets being produced in Mexico, blankets can contain up to five colors and will contain a loose black & white x or box pattern that will repeat the length of the blanket.
1) The beach mat: This blanket is made for the tourists industry or beach resorts in Mexico, its size can range from 24” x 68” to 24” x 50” and its weight will be about 1.0 to 1.5 pounds depending on its size.
2) The Border Blanket 1: This blanket is also made for the tourist industry to be sold at border towns. It size will run from 48” x 68” to 52” x 72” and its weight will be from 1.5 to 2.1lbs. The blanket is still found at all borders and is also available in most truck stops across the United States.
3) The Border Blanket 2: The border 2 is made for export and is sold as a very cheap yoga, picnic and all around use blanket, the size is about 52” to 54” wide by 70” to 74” in length, the weight will be slightly higher 2 to 2.4 pounds, these blankets are sometimes found at flea markets, pharmacy stores and larger discount chain stores, truck stops, gas stations and discount yoga suppliers.
4) The Standard: This blanket is a better grade Falsa but still considered a border blanket, the weight will run 2.6 or better and the size will run from 50” to 54” wide and the length will run 68” to 74” long, these blankets are found at most yoga suppliers.
4.1) Premium Yoga Blanket: This blanket is the first change in the Mexican Falsa in over twenty years. After years of watching yogis put their toes though the loose weaved pattern that was, and is still found in the basic Falsa design, we deiced to upgrade this blanket for use in the yoga industry. Our standard yoga blankets are now made with a single weave pattern, and at the same time we decided to upgrade the edges, we found it to be the perfect time to do away with the unweaving side edges, now the sides or edges are seamed. These blankets are only offered by Kakaos Yoga and can only be found at select yoga suppliers.
4.2) Standard Yoga Blanket W/O Tassels: Because of the continued request by yogis, Kakaos Yoga developed a version without the tassels. These blankets are only offered by Kakaos Yoga and can only be found at select yoga suppliers.
5) The Ultra Deluxe or Heavy: The deluxe is the best Falsa made, it will run 54” to 56” wide and 74” or longer, the weight should be no less than 3.2 or more than 3.8 pounds.
6) The Solid Color Blanket
The solid color yoga blanket is the first blanket made just for yoga, about eight years ago we wanted a blanket with the best of the tight weave of the Thunder Bird but with the size of the Diamond, It took about a year to develop the correct size and weight to meet the needs for restorative yoga.
This blanket is now made in a new few sizes and weights.
6.1) The lowest quality blankets will have a size of 52’ to 54” wide and will range in length from 74” to 76” long with a weight of 2.4 to 2.8 pounds, these sizes are made as a cheap economic alternative to the standard solid yoga blankets, This blanket can shrink up to 15% and two or more are usually needed for restorative yoga.
6.2) ?The best quality blankets will have a size of 54’ to 56” wide and will range in length from 76” to 78” long with a weight of 3.0 to 3.6 pounds; these sizes are equal to the Diamond or Phoenix blanket in weave, quality and weight.
A good solid color yoga blanket should be the same size as a diamond blanket 54” to 58” wide and 76” to 78” long, with a weight of at least 3.3 pounds or better, the weight should be higher with a larger size blanket.
The Thunderbird blanket is well known for its tight weave and 16 bird patterns, but today the Thunderbird blankets is undergoing a transformation that most people will not like. Up to now the blankets was 100% handmade, but today the blankets are now being produced on automated machines, the only way to tell the difference, is the amount of bird patterns on the blankets, these new blankets will contain up to 48 or more bird patterns and the edges are now seemed.
Depending on which manufacture produces this blanket (only two) the size will remain the same 55” wide by 77” long, the only difference is the weight, blankets used to be only available in one weight of 2.5 pounds but some cheaper versions can now be found as light as 2.2 pounds.
Blankets with lighter colors may weigh less than darker color blankets, blanket weight does not affect thickness or weave thickness in the Thunderbird style blankets, and because the blankets material content may differ from blanket to blankets some blankets may contain more of a lighter weight material than others.
This blanket is the largest weaved blanket from Mexico and only one of two blankets still hand made, the blanket is well known for its larger or small colorful diamond patterns found in the center of the blanket and the colorful stripes, this blanket can contain up to ten colors.
The size will run from 52” to 58” wide and 72” to 78” long, and should weigh from 3 to 3.5 pounds, Blankets with lighter colors may weigh less than darker color blankets, blanket weight does not affect thickness or weave thickness in the Diamond style blankets, because the blankets material content may differ from blanket to blankets some blankets may contain more of a lighter weight material than others.
Thick & Soft or Heavy Plaid Blanket...
The Thick and heavy blankets are a very tight weave blanket about the same size as the diamond or bigger, these blanket are made on the same automated weaving machines, the same way as all other Mexican blanket are made, the only differences is the last step before being cut to size, the blanket go through a machine that pulls the fibers apart on both sides at the same time to make them softer and thicker, the rollers can be compared to Velcro pulling apart.
Note: 95% off Mexican blanket are machine made, the only blankets that are still handmade, are the Diamond and Serape. All other are produced on automated weaving machines.
All regenarated or recycled style blankets may produce lint when washed and dried, this is a normal process.
Click Here for blankets care instruction
Mexican blankets are sometimes labeled 100% Acrylic, this is only for Importation. Mexican blankets will contain Acrylic, Polyester and Cotton.