Latest Posts

Dressing Your Bed

A.  Duvet Cover

B.  Coverlet

C.  Flat (Top) Sheet

D.  Fitted (Bottom) Sheet

E.  Pillow Cases

F.  European Shams

G.  Std. or King Shams

H.  Decorative Pillows

I.    Bed Skirt

 

Dressing Your Bed

  

If it’s true that you spend a third of your life in bed, your bed is probably the most important piece of furniture in your home.  Your bedroom should be your personal sanctuary, a retreat from a busy and stressful world. Your bed should feel so wonderful and look so beautiful that it beckons you home at night.   Dressing a bed with fabrics and accessories to complement your personal style may require some help. Our linen experts are here to help you create your dream bed and assist with any questions you might have about quality, colors, fabrics or accessories.

 Mattress

The most important decision is selecting a mattress that is firm enough to give you the support you need yet soft enough to provide comfort.  Everyone has their own preferences, and research has shown that you should be prepared to test any mattress you are considering for at least 20 minutes.  The mattress is not a place to skimp on price.  Spending a little extra money to get the right mattress will make you sleep and feel much better in the future.  Existing mattresses can be made plusher and more luxurious feeling with wool or down mattress pads or featherbeds for a truly voluptuous bed. 

Pillows

The second most important element on your bed is your personal sleeping pillow.  Most of us don’t sleep in the same position all night, however the rule of thumb for choosing sleeping pillows is:  Soft for stomach sleepers, Medium for back sleepers and Firm for side sleepers.  Start with the position in which you fall asleep.  It is quite normal for one person to have two or more pillows for a comfortable night’s sleep.  Whatever it takes to make you comfortable, it is well worth it. 

Sheets

 

Sheets and pillow cases are the basics of any bed. These are available in either percale (crisp, matte finish) or sateen (silky, lustrous finish) and come in solids jacquards, prints and embroideries. Don’t get caught up in tread count.  Thread count is only one piece of the equation.  Equally, if not more important is the fiber and the finishing.  Long staple Egyptian cotton is the best quality cotton, but linen sheets are quite wonderful as are Lyocell sheets.  If at all possible, touch before you buy. Quality linens should feel the same after years of washing, perhaps even better.

 Top of Bed

Duvet covers and coverlets are the most common way to dress the top the bed and are often shown with matching or coordinated shams. Since the top of the bed is what is usually seen, choose styles that please your eye and make you happy. Strive for beauty and functionality.  When it comes to duvet covers, look for very light weight breathable fabrics.  This will insure that your comforter does what it is supposed to do… keep you comfortable.  Bed skirts or box spring covers finish the bed by covering the box spring.

 *Blankets and bedspreads are still used but not as much as comforters and duvet covers. Choose a blanket that does not pill or shrink. Bedspreads are almost always custom made to fit your bed, so having accurate measurements helps guarantee a good fit.

 Finishing Touches

It’s the details that make the difference between furnished and finished.  Adding decorative pillows like euros, bolsters or boudoir sized pillows along with a coordinating throw for the foot of the bed can add a needed splash of color or texture that will give your bed its personality or provide a seasonal change that can take your room from light and airy to warm and cozy.  Have fun and add a little whimsy, glitz or drama. This is your personal space, make it your own. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedding Sizes

 

Mattress Sizes (American)

Crib – 28” x 52”

Twin – 39” x 75”

Twin XL – 39” x 80” (2 XL Twin Mattresses = 1 king mattress)

Full – 54” x 75”

Full XL – 54” x 80”

Queen – 60” x 80”

King – 76” x 80”

California (Cal) King – 72” x 84”

 

Pillow Sizes (smallest to largest)

Boudoir – 12” x 16”

Standard – 20” x 26”

Queen – 20” x 30” (Two fit perfectly across a queen bed)

King – 20” x 36” (Two fit perfectly across a king bed)

Euro/European Square/Continental – 26” x 26”

 


 

 

 

Bedding Lingo

Applique – A cut out decoration fastened to a larger piece of fabric. Often used when making large scale monograms.


Baffle Box Construction – The most common, and in our opinion, the best method of construction for a comforter or duvet.  It means that within each stitched square on your comforter there are vertical interior walls which keep the fill from shifting, allow for air flow, eliminate cold spots, promote loft and add strength to the comforter by allowing it to give and reduce stress on the stitching while you move in your sleep.

Bed skirt (Dust Ruffle) – A decorative fabric piece that covers the area between the top of the box spring and the floor.  Bed skirts are used along with coverlets, duvets and comforters that do not extend to the floor.

 

Below are some styles of bed skirts:

 

  • Tailored Style – A simpler design characterized by straight lines and a neat appearance
  • Pleated Style – Regularly spaced folds, pressed and stitched in place.  Both knife pleats and box pleats are used to create a simple, somewhat tailored look.
  • Gathered  Style – Fabric is loosely drawn together to create a feminine ruffled appearance.
  • Ruffled Style – This bed skirt design is very similar to gathered, but may be gathered more tightly for a more voluminous ruffle.
  • Panel Style Construction – A bed skirt that is generally sewn as three separate panels, one for each side and the foot of the bed.  Panels are attached to the top of the box spring or mattress foundation with tacks or Velcro which allows for greater flexibility in determining the length, or drop of the bed skirt.  The bed skirt panels may also be attached without the removal of heavy mattresses. (Compare to a bed skirt with decking fabric).
  • Bed Skirt Decking Fabric – The decorative panels of skirt fabric are sewn to a simple rectangular fabric that is the size of the top of the mattress foundation.  This “decking” is sandwiched between the mattress and foundation, and the decorative panels drop down from the decking providing a lovely cover for the foundation and any unappealing mechanical parts of the bed.
  • Bed Skirt Drop – The length of a bed skirt; how far the bed skirt falls from the top of the box spring to the floor.  Bed skirts traditionally had a 14” drop, but are now available in a variety of drops (or lengths), to accommodate taller and shorter beds.  Depending on personal preference, the drop of a bed skirt may allow the fabric to fall slightly above the floor, even with the floor, or puddle on the floor.
  • Bed Skirt With Split Corners – Virtually all bed skirts are split at the corners, no matter what the design. The split allows the bed skirt to fall evenly allowing for any mechanical parts of the bed, like where a foot board attaches to the bed frame.
Pleated Bed Skirt

Ruffled/Gathered Bed Skirt 
Tailored Bed Skirt

 

 

 

Blanket

 

 

 

Bedspread – A thin decorative bed cover that gives a bed a polished, smooth look.  Unlike a coverlet, a bedspread extends to the floor and typically covers the pillows.

 

Blanket – A large rectangular piece of soft fabric, often with bound edges, primarily used for warmth as a bed covering.

 

Blocking – The term Blocking, or to block, when used in conjunction with bedding refers to the process of shaping and item.  Matelassé coverlets, for example, should be blocked when they are laundered to retain their size and shape.  The item is formed to its desired or original shape while damp and allowed to air dry.

 

Bolster

 

Bolster – A tubular pillow that can range in size from a small neck roll to one that spans the width of the bed. Bolsters are typically used to look beautiful on the bed, but can be used to lounge on.

 

Box spring cover – A fitted decorative fabric cover used to disguise and beautify the exposed box spring or mattress foundation.  Box spring covers are generally used instead of a bed skirt for a more tailored look, or when a bed has a decorative rail and no bed skirt is needed but the top of the foundation may be exposed above the rail.

 

Bunkie (Bunky) Board – a thin piece of plywood covered by fabric and used to give stability to a bunk bed mattress.  It may also be used for platform beds.

 

Comforter

Comforter – A thick, warm bed cover filled with natural or synthetic material.  Comforters are generally large enough to hang over the sides of the bed. Comforters are sometimes called duvets.  (Also see down, feather, and poly-fill).

 

Comforter Cover – A decorative, usually washable, cover for a comforter, and is sometimes called a duvet cover.

 

Coverlet – A thin decorative bed cover that does not hang to the floor and typically doesn’t cover the pillows.  Coverlets are used to give the bed a smooth and polished look.

Coverlet

 

Duvet – A French word meaning comforter, a duvet is a warm soft bed covering that is filled with down or feathers.

 

Duvet Cover – A decorative covering for a duvet or comforter. The term is used interchangeably with Comforter Cover.

 

Decorative/dec pillow – Normally small in size, dec pillows come in a variety of shapes and are used to add color and interest to a bed.  Dec pillows may also be called throw pillows.

 

Down Cluster

Down –The soft under plumage that waterfowl have to keep them warm and dry.  Unlike feathers, down has no hard quills, but forms in clusters that are soft and fluffy with many filaments growing in all directions.

 

Eiderdown – Comes from the Eider Duck, a large migratory sea duck. Eiderdown is exceptionally soft and has insulating properties superior to any other down. Eiderdown is used in luxury duvets and pillows and comes from Iceland.  The female eider duck plucks the down from her breast to line her nest and cover the eggs.  Once the nest is abandoned the eiderdown is gathered.  The birds are not disturbed.

 

Feather – The principal covering of birds, consisting typically of a hard, tubular quill that attaches to the body and tapers to a slender portion that has barbs that interlock to form a flat covering.

 

Nest Lined In Eiderdown

Foundation/Box Spring – A base that supports a mattress and absorbs the weight and pressure applied to the bed.

 

Featherbed – A pillow for your entire body, a featherbed is a soft, thick mattress topper filled with feathers or down that provides contouring support and soft warmth.

 

Featherbed protector – Typically a washable cotton cover that zips closed and is used to provide a layer of protection between you and the featherbed

 

Featherbed

Fill power – An industry term meaning a measure of the ability of down to regain its shape when pressure is released, or its loft.   Technically it is the number of cubic inches down will fill under specific laboratory testing conditions.  The higher the fill power number, the more resilient the down

 

Flange – A decorative strip of fabric that runs around all four sides of a pillow sham or duvet cover.  It can provide a more formal or finished look.

 

Harvard Bed Frame – See Hollywood bed frame.

 

Hollywood Bed Frame – “Hollywood” is a brand name for a metal frame system with legs into which a mattress and foundation may be placed and to which a headboard may be attached.  The Hollywood Bed Frame Company began producing angle iron framing systems for beds in 1925.  Much like the brand name Kleenex is synonymous with facial tissue, many people associated these bed frames with the Hollywood based company calling them simply “Hollywood” frames. You may also hear this bed support system referred to as a 

Pillow With Flange

“Harvard” frame.  Again this is a case of the name of the manufacturer becoming a household name for the product. Harvard Manufacturing built these bed frames in the 1950’s but is no longer in business however the name is still used.  A variety of frames are available today from several different manufacturers.  These frames are easy to assemble and transport, are versatile, inexpensive and are offer superior support for today’s heavy, plush mattresses.

 

Hypoallergenic – Designed to reduce or minimize the possibility of any allergic response by containing relatively few or not potentially irritating substances.  Scandia Home’s down products are considered to be hypoallergenic because they are cleaned in a twelve step process that far exceeds government standards for cleanliness.

 

Innerspring – having or characterized by a large number of enclosed coil within an overall padding.

 

Matelassé – A double cloth of cotton or other fibers woven on a jacquard loom and characterized by raised floral or geometric designs with a puckered appearance.  Matelassé is often used in bedding for coverlets and shams.

 

Mattress Sizes (American):

 

  • Crib – 28” x 52” 
  • Twin – 39” x 75” 
  • Twin XL – 39” x 80” (2 XL Twin Mattresses = 1 king mattress) 
  • Full – 54” x 75” 
  • Full XL – 54” x 80” 
  • Queen – 60” x 80” 
  • King – 76” x 80” 
  • California (Cal) King – 72” x 84”

 

Mattress pad – A thin pad, most often made of cotton or polyester that fits over the top of your mattress.  It aids in protecting your mattress, keeping the sheets in place and providing additional softness, comfort and support.


Mattress topper – A pad constructed from foam, fiber or feathers that is placed on top of your mattress and adjusts to the contours of your body for optimum support. Mattress toppers help to protect the mattress from dirt and damage.  King sized toppers are also used to seamlessly connect two XL twin mattresses.


Pillow case – A fitted removable cover for pillows that generally coordinates with the bed sheets.  Traditionally a pillow case has one open end that extends beyond the length of the pillow insert but pillowcases may also be constructed with a zipper, button or envelope closure.  (Compare to pillow sham).

 

Pillow protector – Typically a simple cotton pillow encasement that fits over a sleeping pillow with a zip closure.  The pillowcase goes over the pillow protector.  Protectors are used to protect sleeping pillows from soiling.

 

Pillow sham – Much like a pillowcase, a pillow sham is a covering for a pillow, but differs in that it has a flange or other embellishment around the four sides of the covering.  Many people think that a pillow sham is purely for decoration, whereas a pillowcase is for sleeping pillows, but this is only true when the pillow sham is constructed out of a fabric that is too stiff or thick to make a comfortable sleeping pillow.  Pull your sleeping pillows out of the closet and put shams on them!


Pillow sizes (smallest to largest):

 

  • Boudoir – 12” x 16”
  • Standard – 20” x 26”
  • Queen – 20” x 30” (Two fit perfectly across a queen bed)
  • King – 20” x 36” (Two fit perfectly across a king bed) 
  • Euro/European Square/Continental – 26” x 26”

 

Platform Bed

Platform bed – A bed consisting of a simple shallow box for holding a mattress on a slightly recessed pedestal.  Usually a more contemporary design, platform beds usually eliminate the need for a box spring but may require a Bunkie board foundation.

 

Poly-fill – Polyester Fiberfill is a manufactured fiber garneted into a batting or stuffing for pillows, sleeping bags, quilts etc.


Quilt –A bed cover made up of a top, batting and backing held together with stitching through all three layers. 

Sheet – A large rectangular piece of cotton, linen or other fabric used as an article of bedding.  Usually used in pairs so that one is immediately above and one immediately below the sleeper.

 

A throw draped on a chair

Flat/top Sheet – Lies on top of the bottom sheet, usually with a finished edge that aligns with the top of the mattress.


Fitted/bottom Sheet – Fits on top and around the edges of your mattress forming the bottom layer of bedding.

 

Throw – A throw is a medium sized blanket usually decorative and finished with fringed edges.  A throw can be woven of cashmere, wool, cotton or other fibers, and can be used on a bed, chair or sofa. 

Fabric Lingo

 

Acrylic – The general name of man-made fibers (polyester) derived from polyacrylonitrile.

 

Cashmere Goat

Bamboo – Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants in the world.  Because of its availability and sustainability bamboo has become a highly sought after commodity for products used in the home, including bedding.  The bamboo cellulose fibers are extruded and woven into fabrics used for sheets, blankets and towels.  The bamboo fabric is naturally absorbent, antimicrobial, soft to the touch and serves as a thermal regulator being cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  On the down side, bamboo sheets are less durable than Egyptian cotton sheets, so would need to be replaced more often. 

 

Batiste – Named for Jean Batiste, a French weaver, batiste fabric is lightly woven in flat weave with a high thread count.  It feels light, smooth and luxurious yet is extremely durable.  Batiste may be woven in a number of natural or synthetic fibers.  

Cotton

 

Cashmere – A fine soft downy wool from the undercoat of the Cashmere goat.  The finest Kashmir shawls are made from the hair of the Kashmir goat.  Hair is silky, soft, strong and cylindrical.

 

Cotton – The soft vegetable fiber obtained from the seed pod of the cotton plant.  Egyptian cotton is a fine, luxurious long staple cotton which can be spun into finer yarns resulting in softer more lustrous fabrics.  Egyptian cotton is ideal for bed linens because it is absorbent, cool, crisp, smooth and strong.

 

Damask – Named for the city of Damascus, once the center of fabric trade between the east and the west, Damask is woven on a jacquard loom, and alternates between satin and matte textures to create a glossy pattern.  The design is visible on both sides of the fabric. 

Damask Fabric

 

Dupioni – An irregular silk thread reeled from two or more cocoons producing a coarse yarn generally used in fabrics such as shantung or pongee


Egyptian Cotton – A general classification of the strong, lustrous, long staple cotton produced in the Nile River Valley.  The United States has crossed Egyptian cotton with American cotton since 1903.

 

Embroidery – Ornamental needlework consisting of designs worked on fabric with silk, cotton or metalized threads either by hand or machine.

 

Finishing – A general term which covers treatment of a fabric to produce a desired effect.  It may be said that cloth is made in the finishing.  It is the application of pleasing or appealing effect, such as luster, crease resistance or crease retention or something that contributes to the feel, or hand of the fabric.

Embroidered Bedding

 

Flannel – Usually a cotton or rayon fabric slightly napped on both sides to resemble a woolen fabric.

 

Flax – The plant from which linen is derived.

 

Green – Aside from being a color in the spectrum, green has come to mean environmentally friendly among other things.  The use of sustainable products that are organically grown and finished are referred to as “green”.

 

Hand – The reaction of the sense of touch when fabrics are held in the hand.  There are many factors which give “character or individuality” to a fabric observed through handling.  Judgments may be made concerning its drapability, feel, elasticity, fineness, softness, launderability, etc.

Hemstitched Towels

 

Hemp – Derived from the cannabis plant, hemp is the source of a valuable fiber (as well as drugs like hashish and marijuana).  Hemp as a fabric and clothing product is superior for its durability and comfort. With each washing it softens without degrading the fabric. Currently hemp fabrics are blended with many other natural fabrics, such as silk, cotton, and bamboo.

 

Hemstitch – A small decorative stitch traditionally used along a border or hem.  Hemming is done along a line from which threads have been drawn out, stitching the cross threads gathering them into a series of little groups.

 

Jacquard Lo

Jacquard – An intricate method of weaving invented by Joseph Jacquard in the early 1800’s.  Jacquard fabrics, simple or elegant in design, include brocade, damask, tapestries, etc.

 

Latex (see also Natural Latex) – The milky liquid found in certain plants, such as the rubber tree, that coagulates on exposure to air.  Synthetic latex is derived from the emulsion of water and finely divided particles of synthetic rubber or plastic.  In the bedding world, latex is used for mattresses, mattress toppers and pillows.

 

Legna® -Legna is the registered name of a fabric woven from the finest of Europe’s new generation of cellulose yarns, obtained from the wood pulp of managed forests grown for harvest in accordance with Europe’s strict environmental guidelines.  Legna fabrics are woven in Italy to exact specifications, in SDH (the manufacturer’s) exclusive designs and colors. They are meticulously finished and sewn to stringent standards for quality. These luxury collections have true and lasting beauty.

 

Linen – Flax is the plant, linen is the product from flax.  The term linen cannot be used except for natural fiber flax.  Among the properties of linen are rapid moisture absorption, fiber length of a few inches to one yard, no fuzziness, soil resistance, natural luster and stiffness.  Linen is used in bedding, tablecloths, toweling, dress linens and summer dress goods, among other things.

Linen Fabric

 

Lyocell – Lyocell is a manufactured fiber, but it is not synthetic.  It is made from wood pulp harvested from tree farms for this purpose.  Because it is made from plant material, it is cellulosic and possesses many properties of other cellulose fibers, such as cotton or linen.  Lyocell is breathable, absorbent and comfortable.  It wrinkles less than cotton and is not resilient, which means wrinkles ‘will fall out if hung in a warm moist area.  Lyocell has strength and durability, and a natural luster and drape.  Because of its strength, Lyocell can be hand or machine washed and dried.  Wrinkles can easily be ironed away, but in many instances will hang out overnight.

 

Matelassé – A double cloth of cotton or other fibers woven on a jacquard loom and characterized by raised floral or geometric designs with a puckered appearance. Matelassé is often used in bedding for coverlets and shams.

Matelasse

 

Microcotton® – A trademarked brand of unique cotton yarn.  The yarn is made from a very high grade of cotton.  This type of cotton is usually naturally silky and very absorbent

 

Modal – a cellulose fiber made by spinning reconstituted cellulose, often from beech trees. It is about 50% more absorbent than cotton.. It takes dye like cotton and is color-fast when washed in warm water. Textiles made from modal are resistant to shrinkage and fading but prone to stretching and pilling. They are smooth and softer than mercerized cotton.  Modal fabrics should be washed at lower temperatures and like cotton, are often ironed after washing.  Modal is used alone or with other fibers (often cotton) in household items such as towels and bed sheets.

 

Nap – Raised fibers on the face of fabrics created by use of a roller with steel wires.  This causes the finished fabric to provide greater warmth and have a softer hand and be smoother in feel.  It increases durability and covers the minute areas between the interlacing of the warp and weft.  Napped fabrics include flannel and blanket fabrics.

Closeup of Pilling

 

Natural Latex – The purest latex in the world is harvested from the common rubber tree in Sri Lanka.  The sap can be harvested 180 days of the year by tapping the tree, much like the harvest of maple syrup.  The tree heals within an hour of tapping.  The sap is whipped into foam, (much like whipping egg whites for meringue), which is used in mattresses.  The foam is graded by density to ensure consistency and long lasting comfort.  The closed cell structure of the latex repels dust, dead skin, pollen and dust mites.

 

Organic – Products that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers,  do not contain genetically modified organisms and are not processed using irradiaton  industrial solvents, or chemical additives.

Percale – This is a closely woven fabric in a plain weave, and is the simplest, strongest choice for sheeting.  Percale has a cool, crisp hand and never pills. Percale is the go-to fabric for hotel linens, usually in about a 200 thread count, but is available in higher thread counts for a softer more luxurious hand.

Pique

 

Piece-dyed – The dying of a fabric in the cut, bolt or piece form.  Piece dying allows for a single color fabric or finished piece.

 

Pilling – The formation of little balls of fibers called “pills” on the surface of a fabric caused by abrasion or wear.

 

Pique – A durable fabric usually made of cotton, rayon or silk and usually woven with narrow stripes or a small geometric pattern.

 

Plain weave – The most common of the fundamental weaves, a one over warp, one under weft, alternating each row.  It is typically used in muslin, print cloth, sheeting etc.

 

 

 

 

Plisse – A cotton fabric treated with caustic soda solution which shrinks part of the cloth to produce a puckered or crinkled stripe effect.  Also called seersucker.

Seersucker

 

Polyester – A manufactured or man-made fiber usually used for easy care and wash-and-wear fabrics.

 

Printed pattern vs. woven pattern – A printed fabric is produced by one of a number of methods which apply a design or motif to the surface of a fabric.  Woven patterns are achieved through the use of weaving techniques and looms.

 

Quilted – A layer of batting is sandwiched between two fabrics and secured by stitches.  Quilts may be stitched in patterns by hand or machine or may be tufted.

 

Rayon – A manufactured fiber made of regenerated cellulose or wood pulp.  It is neither truly synthetic nor truly natural.  Rayon is a versatile fiber and has the same comfort properties as natural fibers. It can imitate the feel and texture of silk, wool, cotton and linen. The fibers are easily dyed in a wide range of colors. Rayon fabrics are soft, smooth, cool, comfortable, and highly absorbent, and do not insulate body heat, making them ideal for use in hot and humid climates.

 

Sateen – A luxury fabric woven very tightly using the satin weave technique, which gives it a subtle sheen and a soft, silky hand.

Satin

 

Satin – Satin has a very smooth lustrous face effect while the back of the material is dull. Satin fabrics may be light or heavy in weight, soft, crepe like or semi-stiff in finish or hand.  Satin cloths were originally of silk and simulations are now made of acetate, rayon and other man-made fibers.

Seersucker – A cotton fabric with permanently woven crinkle stripes in the direction of the warp, produced by weaving the ground ends under ordinary tension while the crinkle ends are woven slack.  Does not need ironing.

 

 

Silk Fibers

 

 

 

Silk – The only natural fiber that come in filament form; from 300 to 1600 yards in length as reeled from the cocoon, whether cultivated or wild.  When the silkworm begins spinning, two filaments are emitted from the silk ducts which are covered by silk gum from the sacs before they come from the mouth.

As the liquid is emitted by the silkworm it solidifies as it comes in contact with the air.  This filament forms the cocoon which is harvested and will eventually become silk fabric. The shimmering appearance of silk is due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fiber, which allows silk cloth to refract incoming light at different angles,  thus producing different colors.

 

Slub – A slight irregularity in yarn produced by accidentally or intentionally knotting or twisting or including different yarn lengths in spinning.  The resulting fabric has a somewhat knotty, irregular surface.

 

Terry Cloth

Spinning – The process of making yarn or thread by any of several methods from fiber.  The fiber is drawn out and twisted into yarn or fiber.

 

Terry Cloth – A cotton fabric with loop pile on one or both sides, covering the entire surface.  Single or double ply yarns are used.

 

Ticking – The shell of a comforter, pillow, featherbed or mattress.

 

Thread count – Thread count refers to the number of threads, both vertical and horizontal, in a one-inch square of fabric. Thread count is affected by a number of factors, including ply and thickness of the threads used. The ply of the fabric refers to how many threads are wrapped together into a single thread. Single-ply fabrics use threads on their own, while two-ply fabrics twist two

pieces together into a stronger thread, as well as doubling the thread count of the fabric.  While it has become common to shop for such things as bed linens based exclusively on thread count, it is important to take other considerations into account. How the cotton is treated can be a much more decisive factor in comfort and overall feel than the thread count of a fabric, as can the final finishing of the fabric.

 

Twill Weave – One of the three basic weaves characterized by a diagonal rib or twill line, generally running left to right.  The filling threads pass over one and under two or more warp threads to give an appearance of a diagonal line.  Twill weaves are used to produce strong, durable firm fabric.

 

 

 

 

Warp & Weft

Warp – The set of yarn found in every fabric woven on the loom and running lengthwise, parallel to the selvage and interwoven with the weft, the two forming the various weaves according to the methods of intersection.

 

Weft – In woven fabrics, yarn which runs from selvage to selvage at right angles to the warp.  Remember, “weft to right”, or horizontal, also called woof.

 

Voile – A lightweight semi-sheer fabric, gossamer in appearance, made of wool, silk, rayon or cotton and constructed in a plain weave.

 

Wool – The fine soft curly hair that forms in the fleece of sheep and certain other animals such as the Angora or Cashmere goat, camel, alpaca llama and vicuna. Woolen fabrics are woven from wool sometimes in combination with other fibers.   The average woolen fabric has a rather fuzzy surface, does not shine with wear, has nap and is usually dyed.  Many blankets and throws are made of woolen fabrics, and wool is also used in organic mattresses as a thermal regulator and is natural flame retardant.

Voile

 

Yarn – A continuous strand of textile fibers.  Yarn is the basic material which is made into fabric, thread, twine or cable.  There are two basic classes; spun yarn and continuous filament yarn.

Yarn-dyed – Yarn which has been dyed prior to weaving of the goods just after the wool has been spun.  Yarn may be dyed in total immersion or partial immersion for variegated colors.

 

Laundry Care Symbols

When you own quality linens, you want to give them quality care.  Don’t harm your linens by using scalding water or chemicals that may damage the fibers.  Shop our linen care products and always follow the cleaning instructions on the labels.  Here are a few icons you may see on your linens tags or care instructions:

 

 

 

 

Caring For Your Bedding

Bed Linens

Home laundering is recommended for bed linens except where dry cleaning is indicated due to fiber content or ornamentation. We strongly recommend that you pre-wash linens before use, and that you wash bed linens separately from anything else, particularly items that contain any polyester.  Polyester “pills” and sheds it’s pilling on natural fibers diminishing the smoothness and softness of the fabric.  

 

Select a gentle laundry detergent.  Avoid products with brighteners or bluing agents as they may progressively fade the colors.  

 

Consider the long standing tradition to assure the longevity of your bedding:  rotate your sheets with a set in the closet, a set on the bed and a set in the wash.  This insures that no one set receives more wear than another. 

 

Certain skin and hair products contain oxidizing agents and may cause discoloration of sheets.  If you use such personal products cover your pillow with a white pillowcase or towel.

 

Washing, Ironing & Storing Your Bedding

 

       Linens should be separated into light and dark colors.  Avoid overloading the machine to prevent breaking the long fibers like those in Egyptian cotton.  Whether cotton, pure linen, or a cotton/linen blend, bedding should be washed in warm water using a gentle laundering agent with a final cold rinse.  We recommend linen wash from SDH, LeBlanc or the Laundress.  If presoaking is necessary it should be in cold water. 

 

·        Allow top loading washing machines to fill up and begin agitating before you add detergent.  Unless your linens are extremely soiled, use half the commercial detergent recommended; this will reduce damage to fibers and clean your linens just as well. We do not recommend the use of fabric softeners because they coat the fibers making them less absorbent and shorten the life span of your bedding.

 

·        Remove washed bedding promptly from the machine; this helps reduce wrinkling.  Shaking damp linens out before drying (at low heat) will reduce the wrinkles and quicken drying time.  Drying fitted sheets separately from the rest of your bedding will keep your sheets from bunching and wadding, which can make them dry unevenly and wrinkle.

 

·        Shrinkage will occur with all linens made of natural fibers, the amount of shrinkage ranging from four to ten percent, depending on the fibers used.  Most high quality linens are slightly oversized before they are washed to allow for this shrinkage.  Linens washed in hot water or dried at hot temperatures will shrink excessively.

 

·        Washing and drying your linens properly will eliminate many wrinkles, but fine linens made of natural fibers do wrinkle, particularly when new.  As they become older and softer you will find that they wrinkle less.  The use of a good steam iron will make ironing easier.  Avoid using spray starch which has a tendency to adhere to the surface of the iron and may also attract silverfish to stored linens.  If you wish to iron your linens, here :is what we recommend:

 

o   Iron your bed linens while they are still damp.

 

o   If a piece is embroidered ironing on the reverse side will prevent damage to the embroidery.   Placing a pressing cloth or soft smooth layer of fabric over the embroidery before pressing will also help to eliminate puckering around the decorative stitches. 

 

o   Refer to the sewn in label with the universal laundry symbols for the appropriate setting for your iron.  (See chart).

 

·        Store your fine linens flat in a dry place. If the shelves are wooden, line them with paper because some woods, such as cedar, contain oils that can damage your linens. 

 

·        Make sure linens are not exposed to direct sunlight or moonlight to prevent fading. 

 

·        Do not store linens inside plastic or cellophane bags.  Old cotton pillowcases or cotton pillow protectors are perfect for storing a set of sheets.  Fold matching sheets and pillowcases together and place them inside a pillowcase and stack them on the shelf of your linen closet to keep them neat, protected and ready for your bed.   

 

 

 

 

Care of Your Down Products

Always use a duvet cover to protect your down comforter and keep it clean. Use pillow protectors in addition to pillowcases on down pillows and wash them regularly.  Cover featherbeds with featherbed protectors for the same reason, and put your bottom sheet over the featherbed protector. 

 

Comforters, pillows and featherbeds should be fluffed daily to maintain the loft and fullness of the down. 

 

 Down pillows and duvets love the sun.  Spread them out on a sheet on the grass or deck for an airing.  You may also fluff them in a dryer for a few minutes for a quick rejuvenation.

 

A comforter that is properly covered will need to be cleaned very infrequently, about once every five years.  Pillows should be cleaned every two years or so.  

 

We do not recommend washing down products at home.  Home laundry systems are generally not designed to handle something as large as a down comforter, or as dense as a down pillow.  If a comforter should open while being washed in your home, the down could cause your plumbing to clog resulting in a flood of water in your home.  There is not room enough in your dryer for the comforter to move freely. 

 

We do recommend using a professional cleaner who will launder (not dry clean) your comforter.  Scandia Home has a facility built exclusively for this type of care, as does Blanc Plume. Silk comforters however will need to be dry cleaned. 

 

Remember that improper cleaning or the accumulation of soiling and stains may cause premature wear and void the warranty coverage.  In addition there are some stains such as mold or mildew or fire damage that cannot be cleaned or removed.

 

Storing Down Products

When down products are not in use it is important that they are kept in a dry place.  Mildew and mold can ruin a down comforter or pillows so make sure your down products are completely dry before storing them.  

 

Don’t store your down in plastic.   If you don’t have a fabric storage bag for your down, wrap it in cotton, like a duvet cover, cotton pillow protector or featherbed protector.  When cooler temperatures arrive your down will be cozy and fluffy with just a shake or two. 

Doctor’s orders: Sleep with us!

Why we believe our VibrantHealth™ Organic Sleep System is the right choice for today and the future.

Today more than ever, consumers want their purchases to reflect a sensibility about the environment and a commitment to a lifestyle that sustains our earth and promotes good health and wellbeing. We wanted a sleep system that provided a good night’s sleep, without harmful toxins, and with a quality and design that reflected the authenticity and lasting value that our customers want. In other words, a mattress that would be a good investment financially and also great for their well being

Our determination to help our customers achieve a healthier more vibrant lifestyle lead to the development of the VibrantHealth Sleep System™. We selected a manufacturer that has been a pioneer in the specialty sleep industry for 40 years, and is a recognized leader in the industry as far as the healthful aspects and technology of sleep. The result: a revolutionary, purely natural sleep system that combines therapeutic benefits and unparalleled comfort to provide a more recuperative sleep.

Strict standards have been imposed on the manufacturing process resulting in the next generation of truly natural mattress and foundations.

  • All latex, wool and cotton used in our mattresses are nontoxic, pesticide and chemical free. Our mattresses are hypoallergenic.
  • The purest latex cores in the world are harvested in Shri Lanka from the sap of the Havea Brasiliensis or common rubber tree. The sap can be harvested 180 days of the year by tapping the tree much like the harvest of maple syrup. The tree heals within an hour of the tapping. The sap is whipped into foam which is used in our mattresses. The foam is graded by density to ensure consistency and long lasting comfort. The closed cell structure of the latex repels dust, dead skin, pollen and dust mites.

§ Organic Wool is a very important part of our sleep system and only 100% pure organic wool is used. Our wool is produced on organic sheep farms in Northern California and Texas.
Wool naturally snuffs out flames and exceeds the most stringent flame resistance standards, making the use of caustic chemicals unnecessary.* Wool contains lanolin, a natural substance that prevents the nesting and feeding of dust mites. It also retains its comfy loft and provides insulation to provide cool air flow in the summer and warmth in the winter. Most important, wool automatically adjusts to changing body temperatures, successfully preventing sleep interruption.

  • Our custom designed 100% organic cotton ticking covers every mattress, allowing it to “breathe”. The quilting pattern is spaced to provide an incredibly smooth and comfortable organic cotton cover that has the feel of fine cotton sheeting.
  • All our mattresses have a long lasting 10 to 20 year warranty.

* We developed our organic VibrantHealth™ Sleep System because we believe our customers deserve the most healthful and recuperative sleep possible. Sleeping for eight hours each night on a mattress full of caustic chemicals professed to make them fire resistant isn’t healthful. This belief was recently validated buy some investigative reporting done by the Chicago Tribune, which recently prompted the state of California to change their law on flame retardants. Read all about it Playing with Fire.

image012-2Toppers and Feather Beds

We can top off your current mattress for a more comfortable sleep. If your mattress is free of sags and body impressions, but just seems a bit too firm, we can help. We have a variety of mattress pads, toppers and luxurious feather beds that will cradle your whole body. Our wool pads and toppers can cool off a mattress that generates heat, or simply help someone who sleeps hot and needs an insulator that helps to cool you down, and wicks away moisture for an uninterrupted sleep.

The Right Pillow

The second most important element on your bed is your personal sleeping pillow. Most of us don’t sleep in the same position all night, however the rule of thumb for choosing sleeping pillows is: Soft for stomach sleepers, Medium for back sleepers and Firm for side sleepers. Start with the position in which you fall asleep. It is quite normal for one person to have two or more pillows for a comfortable night’s sleep. Whatever it takes to make you comfortable, it is well worth it.

image013-2There is little that compares to our 100% White Goose Down pillows for resting your weary head. We have a variety of sizes in sleeping pillows: Standard (20” x 26”), Queen (20” x 30”), and King (20” x 36”) that you can choose in soft, medium or firm, in five different quality levels. We also have 26” square Euros, 12” x 16” Boudoirs, and Neck Roll Bolsters that come in all goose down, curly white goose feather or down-free substitute. We also have wonderful body pillows. They are 22” x 72” and are made for side sleepers to hug and throw their leg over. It alleviates pressure on the lower back and joints for a comfortable sleep. We will be happy to help you figure out the best combination for you.

image014The Right Comforter

Sleeping under a down comforter is like sleeping under a warm cloud. Our comforters come in all sizes from twin to luxury king, and in summer, year-round and winter weights. We have a variety of price points based on the quality of down and the different fabric covers. All of our comforters are baffle-box construction, so the down won’t shift, and there are no cold spots. All have the same lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects.

The factors to consider when choosing your down comforter are:

  • What climate do you live in, and how cool do you keep your bedroom? A summer weight comforter might be perfect all year long in warmer climates, but if you keep your bedroom chilly, you may need a warmer comforter, even in the summer.
  • Do you want to feel warm without heavy covers, or do you prefer feeling the weight of covers on you? Because we have a variety of comforters to choose from you can stay toasty warm with a comforter that weights very little, or be tucked in to a heavier version.
  • Do you sleep alone or with a partner? It is quite common for couples to have different needs when it comes to sleeping temperature. Sometimes a compromise is best, but we do have a Couple’s Comforter that is lighter on one side and heavier on the other when individual needs are paramount.

What is a comfortable night’s sleep worth to you? Averaged out over the number of years you can expect to sleep on the right mattress and pillow and under the right comforter, it may not be as expensive as you think. It is an investment in your health and well-being. Sleep well, live well is our motto. Let it be yours.

The Expert’s Guide to Choosing the Perfect Bedding for a Good Night’s Sleep

If you are one of the chosen few who have never experienced insomnia, you can stop reading here. If, however, you are like most of us and have had nights of tossing, turning, trying to find a comfortable position, the perfect level of quiet, darkness, and peace of mind for a good night’s sleep, read on. We can help. We have been in the business of creating perfect sleep environments for over thirty years, and while we may not have all of the answers, we do know a lot about comfort and sleep. Like most things, it all begins with a good foundation.

The Right Mattress

image010-2

What is the state of your current mattress? Chances are if it is over six years old, it doesn’t feel the same as it did when you first bought it. It may have developed body impressions, or it may sag around the edges. In addition to the aging of your mattress, consider that you have aged as well. Think about how your body feels and all the changes you may be experiencing compared to five or ten years ago. Ask anyone over forty and they can tell you that they feel more aches and pains than when they were younger. Consider age related aches and pains or old injuries that may require support and more cushioning.
Choosing a mattress is very personal. Here are some guidelines to help you make the best decision for your sleeping comfort:

What type of sleeper are you, back, side or stomach?

Back and stomach sleepers are generally more comfortable on a flatter and harder mattress. Side sleepers require a little softer mattress to allow the hips and shoulders to sink in, allowing the mattress to support the side and therefore keeping the spine straight.

Do you have problems with pressure points?

If you have pressure point problems, a softer mattress may be better. Adding extra cushioning like the 1 ½ inch pad adds extra comfort.

Do you think you want a mattress as firm as the floor?

Most people who feel this way don’t sleep all night on the floor. If you are one of the rare ones who can do this comfortably, then our hardest latex mattress would be an ideal choice. Most people need more cushioning. Consider that you need to lie comfortably on the mattress for 6 to 8 hours at a time.

What is your body type?

Generally people with more curves need a softer, more cushioned mattress than someone with fewer curves.

Do you like a flat surface or do you want to feel like the mattress gently holds you?

Latex gives the most solid, flat feel of our mattresses. To get the feeling that a mattress gently holds you, consider our coil construction, or adding a topper for cloud nine comfort without sacrificing support.

Do you sleep hot?

Everyone loses moisture when sleeping. Some people sleep hotter than others. If you are the type who sleeps hotter, wool is the perfect insulator. Wool will wick away moisture and provide a more comfortable sleeping environment.

What is your climate? Where do you live?

In areas that are hotter and more humid, mold and mildew are a concern. Latex and wool are better choices for these areas.

Understanding Sleep – And How to Get Your 40 Winks

“That we are not much sicker and much madder than we are is due exclusively to that most blessed and blessing of all natural graces, sleep.” Aldous Huxley

So what is sleep anyway? We all know that we need it. For some of us sleep is elusive. We toss and turn, trying to turn off our brains so that sleep can over provide the respite we need from our busy lives. For some lucky people, sleep is almost a reflex or conditioned response: Head on pillow = zzzzz. Where do you fall in the sleep spectrum?

Sleep is a state of unconsciousness from which one can be aroused. Sleep is essential for the normal, healthy functioning of the human body. It’s a complicated physiological phenomenon that scientists are still trying to fully understand.

Sleep was once thought to be a passive state. It is now known that our brains are active during sleep. While we rest our brains stay busy overseeing a wide variety of biological tasks that keep us running in top condition and prepare us for the day ahead.

There are four stages of sleep:

  • Stage N1 (Transition to Sleep) – This stage lasts about five minutes. Eyes move slowly under the eyelids, muscle activity slows down and you can be easily awakened.
  • Stage N2 (Light Sleep) – This is the first stage of true sleep, lasting from 10 to 25 minutes. Eye movement stops, heart rate slows and body temperature decreases.
  • Stage N3 (Deep Sleep) – You are difficult to awaken, and if awakened you do not adjust immediately and feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes. In this deepest stage of sleep, brain waves are extremely slow. Blood flow is directed away from the brain and towards the muscles, restoring physical energy.
  • REM Sleep (Dream Sleep) – About 70 to 90 minutes after falling asleep, you enter REM (Rapid Eye Movement) where dreaming occurs. Eyes move rapidly. Breathing is shallow. Heart rate and blood pressure increase. Arm and leg muscles are paralyzed.

Tips for Better Sleep

There are many tips that will help you get a good night’s sleep every night. Take a look and see which ideas may pertain to you and try out a variety of sleep-promoting techniques. You may discover your own personal formula for a good night’s sleep.

  • Set a regular bedtime, even on week-ends.
  • Wake up at the same time every day (yes, even on week-ends).
  • Nap to make up for lost sleep, rather than sleeping late. Be smart about napping. Don’t sleep so long that you can’t sleep at night. Nap in the early afternoon, and only nap for about 30 minutes.
  • Make your bedroom more sleep friendly:
  • Stay away from big meals at night. Heavy or spicy meals may keep you up or cause stomach trouble or heartburn.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed. It reduces sleep quality, waking you up later in the night
  • Cut down on caffeine, especially after lunch.
  • Avoid drinking too many liquids in the evening to eliminate frequent bathroom trips.
  • Quit smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant which disrupts sleep.
  • Get anxiety and stress in check. If you are feeling anxious try taking deep slow breaths, making each breath deeper than the last and slowly exhaling completely. You may also try progressive muscle relaxation, starting with your toes by consciously tensing and relaxing your muscles, and work your way up to the top of your head. Another relaxation method is to visualize yourself in a place or activity that your find calming, concentrating on how relaxed it makes you feel.

If you still can’t sleep, don’t worry about it. “Sleep doesn’t happen when you are trying too hard”, says Tracy Kuo, PH. D., Insomnia Specialist, Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic. “If you can’t sleep, try occupying yourself with any activity that is both engaging and relaxing, where you can be absorbed enough that you forget about sleep. When I can sleep, I accept at that moment that sleep isn’t possible for me. That frees me. Then I get out of bed and do whatever I feel like; read, fold clothes, organize my closet. I do this in dim light and quiet. I don’t attempt to go back to bed until my eyes are rolling down, closing on me.”

Where To Start When You’re Starting Over : 10 Tips to Designing Your New Home

With comments from Clients Renee Grissom of Renee Grissom Design and Jan Kyle of Jan Kyle Design

1. Determine which pieces that you already own that you want to keep. You may have favorite pieces of furniture, art or accessories that you want to include in your new home.

2. The style of your new home vs. your style: Do you want to stay true to the style of your home, be it Cape Cod or Mediterranean, or do you like to mix it up? Either can be done with success, but both will take some discipline and planning.

10 Tips 1.1

3. Determine what you want the overall feel of your house to be. Do you want it to be formal or relaxed, light & airy or warm and cozy? Figuring this out will help when it comes to choosing textiles and colors.

4. Choose a color palette before painting anything. It is far easier to take a painting or textile to the paint store for a match than it is to coordinate everything around a wall color. Find a fabric you love for the focal point of the room, be it bedding or a sofa, or focus on the colors in a favorite painting, and choose your palette accordingly.

Renee Grissom of Renee Grissom Design suggests that, “Another option for a color palette could be to stay with basic neutrals such as whites and ivories, beiges, charcoals, etc., and make the art and rugs the focus of the color. Any kind of two or three color story will get tiresome after some time has passed, and could tend to look dated.”

However, even neutrals can run warm or cool, and shades can lean more to green, pink, or yellow in tint, and should be chosen with care in the light of your home.

5. When remixing favorite pieces don’t be afraid to use pieces for a new purpose. For instance, a favorite chest can become the base for a vessel sink, or a low bookcase can be used behind a sofa instead of a console table to provide extra storage or display space.

6. Think in terms of investment when buying new pieces. The easiest way to be eco-friendly is to buy things that you will have for years, possibly generations to come. Quality upholstery can be recovered rather than disposed of, and well-constructed wood pieces can be refinished or painted to give them new life.

10 Tips 2.2

7. Don’t be afraid to get rid of furniture, rugs and accessories that won’t work in your new space. If you don’t have anyone to give them to, and don’t want to go through the hassle of selling them, there are wonderful places where they can be donated, and you can get a nice tax deduction. Many of them will come to your house and take them away, such as Sleepy Head Beds for mattresses. You can do an online search for organizations in your area that take furniture donations and support a cause that you believe in.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Few people can take on the daunting task of merging an existing home into a new one on their own. The best designers and retail sources will be happy to work together to help you through the process. However, make sure your voice is heard, and that your likes, dislikes, needs and lifestyle are the basis for the design scheme in your new home.

Jan Kyle of Kyle–Wells Design adds, “Contrary to the conception that professional design services are expensive, a good designer will actually save you money by keeping you from making expensive mistakes, and can make your vision a reality. So often, before we can really start, we need to spend time correcting design mistakes that never would have happened if we had been on board in the first place. Remember that with a designer you can set a reasonable budget and will give permission before any purchases are made on your behalf.

It’s all about planning and working together as a team. Choose a designer whose work you admire, (designers who are published in magazines are most likely to have the talent and professionalism you need), and call them for a consultation.”

9. Sometimes it is necessary to work with existing material choices, such as tiles, millwork finishes, floors etc. There are times when those materials are neutral enough to become part of the backdrop. Other times the color choices may be more pronounced and run contrary to what you have in mind. When that happens it can be possible to incorporate those colors in small ways that bridge the gap and pull the room together. A decorative pillow, throw or accessory that mixes an unfortunate green with the pale blue that you love can be the answer.

10. Details; the difference between furnished and finished. The walls are painted, the rug is on the floor and the furniture is arranged according to traffic flow and feng shui tradition. Why doesn’t it feel right? It’s the details; accessories, artwork, lighting and personal artifacts that make a house your home.

image007-2

Renee Grissom of Renee Grissom design says, “I like to tell clients that the accessories and artwork are like the make-up and jewelry that a woman would put together with a beautiful evening gown! I encourage the accessories to be thoughtful, such as books, photos in beautiful frames, family heirlooms – pieces that actually mean something. It will look less authentic if one just goes out and buys “stuff” to put everywhere. Also, every table and corner should not have something in it or on it. Negative space helps create the focus on the important pieces.”