How To Be As Warm As Humanly Possible

Hero

Or the secret to staying alive in winter… 

Okay. So. Have you been outside? The Armageddon is here and it’s emulating the Ice Age. Seriously! We’re freeeeezing. So. Darn. Rude.

Our solution? Don’t go out. Just say no to George Michael and stay in the warm. Snuggle down into the softest blankets and throws. Be rescued by fiction or fashion mags or finding yourself in the interwebs.

In the interests of keeping cosy, we’ve invested some time. We’ve done a little market research into the materials that promote the highest toast-factor. We’ve got your back. And your knees. And your shoulders. We’ve got you covered basically.

So here it is. From the toastiest to the not-quite-so-but-still-toasty…

St Albans know how to keep out the chill. And their use of colour is divine… Image source: St Albans and telegraph.co.uk

Goose down – delivers sweeter dreams

The queen of thermal insulators, these super-soft feathers have been used down (!) through the ages for their cosy qualities. They live inside quilts + bedspreads and work en-masse by trapping the heat in their loose structure.

A little on the heavy side, goose down is not super portable, making it ideal for warming up your boudoir. As Annie Lennox says, sweet dreams are made of this…

Alpaca wool is super-soft – just perfect for snuggling. Image source: Home Beautiful and St Albans

Alpaca – the perfect movie marathon companion

Shorn from the undercoat of that charismatically shaggy creature, alpaca wool is the new black when it comes to warmth. It’s deliciously silky-soft and durable, naturally hypoallergenic and water-resistant. It’s reportedly 7 times warmer than wool.

Alpaca is naturally found in shades of faun to grey, chocolate brown and jet black, or eject the neutrals in favour of vibrant dyes.

Angle the TV, pour a warming whisky and settle in.

Such an adorable creature – the alpaca – and its wool. Image source: thatlldofarm.com and St Albans

Mohair – adds luxury to your lounging

High lustre and high sheen, mohair wool makes winter look chic. Luxurious and resilient, this silk-soft wool has great insulating properties AND it loves dye. You’ll find it in the most decadent tones. Shorn from the Angora goat, this wool is known as the diamond fibre.

Drape yourself in mohair throws, sup your mulled wine and meditate over the likes of Umberto Eco.

The Angora goat and mohair throws. Images sourced: wikipedia.com and St Albans

Wool – pure + simple winter warming

Abundant and accessible (as in for your wallet), sheep’s wool is synonymous with snug. Its ability to absorb moisture and release it back into the air seems almost magical. Its lanolin content makes it less hypoallergenic. Available in a multitude of textures and weights, it’s less itchy in a finer knit.

Rug up (and rug under your feet if you like) with a cuppa chino or chai for wholesome toasty goodness.

A little lamb and woolly loveliness from Bronte… Images sourced: mllegette.com and Zanui

Silk – when warmth meets elegance

One of the oldest and most lavish of textiles, silk is renowned for its lustrous looks and seductive drape (!). But it’s also absorbs moisture and is hypoallergenic, for epic good looks that are also comfy.

Throw6

The art of layering and the Rugby Stripe Throw Rug by Dash & Albert (cotton)… Images sourced: itemsbydesignbird.blogspot.com and Zanui

Fleece – for taking homely with you

Lightweight and durable, fleece is derived from polyester fibres. These synthetic fibres are tightly woven to prevent the moisture in the air from getting through.

These are ideal for when you’re on the run. They pack up small and deliver big with the heat.

Thicker knits hold the heat in better… by Bambury. Images sourced: Zanui

Cotton – to combat the chill on balmy winter afternoons

Pure cotton is known for its breathability, so it perhaps wouldn’t be your first choice when you’re fighting back the freeze. But thicker weaves trap the warm air – look for herringbone, cable knits, waffles and other heavier knits.

When the rain abates and the sun braves an entrance, a cotton knit is the perfect knee warmer for your Saturday morning with the paper.

There you go, lovelies. The key to cosy. Be snug. Cuddle up. You can make it through!

Images sourced: Zanui and St Albans

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.