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Color Stories: Volume 1

Color Stories

 

Volume One

 

Once upon a February morning a woman sat in her beige living room watching an old black & white movie on TCM and sipping dark brown coffee out of a white mug.  She looked out the window at the landscape of her back yard.  Dirty white remnants of the last snow storm collected in small piles on the dormant grass, the trees were bare and the sky was grey.  Her whole world seemed colorless.  She sighed deeply. 

 

“I’ve had enough of this,” she thought, turning off the television and picking up the color issue of her favorite design magazine.  She leafed through the pages.

 

“No,” she muttered to the opulent red and gold French salon, “Too much”.

 

“No,” she mumbled to the grey and lime green minimalist living room, “not enough”.

 

“Ooooh!” she cried taking in the two page spread of spacious bedroom decorated in vibrant blue and white.  “I could live in this.  I mean really live!” she said. 

 

She ripped out the pages, grabbed her purse and headed out into the ‘greige’ world in pursuit of the perfect shade of blue.

 

And this is where the story begins…

 

Ah, the complexities of color.  It’s positively lyrical.  In fact, if Billie Holiday asked the musical question “Am I Blue?” today in the design world, there would be no simple answer. 

 

Colors need descriptive qualifiers.  When someone says Baby Blue, you know what they mean.  That’s why there are so many lipstick and paint colors… one just hopes that the names are meaningful.  (What does Pinky Dink Pink look like anyway?)

 

Benjamin Moore says they have 510 shades of blue, from palest First Snowfall to the very deep Old Navy.  Blue can lean toward greenish hues, like peacock, or those containing more red, like violet. Then there are the ‘true’ blues that are right down the middle but vary in saturation from sky blue to cobalt. There are also greyed blues like Crayola’s Cadet Blue, which is the color of a stormy grey sky.

 

 

 

All of the color these color choices can put you in a blue funk!  So how do you go about finding colors you can live with? 

 

First, find your inspiration:  The lady in our story had the right idea.  She found her inspiration in a magazine, and kept the pages as a starting point. You may find yours in art or something else that speaks to your aesthetic sensibility.  

 

Keep in mind the design principle of 60-30-10.  I don’t know who came up with it, but when it comes to selecting colors for your home, it’s the golden rule (no pun intended).  Here’s how it works: The dominant color in your room should be 60%, secondary color 30% and accent color 10%. 

 

 
Room using  the 60 – 30 – 10 principle

 

Don’t overdo your pallet.  The mix of too many colors can be an awful mess.  Stick with a color scheme like monochromatic (using tones of a single color) or complementary (using colors opposite each other on the color wheel).

 

 
A monochromatic grey room
 
Bedding using a complementary color scheme
 
Choose opposites on the color wheel for a dramatic complementary color scheme

 

After determining your pallet, move on to textiles, fabrics for bedding, upholstery or curtains. Be sure to check out swatches of the fabrics you are drawn to, take them home and see them in the lighting of your home. 

 

 

 

After making your final fabric selections move on to paint colors.  Try them on your walls in patches and view them as the light changes at different times of day next to your fabric choices to be confident that the final outcome is what you intend. 

 

 

 

 

And you’ll live happily ever after 

in your beautifully decorated new room!

 

 

 

Together We Can Make a Difference in a Child’s Life.

The roots of Children’s Mercy Hospital can be traced all the way back to 1897! Two sisters, Dr. Alice Berry Graham and Dr. Katherine Berry Richardson, opened the Free Bed Fund Association of Sick, Crippled, Deformed and Ruptured Children in Kansas City with one bed. Additional children were cared for in outlying homes in the countryside and suburbs of Kansas City. In 1907 ground is broken to construct a hospital, Mercy Hospital, with 50 beds.

Children’s Mercy has always been commited to comprehensive healthcare including academics. In 1910 classroom and even bedside teaching was introduced to help children keep up with school work during extensive stays at the hospital. In the 1920’s Dr. Richardson founded the first research labratory at Children’s Mercy to study childhood disease. Innovative research continued throughout the years and in 2011 the Pediatric Genome Center opens to develop DNA tests to help solve the mystery of genetic diseases.

In the 1930’s the Great Depression put great strain on the financial aspects of running the hospital. Children’s Mercy persevered the financial hardships through the good will of volunteers providing medical and surgical services.

In the 1950’s and 60’s Children’s Mercy opens a social services department to better help families and patients cope with non-medical needs. A Nutrition Services Program is also created to help fight childhood obesity. By 1971 nearly half of patient referrals were due to this issue!

By December of 1970 Children’s Mercy Hospital is located where we know it to be today. Ground breaking treatments and community programs continue to grow due to fundraising and generous donations from people who want to make a differnece in a child’s life. Today Children’s Mercy Hospital has a number of locations throughout the Kansas City area as well as clinics in Wichita.

 

Children’ Mercy Hospital continues to be on of the “Best Children’s Hospitals” in the United States.

Hopefully this very brief look at the history of the hospital will renew an appreciation for the organization and think about the families the hospital serves on a daily basis. We are especially lucky to have such an amazing resource right here in Kansas City. This is why Terrasi European Collections will donate 10% of all sales from Thursday, December 11th through Sunday, December 14th 2014 to Children’s Mercy Hospital. Hopefully together we can help the hospital continue to save lives, develop new treatments, and comfort the families who turn to Children’s Mercy for the best pediatric care in the region.

Together we can make a difference in a child’s life.

 

The Gracious Guestroom

As the holiday approaches, so do the guests.  Holidays are about friends, family, food and experiences.  If you are expecting a huge influx of guests from out of town you’ll want to keep the experiences as free from stress as possible.  After stocking up on the very best food and wine, it’s time to prepare the guest bedroom.  As the least used room in your home becomes very busy, we have developed a checklist that will leave you fully prepared and confident that your guest bedroom deserves a Five Star rating.

anali tailor made

The Bed – The most important element in the room should have:

  1. Soft, smooth, freshly laundered sheets
  2. Fabulous goose down pillows (medium firmness is best for most guests), and firmer feather euro pillows to provide support for those who read in bed
  3. Warmth – a down comforter or snuggly blanket
  4. Lovely top-of-bed ensemble that is neither too feminine nor to masculine
  5. A throw for mid-afternoon naps.

A Place to Sit – If you have the room, a comfy chair in the corner with a small side table that will hold a lamp, book and cup of tea is an inviting place for guests to rest.  If you don’t have the room for chair, a bench at the foot of the bed is great for sitting down to put on shoes or stacking unused pillows and bedding.

bedroom-chairs

A Place for Luggage – a small luggage rack or even a low table of appropriate size is a fabulous addition.  It will be convenient for your guests and save your bedding and other furniture from luggage that has been tossed, handled and may have seen more than a few hotel rooms.

luggage rack

Adequate Lighting – a bedside lamp with a 3-way switch is a must, even if you have overhead lighting.  Small night lights that illuminate s the floor for sleepy shuffles to the bathroom in the middle of the night are inexpensive ways to show your guests that you care about their safety and well-being.

bedside lamp

Reading Material – A little light reading; the latest magazines that are appropriate to your guest’s interest or other books can create a personal retreat for your guests.

stak of books

Scent – Softly scented candles or a scent diffuser (keep it light… nothing too heavy) will keep the room smelling fresh and welcoming.

bitter orange dif

Robes – A pair of one-size-fits-most robes kept freshly laundered and hanging in the guest bath or closet invite your guests to get comfortable.

fairfield robe

Stock the Guest Bath – In addition to a stack of fluffy towels, on your next trip to the drug store stock up on the necessities that your guests may have forgotten to pack:  small guest soaps, a bundle of new tooth-brushes, small travel sized tooth pastes, cotton balls, a hair dryer, assorted bandages, aspirin or other headache remedies, facial tissue, plenty of bathroom tissue, disposable razors and body lotion.

bathroom necessities

Bedside Carafe – A lovely carafe of fresh water with its own drinking glass will make it apparent that you have thought of everything.

bedside carafe

Guest Book – A small guest book is fun.  Guests can jot down the date of their stay along with some notes that make each stay memorable.

guest book

Treats – There’s nothing like a few chocolate chip cookies wrapped in cellophane and tied with a bow to make your guests feel at home.

stack of cookies

Visits always give pleasure — if not the arrival, the departure.

~Portuguese Proverb

Scents of the Season

The Scents of the Season…

Close your eyes and inhale.

Unique, intoxicating and evocative, nothing is more memorable than a smell. A scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood Christmas, fresh baked apple pie or the memory of someone dear.  Find your must-have scent in one of our beautiful candles or diffusers.

 

spicy apple

The Spicy Apple botanical candle is the scent of apple pie cooling on a window sill – a blend of Macintosh apple, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon with sweet tonka bean, vanilla extract, cloves and forest balsam.  As the candle burns a warm glow radiates from within.  Candles are $55 and $88.

 

nest pmpkn chai

Nest’s Pumpkin Chai Candle – You can sip your pumpkin chai latte, or save the calories and scent your home with it – wild pumpkin, spicy Madagascar chai, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon.  Candle $34

 

ej fireside

Woody, smoky and warm, the Elton John Fireside Candle is the scent of smoldering fireside embers, a mix of Madagascar vanilla, exotic woods, smoky embers and juniper berry.  Candle $38

 

ej holiday

The Elton John Holiday Candle is a blend of evergreen and balsam fir needles with rich woods and sparkling citrus.  Proceeds from Elton John’s candles go to his AIDS foundation.  Candle $38

 

nest holiday

Nest’s elegant Holiday collection is a heady combination of pomegranate, Mandarin orange, pine, cloves and cinnamon with a hint if amber and vanilla.  A personal favorite.  Prices start at $14

 

gingerbread

Thymes new Gingerbread candle mixes spicy cardamom, crystallized ginger, golden amber with fresh ground cinnamon  for a candle that evokes memories of Grandma’s home baked gingerbread.  Prices start at $12.50

 

nest birchwood pine

Nest’s Birchwood Pine collection is the scent of a majestic winter forest… white pine, fir, balsam and birch wood over musk and amber.  Prices start at $14

 

frasier fir

Thyme’s Frasier Fir collection is the quintessential Christmas tree scent with a blend of crisp Siberian fir needles, cedar wood and relaxing sandalwood.  If you don’t have a ‘real’ Christmas tree, the scent of this collection will fool everyone.  Prices start at $12.50

branche vermeil

Voluspa’s Branch Vermeil is like an icicle encrusted branch of winter spruce with hints of balsam, citron and sugar in a silvery mercury glass covered jar.  Candles range from $18 to $60

 

 

bitter orange difbitter orange cndl

Bitter Orange from Agraria is like s sip of spicy tea with a zest of bitter orange.  The New York Times called it “…uplifting, mysterious, and androgynous in its appeal”.  An elegant and memorable gift for yourself or someone dear.  Candle $55  Diffuser $120

 

sea pines

Awaken your senses with the Mer-Sea Sea Pines candle.  The crisp scent of pine brings the outdoors in. Perfect everyday, but especially for the holidays.  Candles are $15 and $32.

 

forest cndl

The botanical Forest candle is a complex mixture of citron, golden raspberry, shaved ginger, clary sage, fallen leaves, scotch pine, red cedar, white musk and sandalwood.  The lighted candle glows from within as it burns through its core.  Candles are $55 and $88.

 

Trapp-holiday-candle (1)

Trapp’s Holiday candle is almost drinkable.  An intoxicating blend of cinnamon sticks, spiced rasisns, gingerbread, burbon and vanilla… yummy.  Candle $25

 

Trapp-Orange-clove-candle

Trapp’s Orange Clove candle is a blend of juicy orange, freshly ground clove and cinnamon, like a plump cinnamon roll and a glass of orange juice in one delicious and calorie free whiff.  Candle $25

 

trapp-large-no-3-frankincense-rain-3

Not traditionally categorized as a holiday candle, Trapp’s Frankincense and Rain evokes memories of stepping out of Midnight Mass on a frosty Christmas Eve as a chorus of Silent Night floats on the air.  It’s a blend of frankincense, incense, balsamic spice and Meyer lemon.  Candle $25

 

lafco-skihouse-candle

Lafco’s Feu de Bois (Ski House) candle will whisk you away to a ski lodge perched on a mountain slope.  Outside the wind is blowing the snowflakes side-ways, but you are snug and warm by a crackling fire.  Inhale the scent of burning wood with a hint of mountain spruce… transporting.  Candle $60

 

HH15_champagne_300x240

Pop the cork on Lafco’s Champagne (Penthouse) candle and you won’t mind staying in on New Year’s Eve.  The clean and sparkling scent has notes of ginger, grapefruit, lemon and raspberry.  Cheers!! Candle $60

Too few choices?   This is only the beginning.  Stop in if you can and experience the myriad of forms and fragrances we have to enhance your abode.  You’ll probably find a favorite for every different season.

 

 

 

Luxury Within Reach

LUXURY WITHIN REACH!
Everyday Luxe to Super Luxe – Quality at Any Price Point!

Ursula Terrasi, Owner,
Terrasi European Collections & Scandia Home

We had a nice mention in the Kansas City Star on Sunday, October 12th in STUFF OF LIFECynthia Gregorian, House + Home Editor’s, Stuff of Life article regarding our high quality luxury pillows, comforters, sheets, duvet covers and mattresses. We truly appreciate great PR and being the only locally owned store as part of the article and we have had calls due to her widely read columns. But we thought this would also be a good opportunity to explain that in addition to having the best selection of “super luxe” merchandise in the Midwest and beyond, we also specialize in the best budget conscious, everyday luxe or basic bedding. We love personalizing high/low designs that mix so well.

As a locally owned unique boutique we pride ourselves in personally perusing thru markets (everywhere) to find the best products at the best value for our customers regardless of price point. We continuously search for brands that fit your needs and varied budgets. Whether they are considered everyday basics or luxury, it has to comply with our criteria of enduring style, quality and qualify as a good investment.

It’s unbelievable, but we do have customers that come in and replenish only once every 5 to 10 years or so, not only because of the quality and timeless style, but also because we educate them on how to care for bedding so that it will last longer.

It can be difficult for us to compare our specialty artisan merchandise with national retailers and web sites at times (such as Overstock.com, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Restoration Hardware, and Ikea) as not everything is always spelled out in their printed information and there is often a lot of differentiations, but we sure try to have as much information as possible on hand to explain to our discerning customers.

As an example, the Heavenly Bed from Westin can be compared in some aspects with some of our brands and we do have products close to their price point, but of a much better quality. Another advantage we have is that we are able to offer broad selections from many specialty artisan vendors with whom, over the years, we have forged close relationships; with the owners, designers, sales representatives and in house staff. It sure helps with input and long term servicing of our customers.

So, we took the opportunity to do a little comparison of the Heavenly Bed bedding that was mentioned in the article with ours. You can see it at the end of this post.

When it comes to in-store shopping vs. online shopping, they are very different experiences. We understand the appeal of shopping in your PJ’s from the comfort of your sofa. That’s why we have taken the time and have gone to the expense of updating our website terrasi.com. We hope everyone has the chance to explore, shop and buy from our lovely website. Having said that, it is not the same as visiting our store on the Country Club Plaza, Kansas City’s premier and historic shopping district. Only in the store can you test the pillows lying on our bed while our knowledgeable staff guides you to the perfect choice for you and your good night’s rest. Only in our store can you experience the softness of the sheets, touch the fluffy absorbent towels and smell the intoxicating scent of our candles, soaps and lotions. Would you like a glass of wine while you shop? No problem.

Our philosophy is not about having the least expensive or the most costly, but it’s about the best value for your wallet, what fits your needs, long lasting style, comfort, enhancing your life, a good night sleep and waking up rejuvenated. It’s the reason we have so many choices and brands of bedding from artisans and world class suppliers.

We have a high respect for you and how you spend your money and also for the environment. We are not fans of disposable items and we don’t want you to spend money to buy the same items over and over. So come into our store, visit our wonderful new web site, email us, and call us for expert advice. We are here to answer your questions on design, trends, colors, sizes, send samples etc.

We’ve been here to service you, not only in Kansas City, but the Midwest and beyond for over 30 years, and we plan to stay. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support and friendship. We truly value it!

In a nutshell, here is a quality advantage and price comparison of some of our many product offerings:

Westin Heavenly Bed vs. Terrasi European Collections & Scandia Home

Pillows:
Theirs– 600 Fill Power White Down, 100% cotton, unspecified firmness or ounces $195

OursScandia Home Classic, 600 Fill Power European White Down, 300 Thread Count, 100% Cotton Cambric
Available in: choices of Ultra Soft $120, Soft $150, Medium $180 and Firm $210

Theirs – Down Alternative Pillow, Polyester fiberfill w/cotton cover, unspecified firmness, $45

Ours – Scandia Home Bergen Down Free Pillow, Proprietary cluster-like polyester microfiber called Supra that mimics natural down.
100% Cotton Cambric 300 Thread Count Ticking,
Available in choices of Soft $60, Medium $65, and Firm $70

Comforters:
Theirs – 200 Thread Count, 550 Fill Power White Down, 25 oz. Stitched Through construction 88 x 94 $280

Ours –Scandia Home Copenhagen Light comforter
300 Thread Count, 600 Fill Power European White Down, 27 oz., Baffle Box even temperature construction 90 x 94 $415

Sheets:

We do have cotton sheet sets that include top and bottom sheets plus pillow cases for as little as $199.00 for a queen set.

Mattress:
Ours
We are so proud of our signature organic mattress designed with the assistance of Dr. Brenda Smith, a respected wellness doctor in KC, and here’s why:
They have up to 20 year warranty
Made in USA
All Organic and Chemical Free made of Organic Cotton, Wool and Natural Latex.
Naturally adjusts to changing body temperatures during the night preventing sleep interruption.
Biodegradable/ hypo-allergenic
No Flip or Turn
Naturally Flame Retardant and resistant to dust mites, pollen, mold and mildew
You can choose from solid latex or individually pocketed coils.

The foundations (once known as box springs) are constructed of unvarnished ash by the Amish, and finished with wool and organic cotton to make them flame resistant, and are available in 4” or 8” heights.

Theirs
There’s not much information about the Heavenly Bed mattress, other than it’s a pillow top, made by Simmons in the US. There was no information about materials or construction that was readily available, but it is a different product than our specialty mattresses.

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: