Label Love Question...
"Hi Kathleen, I have been lucky enough to come across these two pastel blue wool blankets manufactured by Aranui and having read that you like blanket labels a lot - whether you can tell me a bit more about them. (I know you are super busy though)
I know you did mention that the wool mark symbol came along a bit later so I would guess the newer label has the wool mark. In addition the label with the man on the horse looks to be an older style and the blanket seems much thicker. The 22-NZ-66 is referring to the fibre size? Assume unregulated in the older blanket or perhaps did they have summer and winter weights?
Both blankets are unused condition.
Anyway would love to hear what information you may have, fellow blanket enthusiast.Thanks in advance.
I thought I'd share my response for other label love readers!
Thank you for your question Catherine. Aranui Mill in Christchurch is one that I haven't found a lot of information about. According to my notes it had a relatively short but productive business from 1950 - 1970 and at its height employed around 200 people. I would agree with you that the first label with the horse would be the older of the two. The older labels are almost always embroidered and interestingly often had more intricate imagery like this one. Roslyn labels are a good example of this. As you mentioned it is also thicker style (though lots of 70/s and 80's blankets are lovely and thick) but from what I can see it is a classic blue/cream check was very popular in the 50's and 60's.
The second label has a more 60's style font, clean and fresh lines were very popular in advertising of that time. It also has a lot more info filling the space which was a common trend. A printed label, while yours is nice and bright sadly often the printed labels didn't last like the embroidered ones.
I love the slogan "luxurious warmth without weight", a great tagline that a number of mills had versions. Pre-duvet there must have been a demand for lighter and summer weight wool blankets.
The Woolmark logo was invented 1964 so gives a nice short window of dating your blanket between 1964 and 1970.
The Woolmark Licence is interesting because I was led to believe it was micron/country/fibre length (the labels where this appears doesn't often say Woolmark Licence just the printed number). It would seem more likely this is the number the Woolmark company gave when this product was approved as certified. Therefore shortening the date again of this blanket to 1966-1970. Again an assumption that the 66 refers to 1966. Also worth noting that metric wasn't introduced until 1976 so the mm for fibre length doesn't fit mill dates.
It's an interesting comparison and poke about to be sure! I wish I had more confirmed answers. It is an area of interest that I wouldn't say I'm an expert on but would definitely would like to be.
If there are more informed reading this and can add to this collection of musings I welcome your comment. Thank you for your question Catherine and enjoy your beautiful wool blankets.