Stay Extra-Warm with a Homemade Hap Blanket

article image
Photo by Fotolia/ulianna19979
Warm quilts made with wool or fleece are called “haps” in some parts of the Pennsylvania mountains.

Everybody knows what a quilt is, but have you heard of a “hap”? Haps are similar to quilts and were once commonly made and used by the folks who lived in the Pennsylvania mountains.

Old wool coats stitched together form the top — I think polar fleece would work, too. You can use any design you desire for the top of the hap. Heavy-duty flannel or an old polar-fleece blanket could work for the backing of the hap.

Grammy’s and Mom’s haps were so warm and wonderful because they filled the blankets with 1 to 2 inches of clean, carded sheep’s wool. They knotted the haps together with string every few inches to keep the wool from moving. Haps are heavy, but worthwhile because they’re warmer than any electric blanket I’ve ever tried. They can be challenging to clean, though, so use a sheet to separate them from direct body contact.

Air haps out in spring, store them in a cedar chest during warm weather, and then look forward to their warmth again the following winter!

Nancy Wolcott
Mapleton Depot, Pennsylvania