100% ECO Dye
At Lou & Olly we would like to provide our customers with an ECO friendly choice so many of our Merino blankets & also Cotton baby blankets are dyed using only 100% pure Eco Dyes.
All dyes used conform to Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and contain minimal to nil amounts of metal impurities.
A Mother's Guide to choosing a blanket
A blanket is a blanket is a blanket, right? Well, not exactly…
They come in a variety of different materials and designs – from cotton to fleece, from crocheted to knitted reversible – and like most things in life, you usually get what you pay for.
Someone who knows reversible blankets inside out (if you’ll excuse the pun) is Lou & Olly founder Jane Blakey. Her company specialises in the design and knitting of blankets using Merino wool and combed Cotton – both materials chosen for being hypoallergenic, breathable, fire resistant and extremely low irritation. Lou & Olly blankets go further to achieve the finest finish by using internationally certified Eco-Dyes to produce their vintage designs.
Jane Blakey personally loves working with 100% pure Merino wool, a fibre she’s used to great effect in her latest range of reversible blankets.
“At Lou & Olly, we refer to Merino as nature’s wonder fibre. The sheep’s high country lifestyle produces incredibly versatile wool that breathes during the hot dry summers and insulates in the sub-zero winters. When spun into a blanket these advantages are conferred to your child – it’s phenomenal.”
Lou & Olly’s new range of reversible blankets come in two timeless designs – ‘Stripes’ and ‘Stars’ – both of which are equally well suited to the nursery or the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of a toddler. The 95 x 115cm format is the perfect size for the cot, bassinet or stroller and the reversibility provides both aesthetic scope for bedrooms as well as giving parents a little more time between washes!
Merino also has a rare combination of fineness and durability, so Lou & Olly blankets can be handed down from child to child and even generation to generation. When deciding on a Merino blanket, it’s important to know that the lower the micron level, the finer the fabric. While most Merino wool is finer than 24 microns, the fibre Jane uses in her Stars and Stripes blankets is 19.5 Microns, categorized as Super Soft for optimal comfort.
Mothers around the world seem to be taking to Merino wool in a big way, as shown by the overwhelming demand for Lou & Olly’s blankets. Due to the bespoke knitting process, Jane is finding it hard to keep up with demand – which is why the new Stripes and Stars range of blankets are only available online for the moment at louandolly.com RRP $189.00.
About Lou & Olly
Jane Blakey founded Lou & Olly in July 2008, in Auckland, New Zealand. She named the company after the affectionate nicknames for her two small daughters, Brooke Lucy and Olivia (Lou & Olly) and every item in the range has been designed with the girls in mind (and usually on hand too).
Jane has recently been blessed with a third daughter, Ellie, who no doubt will keep her inspired with fresh design ideas.
Kiwi children’s brand is all grown up
New designs and green production values have seen local Merino blanket designer Lou & Olly making headway in overseas markets
Whether it’s a symptom or the cause of the company’s expansion into overseas markets, the latest Lou & Olly designs seem to have a distinctly European feel to them.
Lou & Olly has made its name rapidly in the New Zealand domestic market by designing and manufacturing high-quality merino and cotton baby blankets. The merino blankets have been particularly well received, since merino wool has very fine fibres that don’t irritate the sensitive skin of infants. The company went a step further in 2010 by introducing Eco Dyes that limit the use of chemicals used in the dying process, conforming to the stringent international textile standard Oeko Tex 100. The combination was great for their business – the purity of merino wool plus the attention to detail of the international standard did wonders for their sales both in New Zealand and overseas.
Lou & Olly founder Jane Blakey has received interest from Europe but the New Zealand market is still front of mind. “New Zealanders are aware of the benefits of merino wool, through the success of companies like Icebreaker. The most heartening thing for me personally is seeing how much Kiwi mums enjoy our blankets. Sales have far exceeded our expectations and we’ve now got nationwide distribution, which is great,” says Blakey.
One of the keys to building the Lou & Olly brand so quickly has been the distinctive colour palette of their blankets and the two latest additions are Cornflower and Mint. Cornflower is similar to duck egg blue, giving the blankets a Provencal look that works particularly well with browns and beige's, common neutral colours in nurseries. Mint green has been identified by psychologists and designers as having a calming effect on people, which is great for both mother and child. The new colours are available in both classic and contemporary weaves and retain the key benefits of merino wool such as breathability and soft fibres.
Old is new again – the love affair with vintage designs continues.
They say fashion is cyclical, and right now there’s a definite trend towards vintage designs, especially in winter collections. Designers and consumers love the familiarity and warmth of vintage techniques like hand-woven patterns, which when combined with modern manufacturing techniques achieve a perfect balance between form and function.
Luxury children’s brand Lou & Olly has just released a 1950’s Vintage Baby Blanket, the latest in a line of high-end merino and cotton comforters. The blanket is available in generous cot size and is based on a 1950’s baby bonnet that designer and owner Jane Blakey came across in an op shop. “The bonnet had those lovely hand-knitted details you just don’t see anymore. I was immediately inspired and saw the potential to use eco-dyed merino wool in a similar way,” says Jane.
Vintage design is nothing new to Lou & Olly – their current Vintage Blanket is their biggest selling item – and Jane Blakey saw the potential for further growth in the category. The company continues their focus on beautiful, tactile blankets that are irritant-free through the use of merino and combed cotton. This latest Vintage Blanket is eco-dyed using dyes that conform to the notoriously stringent Oeko Tex 100 standard, which restricts the use of harmful chemicals. The company understands that impurities have no place next to a child’s skin.
This commitment to beautiful design and innovative products sums Lou & Olly up well as a company.
“It is our ultimate goal to design a vintage blanket that gives that lovely familiar impression of being a hand-me-down, while having all the benefits of a new product. We pay so much attention to the weave quality that mothers can easily keep the blankets for many years so their child’s younger brothers and sisters can enjoy them too.”
Eco-dyes and combed cotton the way forward for childrenswear
Auckland, NZ –Boutique childrenswear producer Lou & Olly has introduced a new range of combed cotton baby blankets designed to minimise irritation on the extremely sensitive skin of infants.
New Eco Dye Vintage Baby Blankets ease skin irritation in toddlers