Thursday, November 7, 2019

Design Brief #2: Blanket Attachments Part 1

After creating the base blanket, I started brainstorming ideas for the sensory attachments. As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm looking at:

1. Lavender sachet for aromatherapy
2. Weighted packets
3. Temperature
4. Fidget play
5. Feet warmer

I received my weighted blanket from China and started dismantling them to experiment and see what's inside.

 Here's the original weighted blanket

I'm starting with the weighted packets, I customised the weights to my preference, the base blanket is 2kg and I wanted 5kg in total (10% of user's weight + 1 pound). This means that the weighted packets need to contain 3kg. I am going to put the weights in 12 pockets, 10 packets for the columns and 2 for the chest area to make sure the weight is distributed evenly.

3kg / 12 = 250 grams
I'm using 200 grams instead as I might add other attachments and I don't want the blanket to be too heavy for me.

The glass microbeads are extracted from the Taobao weighted blanket while I got the peridot stones from Ryseltoys. They are not easy to buy locally and also quite expensive so I decided to test out rice grains which is more accessible for general public. However, packets with rice grains are not recommended for washing. For longer lasting purposes, stones and beads will be more suitable.

I'm using polyfill with the rice, stones and glass microbeads

Leaving about 4-6 grams for the fabric and polyfill weight
 Even though they are similar weight, the quantity of rice grains is more.
 Cutting the fabrics to create the pockets, which is measured according to fit the blanket pockets.
Distributing the rice evenly on the polyfill
 Sandwiching rice and polyfill, pin to secure and sew
I sew a line down the centre to make sure the rice and polyfill don't move about too much

Doing the same for beads and stones

I put labels for easy differentiation when testing
For glass microbeads, as they're really fine (2mm), the pockets need to be double layered. I used the binding method to finish these 3 samples. 
 For the rest of the packets, I tried with the french seam method to finish the edges, which is 10 x faster. The traditional way is the binding method above but this method works as well. I included ribbons at the corners to fasten them to the blanket later.
Sewing for the rest

And all weighted packets are completed and ready for testing. 


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