Duvets – Did Summer Really Happen?

Is now really the time to change your duvets, August is nearly over and the question on our minds is did summer really happen?

The last few weeks have been mixed to say the least, one minute is it warm and you are glad that you got out your light  summer weight duvet and the next it is raining and feeling  a little too cold in the middle of the night. But is now a good time  to buy an All Seasons Duvet where you can benefit all year round from the different combinations or is that too much hassle?

We are now finding that most duvet users opt for a good quality natural goosedown duvet with a middle of the range tog rating such as a 9 TOG or 10.5 TOG as the better the down the better it is at keeping the body’s temperature correct. Look out for FILL POWER Ratings, the higher the better as this will give you a good idea of how good the duvet will be at keeping you both warm and snug and equally as important – cooler!

This is where the ALL SEASONS Duvet comes into its own, offering two duvets of differing tog ratings which can be used separately or together to give you the right amount of coverage depending on the differing temperatures. As you will agree there is no such certainties when trying to predict the Great British Weather.

We would also recommended the use of a premium quality pure Goose Down Duvet as this will give you years of lasting use and quality, light and extremely comfortable whatever the weather.

Goose Down DUvets

One of the best value for money options you can buy are the feather and down duvets choosing from either goose down or duck down. Both are natural fillings and offer good levels of warmth and comfort but are not as light as the pure down duvets.

One of the questions is whether to choose from a goose down or duck down filling, what are the differences and why is there a big price difference?

Well, there are several factors here, mainly duck down is more readily available than goose down and the feathers and down are more oily on the duck than on the goose which gives the goose-down a much higher fill power rating as duck down is much harder to clean and remove unwanted grease spots.

Goose Down is much whiter in appearance and both downs will give you a good level of warmth and are light enough to release trapped warm air allowing you to cool down in the warmer months. Once again fill power  is one of the most important factors when choosing the right down.

What is the best Cotton to use in Bedlinen?

We are always getting asked this question, what is the best cotton and why is it the best for use in bedlinen?

The most popular cottons are Egyptian Cotton and Pima Cotton, both are a superior grade and have some of the longest staple fibres found in any cotton. This is essential if you need to weave high thread count fabrics as the extra long fibres offer a more robust and much stronger yarn as there is more material to twist together.

Cotton being an organic product is superior in its absorbency and softness, the better quality the plants the larger the cotton buds become, lush fertile conditions such as the Nile Delta region in Egypt and the lush fertile South American plains are ideal for this crop. Quite simply the finest cotton is woven into the highest thread count, lookout for brand names such as Sheridan and Belledorm as they supply some of better quality known luxury cotton bedlinen, names you can trust with over 25 years experience in providing industry leading fabrics and design.

Good quality cotton is also ideal for dying, Sheridan have created some of the finest bedding sets from a base quality of Pima Cotton, ranging from 300 thread count to a super soft 400 thread count. A percale fabric will offer the very best in terms of quality and feel, choose anything over 200 thread count to achieve the minimum required percale standard. If you are still unsure, take advice from a duvet cover buying guide for a little bit more information, wash care tips and fabric care are essential to know how to choose the right cotton fabrics to suit your requirements. Premium quality percale Bedlinen is also enhanced by the mercerisation and sanforisation of the cotton prior to the dying and during the bleaching process. The treated cotton reduces the effects of shrinkage and skewing of the fabric and helps maintain a sheen to the fabric and stops the unwanted effects of pilling.

Luxury Cotton Bedlinen
Luxury Cotton Bedlinen

So if you really want the best,  go for a premium quality, high thread count fabric from a reputable manufacturer that offers more than the standard 1 years guarantee. Egyptian Cotton and Pima Cotton Percale bedlinen fabrics will last for at least 5 years before they feel the effects of time, exceptional quality will give you at least 7 – 10 years of comfort.

Cotton Bedlinen: How to iron them for best results

We are always being asked for bedlinen that does not need ironing, or just little bit of ironing but definitely not like the cotton sheets of old that required hours of pressing in order for them to look as good as new.

A good quality polyester cotton percale fabric with an Easy Care finish would normally take care of this issue but more and more appreciate the finer things in life and 200 threads per square inch does not cut it anymore and unfortunately the finest poly-cotton sheets are normally only woven to this minimum standard as they are still perceived to at the bottom end of the market.

So how then do we get over this problem? Cotton sheets come with ‘bad press’ when it comes to ironing.

Some of the premium quality high thread count sheets are both mercerised and sanforised (see this Wikipedia entry about mercerised cotton and this one about sanforization for the technical lowdown).

These help reduce shrinkage and pilling and a new treatment in the last few years adds an easy care finish in with the dying stage which helps reduce creasing. This method was first introduced in a luxury cotton sheet range.

But in order to truly help with this problem of creasing, we first need to understand why this happens.

Cotton is superb at absorbing moisture which is why it is used in bedding as it helps the body cool down using the wicking method, which takes moisture from the body allowing a more natural cooling process.

When cotton is mixed with water and then dried very quickly using a modern tumble drier, it is this process that causes the fabric to shrink by a small amount causing creases to appear.

Drying cotton bed linen

So what is best practice? Line drying your bedlinen is the best way, the creases just fall out leaving you with a soft fabric that has relaxed whilst drying and it then only takes a few minutes to iron out the offending problem.

If you need to use a machine to dry the cotton then dry until slightly damp and take them out of the machine and dress the bed in the normal way and the cotton will dry out in approximately 10 minutes leaving the fabric up to 80% crease free.

Good washing results come with good care, always read the label to achieve the optimum results. Most commercial and high street laundries use large machines that do not have a gentle washing action and also use water that is often too high in temperature, this could cause a untreated fabric to shrink and skew in shape prematurely.

Top this off with a high speed spin and you could ruin the long term feel and handle of your cotton sheets. Best practice is to use a good domestic washing machine and a gentle action with an economy heat cycle of less than 40 degrees.