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Everything you need to know about throws

The throw has been around for a very long time and probably started life as more of a shawl that would have been used by both men and women to just ‘throw’ around shoulders when it was a little chilly. Originally made as a way of using the wool of sheep and goats, the throw would have been a fairly plain and simple square of cloth with little or no pattern or design to it. It was considered versatile because it was smaller and more lightweight than a large blanket and could therefore be carried easily and kept on-hand in case it might be needed. This is still true today and on a cold winters night it is wonderful to have a soft warm throw within easy reach to snuggle into or tuck around your feet or shoulders.

Today the throw has become one of the 'must have' additions to any well decorated home and is used extensively by interior designers to add flair, colour and style to a room. Try draping a pretty throw over a chair or sofa arm and allowing it to trail slightly onto the floor, this will give a casually elegant feel to your room. Add a statement throw to your bedroom décor by laying it neatly across the bottom or middle of the bed to bring a chic modern look.

A throw can also be used as a covering for a coffee table or piano to add a splash of designer flair to your room, or perhaps try a contrasting throw tousled amongst your cushions for added colour and a chic textured look. Soft woollen throws are very useful for using in a child’s cot or bed and are the ideal size for this purpose.

If the idea of draping your throws is one that your tidy mind can’t tolerate then you can still use throws, just fold them carefully and place them across chair or sofa backs in a more formal way to get the added colour and style in a less casual way, or simply fold them and place in a neat pile in a corner of the room for added interest and to be on hand should it turn cold.

Throws are not just decorative they are very useful for using as a covering for various items of furniture. If you have a nice sofa or chair and a family pet who likes to snuggle there then a pretty throw can give some protection to your furniture and a throw is generally far easier to wash and dry than a chair or a sofa. A throw can be used in this way also if there are children in the house who might put sticky finger marks around. It might be wise to use a less expensive throw for this sort of job and one that is designed to give additional wear and tear through regular washing. If you already have a stain on your soft furnishings then a throw can be used as a strategically placed cover to hide the stain and give protection from further damage, whilst also looking fresh and neat.

So, we have looked at the uses that you can put your throw to now let us look at the types of throw that would best suit your needs. Throws come in a huge array of styles and designs and can be manufactured from an enormously diverse selection of fabrics. Before you choose your throw consider some basic things like does anyone in the house hold have any allergies to certain fabrics as the wrong fabric could cause a nasty reaction? Consider also things like where you want to put your throw and what you want it to do for you and your home. If your throw is simply decorative then the fabric will not be as important as if you need to wash it regularly, do you want a soft snugly throw for cuddling up in or a durable throw for the dog or cat to nap on.

Throws can be found in a variety of fabrics and some can obviously be far more expensive than others. If your throw is made from fine cotton, wool or silk then it will probably be on the costly side and perhaps it might be wise to keep these throws simply for decoration and occasional use. Just as in other items like bed sheets, rugs or quilt covers the basic materials can be either extremely high quality and therefore expensive or of a good quality and therefore more affordable. If your throw is hand woven then this also will affect the cost. Some man-made fabrics that are mass produced like polyester or nylon can be very easily manufactured from fairly cheap materials and hence at the lower level of the costing chart, remember though that these sorts of fabrics can be an excellent choice if you want good wear and tear and "washability" from your throw. These throws are often treated with stain resistors and protectors and if you have children or pets around the home may well be the best choice for you. Today's man-made fibres are much finer than they used to be and often it is quite hard to distinguish a more expensive material from a cheaper one.

Most throws are about the size of a small blanket although it is possible to find throws that are both larger and smaller. Throw designs vary hugely from classic tartan or plaid to bright neon colours and eclectic patterns. They can be soft, light and snugly or heavy weight and hard wearing so that no matter what purpose you have for your throw you will be able to find one to fit the bill.

If you are unsure of the style or design of throw that you need then take a moment to browse online to get a feel for what is available and also what takes your eye before you make your final choice.

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