1 EAGLETON NOTES: On Duvets

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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

On Duvets

Duvets are one of the most intriguing and best things ever invented.

Some facts:

Our first duvet was bought when duvets were still a novelty: in 1969 in a Scandinavian bedroom shop in Shandwick Place, Edinburgh. (Sorry but as I could actually remember that I wasn't going to waste it).

As Frances said recently if you put a duvet cover into a washing machine (or a tumble drier for that matter) everything else ends up inside it.

The theory of getting a duvet cover onto a duvet (or a duvet into a duvet cover depending on which way you do it) is easy. The practice is not.

IKEA used to produce duvet covers with the most useful of designs whereby one can put one's hand into the 'closed' end of the duvet cover to draw the duvet into it. See pic. Why did they stop doing that? Why has no-one copied the idea?

Duvets are a superb relationship guide. When you stop having fun and laughing when you jointly try and put a duvet and a cover together to form a single item, then your relationship is not what it should be.

36 comments:

  1. I'm not answering or even commenting relevantly but who in their right mind would buy a duvet cover? You buy a duvet and when it gets a bit doggy and Adrian whiffy you ditch it and get a new one. They cost less than the covers.

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    1. Well that's certainly one way of doing it Adrian.

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    2. Frances, no not disgusting. My sister took a couple of duvets for dry cleaning because some Swiss girls had slept under them. I don't think the nationality was relevant but it costs within a pound to clean one as it does to get a pristine new one.
      Practical is what I am. Okay I'm a bit smelly as well.

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  2. I have to say when you are fighting to get a duvet cover on by yourself, Adrian's method of 'ditch the duvet' and get a new one has a certain appeal....if only they came with covers on already!

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    1. Ah Serenata I'm glad I'm not alone.

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  3. I don't think I've ever had or even seen a duvet cover without those extra holes to put your hands through. And I've been using such covers since the 1960s too. If I got one without slits at the top I'd probably go back to the shop and complain!

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    1. The Scandinavians obviously have this design down to a fine art. I wonder why I can't find them in the UK. Perhaps there is a Scandinavian shop in London. I must investigate.

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    2. I did a google search in Swedish, and found a 5 minutes soundclip with a discussion of this very issue from a Swedish local radio station from the beginning of January this year. Someone had called in to a program being very irritated about finding new duvet covers from Ikea missing those holes... So the radio station had interviewed a resposible executive at Ikea about why. He explained it as an adjustment to international standard, which he claimed to be no holes at the top. Apparently, it is only in Sweden that we are used to having the holes; while American customers for example made complaints to Ikea when there WERE holes. So that's why Ikea decided to make all their duvet covers without the holes. Maybe you should email Ikea and send them a link to this blog post! :)
      For my own part I don't think I ever bought any duvet covers from Ikea: and can only hope, I suppose, that other Swedish manufacturers continue to make them like Swedish customers (and a few others) want them!!

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  4. I didn't know there were such things, either. Lets hope someone in the know sees your post and brings them back!

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    1. Frances perhaps a few letters here and there might sow a seed somewhere.

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  5. I make my own duvet covers and I like them as I try to change the look of the bedcovers and window covers as the season dictates. I put snaps all along the bottom and have a way to pin the top of the duvet to the cover. So I start with the cover inside out, pin the duvet to four places at the top and then just roll the cover down until it is right side up and then snap it up. See? Easy peasy!

    My little puppy's name is Duvet, by the way, and I don't put him under the cover.

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    1. Peace I know from your blog that you are very talented with a needle and thread (and doubtless many other things too) and this is just further evidence in my eyes.I had never thought of the pinning or clipping idea. I shall try that. I shall start by using pegs I think. Duvet is certainly a novel name for a puppy. Imagine hanging your duvet on the washing line to dry and then calling in the puppy from the garden (yard). Conjures up quite an image.

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  6. I had no idea that duvets existed back in the 60s! I learned about them when I started watching HGTV. I have enough trouble putting my pillows into shams to care to take on a duvet. I wonder why Ikea stopped making them the way they did. Too good an idea?

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    1. I think, Norma, that the idea probably started in Scandinavia and speed down through the rest of Europe and arrived here in the UK before crossing the pond to the US of A. That's just my theory of course. I'd like to know why IKEA has stopped them in the British market too and whether that's the same in all IKEA's.

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  7. I have used duvets ever since I slept on one from Norway in the late 60's - felt like I was sleeping under a fluffy cloud. All my children have grown up using them too. My latest version is a proper goose down extravaganza and I would not be ditching that in a hurry so a clean cover is essential - and I love changing the room with a variety of covers too. I turn it inside out, reach into the far two corners, then grab top and bottom corners of the duvet and pull duvet cover over the filling - quick and easy - but yes an effort for one with a large bed! quite true about the fun for two to do it - good observation GB!

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    1. Fiona I think that the filling of a duvet is so important for the perfect sleep. Like you my winter one is goose down (and like you I wouldn't want to be replacing it too often) although it is 15tog I used to prefer a bit more weight and also have one with duck feather and goose down which is only 13tog but psychologically feels warmer (silly I know!). In the summer I use a much lighter synthetic fibre one.

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  8. I've just had a look and think I could unpick the bottom of my duvet cover and put in a couple of those hand openings. What a brilliant idea, I wonder why the rest of the world hasn't adopted it. Do the manufacturers want us all to be Adrians?

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    1. Yes Pauline if I knew someone with your skills I'd have asked them to do that for me ages ago. A world of Adrians. Now there's a thought.

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  9. Like you I can remember a time before duvets. In the wintertime our beds were weighed down with a top sheet, a couple of blankets, an eiderdown and a candlewick bedspread on top. It is a wonder we had the strength to get out of bed in the morning and making said bed was a nightmare. Didn't we used to call a duvet a "continental quilt"? But which continent I wonder?

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    1. YP we never had candlewick bedspreads although one of our neighbours had pink ones everywhere (or so it seemed to me). On top of my bed on top of the eiderdown on top of the blankets I had a tartan rug as a child and I still have it to this day. We did call them 'continental quilts'. I had forgotten that. But then people used to go on holiday to 'the continent'. I can't recall that term being used for years. Although, having said that I think Michael Portillo did a programme on 'Great Continental Train Journeys'. Hmmm.

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  10. In Australia, we call them a "Doona". I remember when my Mum bought all of us 5 children our first Doonas back in the mid 70's. It was a welcome gift as we no longer had to get the bed sheet and blankets tucked in neatly... just a quick shake and straighten.

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    1. I've never heard that term Liz. They are one of life's everyday luxuries though in so many ways.

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  11. like the poster said above, it's easy to put a cover on a duvet. Just turn the cover inside out, put your hands (and arms) inside the duvet and grab hold of the corners at the top. then grab the corners of the duvet and roll the cover down. I still can't understand why only a few of us know that trick.

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    1. Julia (Good to see you by the way. I never did find what ever it was at the top of my road). I know the theory of mating duvets and their covers. I could give lessons on it. I just can't do it!

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  12. My duvet is as essential to me as are the shower, my computer, bread and cheese, books and chocolate. In other words, I would not be the same without my duvet! To change the sheet, duvet cover and pillow case on my bed is something I don't even think about - I just do it. I have both types of duvet cover, with the slits at the top and without them. Going to bed with freshly changed sheets is one of the small, nonetheless intense, pleasures of life for me.

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    1. Meike you will understand just how I feel this morning when I say that my central heating is playing up; the linked hot water system isn''t working; I forgot to put the immersion heater on; and my broadband is so slow dial-up would be faster. If I were very wealthy I would have fresh sheets every day! That would be luxury. In the meantime I'm just thankful that I have all of these things to go wrong and that I have a bed to sleep in at all.

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  13. I don't need a duvet here, but I do love the delicate floral pattern on yours.
    "Duvets are a superb relationship guide"....never knew this, but it is an interesting concept.

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    1. Virginia I love the heat but not at night. I like the house toast in the winter but I always keep my bedroom cool.

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  14. Two of our duvet covers have the extra holes to put your hand in, but I got them in random places so I can't recommend a brand I'm afraid. Hopefully the trend is catching on in the UK - it's now a disappointment when we put on a cover that doesn't have them.

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    1. Hmm. I shall have to do some investigating Helen.

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  15. It seems that the term used to describe the hand holes is "swift swap" and if you google it there are a number of sellers including some on amazon. I'd no idea that was what it was called.

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    1. Thanks for that information Helen. It would never even have occurred to me that they might have had a special name.

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  16. I think all duvet covers should have zips. I still hang on to one of our first ever duvet covers because it is so wonderful having a zip instead of all those silly little poppers, when it comes to putting it in the washing machine!

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    1. A zip! Now i've never seen or even thought of that. Pure decadence. All those minutes saved from fiddling wit buttons or in some cases apparently poppers).

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