The exact origin of the term "afghan blanket" is not known, but the term references the colorful knitted textiles produced by people in Afghanistan and the surrounding regions. An afghan blanket is a knitted or crocheted blanket or thrown that is typically comprised of several different squares or strips of knitted fabric.
The term "afghan blanket" first appeared in the United States in the early 19th century, used to describe a blanket or shawl woven from multicolored yarn. The term continues to be used by knitters, crocheters and other craftspeople, and today many afghans are mass-produced and sold in stores. However, an afghan blanket is not necessarily made in Afghanistan or even inspired by a design originating in that part of the world.