This iconic blanket has adorned hospital born babies for decades. Your children, you, your parents and grandparents have likely all been wrapped up in this pink and blue stripped receiving blanket called the Kuddle-Up.
The Kuddle Up flannel blanket was founded by the Medline company in Mundelein, Illinois in the 1960. Medline was once known as the A.L. Mills Company and that original company was started in 1910 by A.L. Mills, the great grandfather of the current owners. He moved from Arkansas to Illinois and made his living creating butcher aprons for Chicago’s meat-packing industry.
Mills was approached by nuns from a nearby hospital who worked as both nurses and seamstresses. He offered to help them with the sewing of the surgeons’ gowns and nurse’s uniforms so they could spend more time caring for patients. Eventually that led to his work making surgical gowns. The A.L. Mills Company then became Mills Hospital Supply.
In 1940, Mills Hospital Supply manufactured the first colored surgical gown. The first colors being misty and jade green. He was the first to shift them from light-reflecting white to the now ubiquitous light-absorbing jade green style. He did the same for hospital gowns and made them patterned instead of solid shades and switched the tie from the back to the side.
In 1961 Mills’ sold the company, but his two sons, stayed with the company until 1966, when they decided to go off on their own, founding what today is Medline. The iconic Kuddle Up blanket was designed by the Medline Corporation to be a part of their new medical supply product line. Medline always sought to be at the cutting edge of technology and cultural shits, and the invention of the Kuddle Up was in response to a change in the way women were giving birth.
Medline continues to be the leading supplier of gowns and scrubs to the healthcare industry. 60 years later, Medline sells 1.5 million Kuddle-Up blankets in Candy Stripe every year. The other patterns, with elephants or ducks or baby footprints, are less popular; and some hospitals have created their own version of the Kuddle-Up
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