Thursday, October 09, 2014

Ikea URSULA Throw Blanket Review

Winter was definitely coming because my fingers and toes were starting to freeze again. Central heating hadn't been turned on yet, but even when it was, the furnace wasn't cranked up high enough to make it feel like summer. For some reason, I hated wearing sweaters. It was t-shirts or dress shirts with rolled-up sleeves for me 99% of the time at home and at work. The compromise over the past year or two was wearing a sweater like a cloak -- too much excess material. I was old enough that habits just died hard, so I decided to get a proper "cloak". In that day and age, one version was apparently called a throw blanket.

Ikea URSULA Modeled

Appearance wasn't a big factor in my choice of throws because I didn't plan on ever wearing it out in public. However, one annoying thing I found was that finding one made of a natural material was harder than I thought it'd be. Most of the ones I found were acrylic. Don't get me wrong, I had an acrylic scarf and loved the feel of it, but I wanted something in cotton or wool.

Ikea was my main go-to store for home-related things, so it was natural for me to look there for throws. Prices didn't look too bad, but I was initially turned off due to the lack of options made from natural materials. The majority appeared to be made of acrylic or acrylic blends, followed by polyester.

When I came back, I narrowed my list down to a few options. First up was the HERMINE, which had a very nice pattern, but it was noted to be 80% acrylic and 20% wool on the Ikea website. Next up was the RYSSBY 2014, which was 77% wool and 23% nylon (website). This was almost perfect in terms of appearance and material. However, I decided against it because it was supposed to be a dryclean item -- accidents happen and I hate going to the drycleaner. The URSULA at 100% cotton (website) was the final option. Its pattern really didn't do it for me, and it was more expensive than even the RYSSBY at the time -- CAD$ 35 versus CAD$ 40. At 100% cotton, a somewhat acceptable pattern, and reasonable price, this was to be it.

URSULA Throw, beige: US$ 29.99 (CAD$ 39.99)

Overview of Ikea URSULA Throw

Ikea URSULA Material Content Label
The item came wrapped like a ball of yarn: paper wrapper around the middle with fabric exposed out both ends. I was going to rip the paper, initially, but decided to just slide it off.

I found the URSULA to have a fairly strong smell when I first tried to use it without washing first. Nothing repugnant or weird, just a typical odor that I've experienced on numerous new pieces of clothing.

Ikea URSULA Packed
It didn't walk off on its own unless I put it too close to an edge.

Expandability / Customizability
The URSULA was available in white and beige at the store I went to. I found it available in red and beige on the United States website. No white. One thing I should note is that the "white" version I found in the store wasn't bleached white. It was more of a light rice color.

Ikea URSULA Unrolled
Everyday Use
At 180 cm x 120 cm (website), this large piece of fabric did its job of providing some additional warmth. One time, I had shorts on and the throw, folded in half, did its job -- almost made me forget my legs were about to fall off. However, the throw blanket wasn't as effective as a proper blanket like a thick, multi-layer one you may sleep in.

Appearance-wise, it was knitted, so the material was porous. I found folding the item in half made its size more manageable and its insulating abilities better. Can't say I really liked the color or pattern or color, but it was purchased almost entirely for function than for form. That was just me though.

Ikea URSULA Unfolded
Not bad for CAD$ 40 or US$ 30. Loved the 100% cotton material. Appearance was acceptable, not loved. I had no plans to ever wear it out of the house though. And it provided adequate warmth indoors.

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