How Are Photo Blankets Made? Fabrics, Process, Designs, a Guide

How are photo blankets made? 

Photo blankets are made using specialized computer software that either knit, weaves, or loops the yarns to create a blanket from a variety of fabric types. Dyed (sublimated) photo blankets are made by printing dye onto the fabric of choice from a computerized image. 

Photo blankets are a perfect souvenir or reminder of a family occasion, celebration, and even your pets. They can easily be turned into a family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to another. 

In recent years, the advancement in available technology and computer graphics accessible to the weaving industry has made it possible to weave pictures into pillows, tapestries, tote bags, and blankets.

Origin of photo blankets

The options available to you in order to preserve your precious memories are almost countless. So here’s the story of how it began. About ten years ago, a small company had a graphic artist who started using animated outlines of people to make sports blankets. 

During the process of selling his blankets, a customer asked the designer if the cartoon in the outline could be made to look more like her child. 

The designer looked into it and decided that it was possible to do not only this but much more. Soon he began to experiment with pictures and explored endless new possibilities and the photo blanket concept was born! 

Let’s take a look now at some of the ways a specialist photo blanket producer makes sure you have a quality product and a lasting keepsake!

Choosing the fabric

There are three major types of photo blankets- knitted, woven, and dyed photo blankets. Each of these processes creates a permanent image that varies in degrees of color, softness, and clarity. 

Fleece blankets are warm, soft, and not that heavy. Plush blankets are made of even softer fleece that is comparatively warmer and thicker. Sherpa is a premium quality fleece for photo blankets and is customizable as well. 

This is an excellent choice if you like the feel and look of comfy wool with added warmth. When it comes to woven photo blankets, they are personalized by weaving the image of your desired photo into the pure 100% cotton blanket rather than printing it on. Woven photo blankets are amazing souvenirs that you can use or display.


“Sherpa is a premium quality fleece for photo blankets”


Woven photo blanket

Woven photo blankets are manufactured on a jacquard loom using computer software that scans a photo, makes a pattern, and finally creates a woven photo blanket making use of various colored yarns interlacing at an angle of 90 degrees. 

These photo blankets come in two varieties, tapestry photo blankets, and afghan photo blankets.  

The fabric used while weaving an afghan photo blanket is of the same thickness in both vertical and horizontal directions, whereas a tapestry photo blanket is made using yarn of two varying diameters. 

In the case of a tapestry picture blanket, the more delicate of the two yarns, commonly known as the warp, comprises 6-8 different color strands of yarn which are then woven in different ways, depending on the photo. This will then make sure the colors and patterns are recreated as precisely as possible.

Knitted photo blanket

Knitted photo blankets are made using a machine that makes use of a similar scanning and pattern process to woven blankets. But instead of weaving the yarns together, it knits them together in a looping method. 

Knitted picture blankets comprise of limited colors because of the knitting process and the continuous thread forming loops during the process.

Dyed photo blankets

Dye Sublimation is the newest type of picture blanket that is made by printing dye onto the fabric of choice from a computerized image and through heat and pressure. 

This technique allows a variety of colors to be used and has the clearest image quality amongst the three. 

So let’s now take a more in-depth look at how photo blankets are actually made. Who knew?..

How are photo blankets made?

Outlined below are the key steps involved in the production of a photo blanket, and the factors that can affect the final product.


*     First things first, choose the graphic designer or photo blanket vendor you want to get a photo blanket made from. While you can weave or knit a regular blanket, creating a photo blanket might require the use of special equipment which makes it necessary for you to consult a professional.


*    Choose the appropriate size of the blanket. The size depends upon two main factors- your intended use for the blanket and the pictures you want on it.

To give you an idea of mattress sizes:

Twin               39" x 75"

Full                 54" x 75"

Queen             60" x 80"

King               76" x 80"


For example, if you intend on keeping your photo blanket on the bed only then a bigger blanket would be appropriate, as compared to a blanket you would want to use while sitting on your chair knitting your next photo blanket. Similarly, if choosing just one picture is difficult, then you can opt for a collage. You will need to adjust the size of the blanket accordingly to accommodate the photo or the collage.


*     Most designers prefer that you provide them with specific instructions on what you would like done.


*     A great photo makes a great photo blanket!


*     Professional graphic artists take their time to match the colors in the given photo to the colors of the available yarn. Digital jacquard looms are handled with precision and skill by talented weavers.


*     The blankets then go through quality control after which they are washed and dried and then packaged for shipping.


So now we’ve seen how photo blankets are made and ultimately arrive at your door, let’s take a look now at some specifics to make sure your photo blanket will be a perfect memory of a loved one, occasion or simply just a lasting souvenir of someone or something special.

What you should consider when designing a photo blanket

*     Composition - The main subject should comprise 60-80% of the image.

*     Color - Vibrant colors generally make for a more eye-catching photo blanket. So, choose a photo accordingly. A bright photo with sharp colors is preferable over one with dull colors.

*     Editing - Try not to alter, enhance, or edit your photo. If you want the photo to be cropped, then give specific instructions on how you would like that to be done.

*     Picture Quality - A blurry picture will obviously result in a blurry blanket.

*     Contrast - A higher contrast is better. The main subject should be distinct from the background as well.

*     Digital Photos -  Larger photos with a higher resolution are ideal. Use one that is about 600 kb or larger, or at least 1000 by 1000 pixels.

*     Scanned Photos - Scan the photo at a high resolution and use a photo that is at least 4x6 inches in size.

*     Black and White Photos - With a black and white photo, you will get a black and white photo blanket. However, there will be a slight hit of color as the blankets are woven as tapestries.

And finally…

So there you have it, everything you needed to know about how are photo blankets made - but we’re afraid to ask! 

Don’t forget to check out our gallery and store to choose your fabric type, and then search our collections to find the perfect reminder of a family occasion, celebration, or loved one. Or contact us with your requirements.

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