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San Marcos blankets

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Blankets68 of 94San Marcos blankets, part twoVintage blanket
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    Posted 4 years ago

    katherines…
    (239 items)

    San Marcos blankets were produced from 1976 - 2004. Brothers Jesus and Francisco Rivera were sombrero manufacturers in Aguascalientes, when Jesus came across a product in Spain that inspired him to produce a pictorial blanket that was thick, warm, durable and inexpensive. He experimented for years until he found the right combination of materials and began making the blankets which became known simply as "San Marcos," the company he named after his hometown. The blankets were a huge hit, so popular that when he unveiled his designs at the yearly hotel conventions, people gathered in eager anticipation to see the new lines. San Marcos blankets were designed by artists in Spain, and while the designs were nice enough in themselves, the blankets were produced in a range of wildly gaudy colors, depicting animals mostly, though some designs were of flowers, geometric shapes, etc. Made of acrylic/polyester, the blankets were as Jesus Rivera had envisioned, plush and soft, warm and thick yet light, durable, and cheaply produced and sold, often by street and swap meet vendors. The bright colors were appealing, and the blankets were unusually comfortable. People used them as bedspreads, as blankets in the winter, the small ones were especially desirable for babies. A favorite among Mexican families, the blankets were given as gifts and every Mexican household owned several, so it seemed. Doomed by its own popularity, San Marcos was widely imitated, cheap knockoffs, known as "Koreanas," flooded the market, and San Marcos eventually went out of business. But the Koreanas were not of the same quality as San Marcos, and after a time original San Marcos blankets came back into popularity, fueled by practicality as well as nostalgia; children who had grown up with San Marcos, suddenly yearned for the comfort and familiar feel and look of their old San Marcos; even those who had disdained the blankets in their youth now craved the familiar iconic blankets, seeking a favorite design, Virgen de Guadalupe, Aztec warriors, leopards and lions. I've often said that if your grandma owned ten, your parents had five, and you ended up with one or two favorites, and its mostly the case that many Mexican homes still own a few of the blankets, but for some people that one or two isn't enough. There are avid collectors of the blankets, and where once these blankets sold for a few dollars brand new, on the secondary market they now command anywhere from thirty to two hundred or more dollars. And as the blankets are hoarded, and become more scarce, the prices continue to rise. If you read forums where people talk about the blankets (often in search of one to buy), they speak in terms of the same qualities Jesus had looked for all those years ago, and perhaps he wouldn't be surprised to find that when people are unhappy or feeling unwell, they seek out the warmth and comfort of a San Marcos to wrap themselves into.

    San Marcos blankets were produced with some variations, but for the most part, if you are looking for a genuine San Marcos, characteristically, they are made of 90% acrylic, 10% polyester, though sometimes cotton was part of the mix. There were mainly three styles of binding, most often a pleated satin, also there was a soft ribbed binding which was the least durable of the three, and third a heavy netted binding of the type used on rugs; all three types were thick, and sewn on with zigzag stitching. Corners of the blankets were almost always rounded, though I've seen one or two on eBay with square bindings I'm not convinced were genuine. And the iconic satin tag, pale beige, though again lately I've seen San Marcos tags that are unusual and sometimes even a double tag which I had not seen before. Don't know if those are genuine, meaning original, or if someone is again producing blankets under the old name.

    (The San Marcos pictured above are blankets I've sold on eBay, altogether I've sold about a dozen, will post more on another thread. I've kept two favorites, Virgen de Guadalupe and a peacock with roses, would love to have the Aztec warrior.)

    Comments

    1. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      Thanks for your comment, PatSea, my two are in storage, lol, so can't take photos, but here's a link to a photo of the one I wish I could get my hands on. Doubt it, as they are so dear now that if and when it ever came up on auction, this one would probably hit three hundred dollars or more.

      http://www.tuvez.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/sanMarcoLrg2.jpg
    2. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      Thanks for the loves, pops52, aghcollect, PhilDavidAlexanderMorris, Jewels. :)
    3. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      If you find it online, please post the link in here, PatSea, even two or three years ago I would see them online, think there were at least two versions, haven't seen one in a while. The best San Marcos are hoarded, just don't see them very often.
    4. GumGumRoar GumGumRoar, 4 years ago
      (?_´)? heyyy it's GumGumRoar! Totally radical blankets so tubular!! Swag yo
    5. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      Thank you, GumGumRoar. Not related to WeirdPuckett, by any chance?

      ;)
    6. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      Thanks for the love, Manikin. :)
    7. nutsabotas6 nutsabotas6, 4 years ago
      These are really beautiful!
    8. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      Well thank you, nutsabotas6, as much as they are colorful, they are super wonderful in themselves as blankets. I've seen San Marcos described as the original snuggie because everyone loves wrapping themselves in them. You have to experience it to know what I mean. So it's a tactile as well as visual experience. :)
    9. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      PatSea, I've got two old battered ones, one for my son, one for me, that we use, the VdG is in deep storage somewhere, safe and sound. As I recall, it looked like this one:

      http://c2.cowcow.com/img/4-69197743-0-1-1-693
    10. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      Thank you for the love, mikelv85. :)
    11. katherinescollections katherinescollections, 4 years ago
      My grandfather was so faithful in his devotion to her. I've got his medallion which he wore until the last. If I can find it, will take a pic and post it for you, PatSea.
    12. CLSMITH CLSMITH, 5 months ago
      I still have the maroon one with 2 horses, got it for my 12th birthday from my mother in 1997, it came from Kmart , Gulfport,Mississippi

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