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Chilly weather has most of us reaching for a blanket to keep us warm when temperatures plummet, but that’s not all they are good for.

In their centuries of existence, blankets have been used for many things other than warm bed coverings. In the 1700s across North America, for example, blankets were used to create popular hooded coats, according to the book "Fashion: A Canadian Perspective."

Blankets were important trade items throughout the American frontier and any that survive are highly valued collectibles.

Today's blankets are still desirable and versatile. Consider the following 11 ways blankets cozy up to our hearts.

Show a loved one you care

Blankets give warmth and comfort so they are a great stand-in when we can’t be with someone we love. As a gift, they are hard to top. In fact, in a recent study, girlfriends nationwide were asked to come up with a list of the best gifts for girlfriends for the holidays (or any day) and blankets made the cut, College Magazine said.

Provide comfort and security

We’ve all heard the term “security blanket,” and that’s because blankets can offer that to many. “No matter how chilly it is outdoors (or, let’s be real, indoors), snuggling up in a blanket makes everything feel better,” writes

Blankets can help ease the feeling of homesickness from a person or place and encourage better sleep — for all ages.

Regulate your temperature in both winter and summer

Blankets aren’t just cold-weather tools, but can also work effectively on top of a sheet for the summer. Layer a blanket under a comforter during the colder months of the year to help save on your heating bill.

Blankets work to warm us by absorbing the heat our bodies give off, by slowing the rate we lose heat, and by reflecting some of our heat back towards us, Science Blogs said.

Make a makeshift pet bed

Have a furry feline or canine that loves to share your bed covers with you? If this is getting a little out-of-hand, a floor blanket can create a comfortable and posh space for a pet to retreat to both day and night.

Choose fabrics that repel dirt, hair, and moisture to help keep the blanket clean and fresh between washes, said.

Add some style to a sofa or chair

Throw blankets can make both subtle and grand statements when designing a space. Whether you choose to place them on a bed, couch, sofa, or chair they can be used to cover oneself or simply as a draper. This classic extra touch will elevate any room while adding a little functionality as well.

Avoid suffering through a cold movie theater

We can all agree that movie theaters often run on the cold side. Don’t diminish the entertainment of the big screen by being too distracted by the cold--carry a blanket.

The vast selection of blanket designs, sizes and fabrics can give you a blanket that is both discreet and the perfect cinema snuggle partner--no date required!

Give a corporate gift with some sentimentality

Trying to come up with unique corporate gifts for holidays, retirement, incentives or thank yous can challenge even the most seasoned company staff member. Blankets can communicate just how much you appreciate someone in a way that will continue to be appreciated long after the gift is given and received. Customizing the blanket for a person or occasion can give it an even stronger “wow” factor.

Create a custom gift

The creativity you can employ with a blanket is endless. Consider customizing your blanket gift by incorporating photos, t-shirts (from concerts or races), logos, or embroidery.

Utah-based company Minky Couture allows customers to create their own custom blanket so it is entirely unique to them or that special someone they are shopping for. “We can customize any size blanket into hundreds of different combinations,” Minky Couture states. Their embroidery option gives each luxurious blanket that finishing touch.

Make an indoor fort

Admit it. You've already discovered this use which is especially popular among children. "Building a blanket fort is a great way to engage with your kids in imaginative play, especially on hot or rainy days," explains an article by Corey Allan for "They're even more fun with friends or an overnighter inside."

Have a picnic

When it comes to planning a picnic, a proper blanket should be high on the list of must-have items. Picnics enchant us with the settings we can find ourselves dining in out-of-doors. But, without a comfortable blanket to table our food--and our company--much of the flare of the event can be lost. Choosing a blanket to serve as your picnic-time go-to should be part of every household linen closet.

Spruce up your tent comfort when camping

Who says you have to rough it when you’re tent camping? A plump and soft blanket can provide you a feeling of home and warmth no matter where you find yourself in the wild wilderness of your adventures.

“If you travel often, you should consider taking a fleece blanket with you. That is especially true if you travel in cold, isolated, and relatively dry areas. They trap heat so you can stay warm when camping or doing other outdoor activities. Even if you are in a warm climate, having a nice fleece blanket to keep in your car can make traveling much more enjoyable, ”Family Living Today said.

Get ready for baby showers and well-wishes

Babies can’t get enough of them and the tired, sick or lonely thrive with them. Blankets are magical that way; they give and give and never take.

If you are looking for something that expresses sentiment, it is hard to beat the power of a well-chosen blanket.

Find the perfect blanket to meet your fun and functional needs with a little help from Minky Couture. Minky Couture has earned the Best of State Award for the past four years for the quality, sizes and options their designer blankets offer their customers.