When buying a quilt it is important to first understand the fibres used in the various products, there are basically four categories of fill we use in our quilts:
Feather & Down (a natural product)
Wool (a natural product)
Cotton (a natural product)
Synthetic (a man-made product)
Quilts with natural fillings are soft, light and comfortable and allow your skin to breathe. They are also highly resilient and tend to last longer than those with synthetic fillings. Synthetic is a practical choice if you suffer from allergies, or if your quilt is likely to require frequent washing. A top quality natural filled quilt could last as long as 20 years, whereas the average lifespan of a good quality synthetic will be up to 5 years, depending on how often it is laundered.
NB- the more that a quilt is washed the shorter its effective lifespan as washing is an increased wear and tear on the quilt. Please ensure your washing machine can handle the cubic volume of the quilt prior to washing. The best way to keep your quilt fresh is to frequently air it out, whether that is in gentle sun or just on a verandah. This will help eliminate odour, dry perspiration and kill dust mites.
Feather And Down
Down clusters grow under the outer protective layers of feathers, and are resilient and fluffy with no quill making them very effective insulators.
The higher the percentage of down content to feather, the softer, lighter and loftier/warmer the product will be.
Down in itself has no heat. The fluffy filaments of down interlock and overlap to trap a layer of air that surrounds the body. When you are lying under your quilt it is your body heat that is being reflected back.
Colour has no bearing on the quality of down. Some customers do prefer white filling simply because it does not show through the quilt covering like the flecks in grey fill.
Pillow talk only carry baffle box construction quilts which keeps the filling more even and allows maximum loft which intern increases the insulating qualities of down. Japara cotton is the most commonly used fabric for covering down quilts. It is a fabric that is very tightly woven so the fill is not able escape.
Goose down and feather is slightly more superior than duck as they are from colder climates and are aged longer.
The feather and down used in our quilts is a by-product meaning the birds are first used for their meat – we do not use any live plucking farms.
Benefits of a Down Quilt
- A natural product.
- Provides warmth without weight.
- Each down cluster traps more body heat than synthetic fibres.
- A quilt filled with down moulds itself to the body, is very light and incredibly warm.
- Washable - ensure fully dry before re-use.
- Feather and down quilts should be aired every couple of weeks and shaken daily to keep the quilts shape and ensure longevity. If cared for correctly a down quilt can last for decades.
- Down has the ability to breathe, so the user doesn’t experience the clamminess which often occurs with synthetics.
- Draws away moisture from perspiration for a more comfortable night sleep.
- New down quilts should be aired before use and on a regular basis, especially in the colder months.
- Airing frequently increases the lifespan of Feather and Down quilts and also maintains their freshness.
- Getting wet does not hurt down as long as it's properly dried within a reasonable length of time.
- Dry cleaning is recommended every three to five years depending on how much perspiration has penetrated the quilt. If the cloth is yellowing, cleaning is recommended.
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Wool fibres are similar to a honeycomb that traps millions of microscopic pockets of air. It is this air that keeps us warm during the coldest of Winter nights. In Summer, Wool's other "temperature control" mechanisms take over.
Wool can absorb up to a third of its weight in moisture vapour without feeling clammy. Absorbed moisture can be transmitted through the Wool fibre to the outside of the quilt so that it does not become saturated. Perspiration is allowed to evaporate from the skin helping the body to regulate its temperature (just like an evaporative cooler).
Benefits of Wool Quilts
- Non allergenic.
- Wool is very soft, naturally soil resistant; cleans easily and stays cleaner longer.
- Water repellent - Although Wool can absorb moisture, it repels liquids.
- Fire resistant - Wool is difficult to ignite and does not melt when burned so cannot stick to the skin and cause serious burns.
- Because a Wool quilt has the ability to adjust to the body's temperature it keeps you warm in Winter and cool in Summer. Since you are not waking up too hot or too cold, you have a more restful sleep.
- Wool is extremely durable, long lasting and good choice for children who have a tendency to overheat under other types of quilts.
- A Wool quilt offers a heavier alternative to feather and down but it is still lighter than blankets.
- Wool looks neat on the bed.
Care of Wool Quilts
As always, follow the instructions on the product care label. Generally, Wool quilts can be dry-cleaned and should be aired regularly. This deodorises the quilt and the sunlight will help to kill any dust mites. Spot cleaning is usually OK too. Some Wool products are machine washable. To provide this a shrink resisting treatment is applied during manufacture.
NB- If a Wool quilt is not machine washable, then they must not be machine washed. The Wool will shrink and clump between the quilting pattern and as it is sewn through, the Cotton cover will shrink with the Wool.
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Synthetic fibres are man-made - There are a number of different types of synthetic quilt including Polyester, Microfibre and Dacron.
The different weights, qualities and treatments will usually dictate the price of the quilt.
POLYESTER- Polyester fibre is extensively used in bedding due to its easy care, high loft and light weight construction. It can be crimped to give extra bounce or loft depending on its use. It can also be made into small knobs (Polyester Ball fibre) which have a longer life span.
MICROFIBRE- these fibres are a finer denier than standard Polyester fibres. They provide more loft and have a 'down-like' feel. Our quilts mainly use Microfibre fill- but we blend different denier fibres to provide both loft and softness. Some fibres are crimped which allows the fibres to bounce and retain body.
SILICONE COATED fibres will last longer because the fibres slip over each other and do not compact down as quickly as ordinary Polyester fibres.
Benefits of Synthetic Quilts
- The main advantage is cost; they are generally a lower cost option.
- The better quality fibres are very durable, resilient and comfortable to sleep under.
- Soft, lofty and light providing warmth without weight
- Easy Care - washable, either machine or by hand and they dry quickly.
- Non allergenic
Care of Synthetic Quilts
Air and shake regularly. Wash either by hand or machine. Do not dry clean. See the product care label.
NB: When washing your quilt in a domestic washing machine please ensure that its able to take the cubic capacity of the quilt being washed. Alternatively a Laundromat should have a larger than normal washing machine available.
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Cotton is a natural fibre, renowned for its comfort. Cotton is much cooler than Polyester fibres because it breathes. Cotton quilts come in varying grams per square metre fill: 280gsm for Spring/Summer and 350gsm for Autumn/Winter.
Benefits of Cotton Quilts
- Best for Summer or for people who prefer light-warmth quilts
- A natural fibre
- Has the ability to absorb moisture making Summer nights more comfortable
- Easy to launder - machine washable
- Non-allergenic-so ideal for people with allergies
Care of Cotton Quilts
Depending on the brand, they may be either dry cleanable, machine or hand washable. See the product care label. If machine or hand washing, be sure to square the quilt on the line to keep the quilt from drying out of shape.
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