The 10 Best Mexican Blankets
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Spruce up your home with one of these colorful Mexican blankets, which are perfect as a wall decoration, a throw, a yoga mat, or a picnic spread, or simply to keep you nice and warm. Coming in a wide variety of interesting, eye-catching designs and at prices to fit any budget, they are ideal for anyone who likes South of the Border styles or rustic decorative schemes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
April 24, 2020:
Because most of the color choices have become hard to find, we've elected to remove the Yogi Yoga Bed at this time, along with the Rolling Sands Premium, which also presents availability issues. There are plenty of other choices, though, whether you're looking for a bright or more subdued blanket.
On the cheerier end of the spectrum, the Del Mex Large and the Benevolence LA Acrylic remain attractive, functional choices. As with many others, the colors can vary some from the photos, but no matter the exact pattern, they're bright, fun, and eye-catching. There's also the Threads West Genuine, which is offered in vibrant colors as well as in options that are on the more plain side, including a grayscale choice.
As for subdued options, the YogaAccessories Traditional is notable thanks to being both easy to care for and affordable. A slightly pricier selection is the Open Road Goods Southwestern Style, a thick blanket with an appealing diamond pattern that might make a great travel blanket — it's warm enough to keep you comfortable on those chilly flights or road trips. And even pricier than that is the Pendleton Chimayo Throw. Instead of acrylic or cotton, it's crafted from virgin wool, so you know it's warm, but this also means it must be dry cleaned. If you prefer something you can throw in the washing machine, you'll want to skip it.
Anthropologie All Roads Tufted Desert Throw The Anthropologie All Roads Tufted Desert Throw costs a pretty penny, but if you want an eye-catching piece for your bedroom or living room, it's definitely one to consider. As its name suggests, it has handsome tufts of yarn that give it a more textured look and feel than many, which complements the ample fringe nicely. anthropologie.com
Lion Brand Knit Kit With the Lion Brand Knit Kit, you'll receive the yarn and pattern necessary for knitting your own blanket, making it a great choice for those who have some time to fill but less so for those who want to snuggle under a blanket right away. The pattern has an intermediate skill level, so absolute newbies may find it too challenging. lionbrand.com
Tribe+True Wanderlust Diamond Handwoven in Mexico, the Tribe+True Wanderlust Diamond is large at 79 inches long, and it has some heft, weighing in at between 3 and 4 pounds. It's just as environmentally friendly as it is comfy and useful, as it is spun from post-consumer materials that will soften with every wash cycle. tribetrue.com
Unique Uses For Mexican Blankets
There really are so many things to do with these beautiful and homey blankets that you'll always find a good use for them.
While you can, of course, use your blanket to keep yourself warm on the couch during a little nap, it has so many other fun uses. Mexican blankets make wonderful wall art. If you're wondering what to get a high school graduate who is going off to college, consider giving him one of these vibrant blankets to hang on his wall. Bright colors help motivate learning, so this blanket could be just the ticket to helping him stay focused on his homework. Plus, some dorms can be rather bland and sterile, and a Mexican blanket can add a comforting pop of color. This is a nice item to hang in a study or classroom, too.
Avid exercisers might also want one of these unique blankets. Their extra-thick fibers make them a good alternative to yoga mats for planks, sit-ups, and — of course — yoga. If you lay your Mexican blanket on the ground, it will provide nice padding over twigs and dirt, making it ideal for outdoor exercise. If your preferred method of getting fresh air is horseback riding, you can still put your Mexican blanket to use. In fact, it's even a tradition in the horseback riding community to put a Mexican blanket beneath a saddle. For those who prefer to just relax outdoors, you can sit on your blanket with your cheese board and a bottle of wine next time you want a picnic. They make nice table runners for indoor dining, too.
Naturally, Mexican blankets are good for keeping warm and cozy, as well. They're typically very thick and the perfect blankets to throw over a piece of furniture, so you always have one nearby if you're reading a book or watching a movie and get chilly. If you want to literally warm up the temperature of your bed during the fall while also visually warming up the colors of your room, you can add a Mexican blanket to your comforter when the temperature drops. If you just want a festive place for people to wipe off their feet when they come in your home, a Mexican blanket can work for that, too. There really are so many things to do with these beautiful and homey blankets that you'll always find a good use for them.
A History Of Mexican Blankets
Mexican blankets — sometimes called zarapes, serapes, or saltillos — have been in existence for hundreds of years. Serapes were originally garments. They provided an affordable way for poorer individuals in Mexico and Guatemala to stay warm. Some had holes in the tops for one's head and were worn like ponchos. Others were just wrapped around the body like a shawl. In fact, serape translates to cloak or shawl. Today, we often call Mexican blankets serape blankets. Historians believe the Chichimeca people of Northern Mexico were the first to wear serapes.
The blankets also tend to have a dark base color — such as black or grey — and fringed ends.
The Chichimeca people eventually migrated to Central Mexico and today, their descendants live in Saltillo, the capital of the northeastern state of Coahuila (which is why the blankets are sometimes called saltillos). Over time, Coahuila has become famous for its production of these gorgeous blankets. Probably an important factor in this is that one of its main crops is cotton, which is what the blankets are traditionally made of.
The serape has evolved into more of a basic blanket design, but you can still find poncho and shawl-style serapes. Traditionally, the largest stripe on the blanket will be a primary color. That color is repeated and featured prominently throughout the design and interwoven with complimentary colors. The blankets also tend to have a dark base color — such as black or grey — and fringed ends. Though the Mexican blanket comes from humble beginnings, today you see top fashion designers mimicking it in their pieces and high-end department stores selling them.
How To Choose Your Mexican Blanket
When picking out your Mexican blanket there are a few things to consider. First, let's discuss color scheme. If you plan on using your blanket for yoga or in a meditation room, you may want more muted, calming colors. But if you're getting a serape to dress up your taco night or tie together your fiesta-themed kitchen, choose one with brighter hues. Next, let's discuss size and shape. If you want a blanket as a runner for a table or floor, you may want a long and narrow one. If you'd like your blanket to sometimes double as a shawl, look for a medium-sized one with a rectangular shape. If you want to drape your blanket over yourself and your kids for some cuddle time (something that is very important to their development), there are some wonderful oversized options.
If you're using your blanket more for decorative purposes, you may want one with fewer and neater fringes.
Now, let's talk about fabric. These blankets are traditionally made from cotton, which is a good option if you need your blanket to breath during hot summer nights. But if you live in a cold climate, you might be better off finding one made from wool. Just keep in mind that you cannot put wool blankets in the washing machine. Your most durable option will be a blanket that's a combination of cotton, acrylic, and polyester. Acrylic is resistant to moths and UV deterioration, and it dries quickly, making it a good fabric for blankets you might keep outdoors.
Finally, let's discuss the fringe. A thick fringe with plenty of strands gives your blanket a rustic, cozy look and feel. If you're using your blanket more for decorative purposes, you may want one with fewer and neater fringes. Just make sure they're well-attached to the blanket so they don't come off over time. Keep in mind the white fringes will be the first thing to look dirty, so if you're using your blanket as a doormat or floor runner, opt for shorter fringes.