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The throw comes into its own again

(ran HP, HL editions)

The Woodstock generation stayed home in droves from this year's 25th anniversary of that hallowed event, proving, as has been suspected, that they have aged into a fine crop of couch potatoes.

For them, or anyone who is happier at home than out bathing in mud, here is an appropriate souvenir of days gone by: a cozy throw blanket for an evening at home with Aerosmith.

The Rug Barn, an Abbeville, S.C., manufacturer of more than 3,000 styles of throw blankets, has sold more than 10,000 featuring a Woodstock motif since the August anniversary, according to a spokesman.

The 46- by 67-inch triple-woven cotton jacquard design licensed through Great Entertainment Merchandise commemorates the original concert logo from 1969, featuring one dove perched on a guitar. (The Woodstock '94 logo included an additional bird.)

Graying hippies are not the only ones into blankets these days. Sales of throws, especially the more casual, washable cotton variety, are increasingly popular as home accessories and wedding gifts.

Long a staple of decorators who love to toss them over sofas and chairs, many throws available now are more practical and machine washable and feature subjects as varied as rustic landscapes and college logos.

The Rug Barn expects to sell more than 5-million throws in 1994, up from 4-million last year.

"It is the perfect gift," says Mike Morton, a Rug Barn vice president. "It's affordable, made in America and made of cotton. It's pretty, colorful, functional and decorative."

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