|Photos by Debra DiPaolo|
Small, needy people appreciate the tactile. In fact, the smaller and softer you are, the more likely you will respond to the feeling of a silk blanket, especially when its just your size and even has the occasional padded bump for the extra snuggling. And when your tush has been powdered and youre ready for a cuddle, why not cozy up with a coverlet that makes a statement?
Ruth Steinbergs baby blankets are not only works of art, many in striking, glamorous colors and patterns not normally seen in a layette, they appeal to an infants burgeoning sense of exploring textures. After designing a successful line of clothes for kids, Steinberg, originally from South Africa, decided baby blankets were the way to go. Making clothes became very dull, the construction of it all. Working on blankets is fun, she says. I like the flatness of it, like a canvas. Its more like painting. She started creating the baby blankets for family and friends. Everyone started begging for them, so she decided to make them for the public, naming the line for her grandmothers, Betty and Esther.
Babies love texture, she says. I think about babies when Im making them. I see babies scurrying around. The blankets incorporate lots of silk; one side may be a single fabric, and the other appliquéd with whimsical images made of contrasting materials chenille with flannel, for example. Botanicals and butterflies are a popular theme. Some are quite dramatic, in deep hues of silky red and maroon picture Rita Hayworth as an infant. Others are more traditionally cuddly, in thick terry cloth and stretched cotton. And then theres the rock & rollin green leopard print with a hot-pink furry flipside, fit for the spawn of Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson.
Although the blankets arent cheap, they are an excellent buy when you consider that baby items generally have a short window of usability, and a good blanket should last for years. And these can be passed down from one generation to the next. Steinberg will even customize them with babys name or a special design. I get so much joy from seeing my little nephew run around with his blanket, she says. And yes, for all those emissions that tiny, cute people like to surprise us with, the blankets are most certainly machine-washable.
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