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Old 15.04.2009, 18:04
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Question about bedding

OK, I have been good and haven't had a stupid question for five days, but I'm confused about the duvets hanging out of the windows. Have these been recently washed and are hanging out to dry? Or, are people just "airing" these duvets? And, if the answer is the latter, why do the duvets need "airing"?

The reason I ask is because we have shipped over one too few beds and corresponding bedding and will have to buy one new bed and bedding while we are here. This will be my first duvet experience. (Remember, I'm originally from South Carolina, where it is very, very hot). So, what is proper duvet etiquette?

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Old 15.04.2009, 18:09
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Re: Question about bedding

I hang ours out on sunny days just so they can get some fresh air. I think Swiss people have a "winter" and "summer" duvet, we use ours all year long. I think most people dry clean them between seasons as well.

I've never had much luck washing it in my machine - it takes forever to dry and is never the same. I'd rather pay 80 CHF to clean it 2x a year then have to buy new ones all the time.

Just make sure it's not hanging so low it will fall or cover the window below you!
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Old 15.04.2009, 18:15
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Re: Question about bedding



what she said is bang on the money! (c;

if you are close to Max Bill Platz Oerlikon then the cleaners there is offering 55CHF for duvet + pillow!
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Old 15.04.2009, 18:26
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Re: Question about bedding

We have two duvets - winter and summer. Putting them outside in winter ( below zero is best ) is good for killing any bugs. But we just make sure we plump them up, and keep them in shape. Dry clean only if coffee, tea or "bodily fluids" cause a stain. Otherwise, it isn't necessary.

Been doing this for twenty years and we're not dead yet.
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Old 15.04.2009, 18:31
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Re: Question about bedding

Got it. Now, another question. Am I supposed to wash the duvet cover as often as would normally wash my top sheet at home? In other words, I usually change/wash the sheets once a week. I use a bottom fitted sheet and a top, flat sheet. Since they don't use top sheets here, the duvet cover is next to your skin, so do I treat the cover just like a "top sheet"?

(I realize that probably only American ex-pats are going to understand what I'm talking about when I refer to two sheets. Sorry to be so confusing to the rest of you!)
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Old 15.04.2009, 18:33
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Re: Question about bedding

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Been doing this for twenty years and we're not dead yet.
LOL, what about the number of duvets?
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Old 15.04.2009, 18:34
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Re: Question about bedding

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We have two duvets - winter and summer. Putting them outside in winter ( below zero is best ) is good for killing any bugs. But we just make sure we plump them up, and keep them in shape. Dry clean only if coffee, tea or "bodily fluids" cause a stain. Otherwise, it isn't necessary.

Been doing this for twenty years and we're not dead yet.
I was typing as you were typing and now I'm alarmed. Are you talking about bedbugs that get in the duvets?
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Old 15.04.2009, 18:35
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Re: Question about bedding

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(I realize that probably only American ex-pats are going to understand what I'm talking about when I refer to two sheets. Sorry to be so confusing to the rest of you!)
nope, the micks/paddys will get it too! (c;

i treat it like a top sheet too and wash as regularly as i would the top sheet if it were there.
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Old 15.04.2009, 18:37
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Re: Question about bedding

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Got it. Now, another question. Am I supposed to wash the duvet cover as often as would normally wash my top sheet at home? In other words, I usually change/wash the sheets once a week. I use a bottom fitted sheet and a top, flat sheet. Since they don't use top sheets here, the duvet cover is next to your skin, so do I treat the cover just like a "top sheet"?

(I realize that probably only American ex-pats are going to understand what I'm talking about when I refer to two sheets. Sorry to be so confusing to the rest of you!)
We wash our duvet covers every week aswell as our sheets (i love the feeling of fresh bedding on our bed.

We also put our duvets out to air to let them breath they smell better after
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Old 15.04.2009, 19:33
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Re: Question about bedding

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(I realize that probably only American ex-pats are going to understand what I'm talking about when I refer to two sheets. Sorry to be so confusing to the rest of you!)
I'm British and I remember being imprisoned under a topsheet plus duvet for years - must've been so hot! Have managed with the one sheet ever since. In the days before tumble dryers (and womens lib!), you would have to iron the duvet cover, so I guess it's less of a pain to iron a second sheet.

We never aired them out of the window though, probably on account of the rain You'd think they'd get filthy from the wall...
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Old 15.04.2009, 21:04
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Re: Question about bedding

I remember when we got our first duvets, my brother (he was about 7 at the time) went upstairs to bed and my mother went up after about 10 mins to say goodnight .......she came back and suggested we also go up to see him .......

He had obviously had a look at the "new" style bedding and was not sure of the procedure .....so he had turned it round , undone the poppers and got inside ! it still makes me laugh when I think about it now .....
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Old 19.04.2009, 10:56
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Re: Question about bedding

There is actually a science to duvets. These all need considering when purchasing a duvet. First you need to choose natural or synthetic. If you are allergic to birds, you will be allergic to feather or down and should go for the synthetic, if you have problems with dust mite allergy, you should try to get a natural one as the cambric weft is packed so tight that the mites don't penetrate into the filling, or not as much.

The natural fibre will snuggle around your body (the drape) and so better for those who feel the cold and the synthetic ones arch over the body, which allows air to circulate.

The "tog" rating, is also the same for both natural and synthetic as refers to measure of density which then creates warmth. Low tog 4.5 is considered summer weight, a 10.5 tog would be fine up to autumn or those who get hot in bed. The most common all round tog value is between 12 and 13.5. A 15 tog is very very warm.

So, the natural options.
These can be between duck and goose and feather or down (Or a combination of both). There are also wool options too. Most common are the goose and duck. Goose is better than duck, the structure of the feather is more robust and the down traps in more air, and so is cosier.

The colder the climate the goose came from means it will produce a better quality down, so Siberian, Hungarian and some parts of China produce the most expensive fillings.

Then the mix ranges from 100% down to 100% feather, reading the label here, as there is no such thing as a "bargain" duvet. If the label reads "down and feather" it has a higher percent of down to feather, if the label says "feather and down" it is more feather. Feathers have spines that can prickle and make the duvet weigh more. They also do not trap in as much air so are not as efficient as the down duvets.

These duvets can be laundered with mild soap but MUST be tumble dried in a dryer large enough to allow them to turn round fully. Put in something that will knock the duvet about... Tennis balls are ideal and I have been known to throw in an some old slippers that worked well too!

This is much better than dry cleaning as the chemicals will eventually degrade the structure of the filling. These birds lived on water, so the feather/down can cope well with washing with water.

Shaking and airing allows stale are to be removed and fresh air to be trapped between the strands of down. If you don't air, shake daily. Plus we lose a lot of sweat at night so airing helps the duvet dispel the moisture.

Synthetic duvets.
The price gives away the quality here. We have all slept in cruddy hotels where the synthetic duvet has seen better days and is one mass of about 1 inch thickness. Better synthetic fillings are coated with silicone which, for a while, prevents this flattening happening. This goes for sheets of filling that are stitched or the tiny snowballs of filling that they market as "clusters" that mimic the natural feel better. Washing removes the silicone and so shortens the life of the duvet considerably. As a rule of thumb, the higher the price the more silicone and longer the duvet will last.

Last thing, manufactures are not daft, they only put 15 year guarantees on products they know are going to last much longer. Expect a good, well shaken and aired down duvet to last 20 or more years. You will be lucky to get 5 years out of even the best synthetic one.

Gal xx
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Old 19.04.2009, 11:20
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Re: Question about bedding

We have good quality synthetic and feather/goose down ones - with the central heating here I've not even brought our feather ones out...

We're Australian and we definitely use two sheets (bottom fitted, top flat) plus doona covers, and I wash the covers and sheets together - every 10 days as we have a washing schedule!

I would air the doonas outside in the sun on washing day if the weather is good...I also shake them when I do this...if you are a sweaty kind of person then the doona gets a bit damp - airing helps to reduce the damp and possibly mould, and I like to think it also gives the dust mites a challenge...

I have bought cheap synthetic doonas (duvets) for my children, and these make it through the wash (for hygiene reasons) and the dryer - but only the 'single' size (90-100 wide)...a double would be too big to dry properly in the dryer and I don't trust them to dry fast enough naturally to prevent mould growth...also I hope the heat from the dryer also improves the hygiene.

The thing that has annoyed us completely after arriving is the multitude of bed, pillow and bedding sizes - we used to have just what we call 'single' and 'queen' size - now we have single, bigger single, double, queen and short and long pillows and covers ! - no thanks to Ikea for compounding our problem...

Oh, and my advise (unless you can afford to pay someone to do your ironing) is to buy poly-cotton not 100% cotton - the ikea stuff is usually 100% cotton - crispy and creases like crazy, and the ones we bought had no press-studs or buttons so the duvet/doona falls out...luckily I have a press-stud machine so it's a 5-10 minute job to remove the 'ties' and put studs on instead...
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Old 19.04.2009, 11:32
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Re: Question about bedding

You can get cotton filling too - so you have another choice between feathers and synthetic.

Beware: if you go to IKEA then the duvet and bed cover and pillow sizes are different to the Swiss norm. So you will have to buy the covers from the same place (or the French who go for the same sizes - e.g. see La Redoute). So you need to think if you want to stick with IKEA/French design for the next decade or so, or go for Swiss designs.

IKEA norm is 140 cm width, whereas the Swiss norm "Nordic Duvet" is 160cm width.

For the pillows especially watch out: the Swiss norm "Pfulmen" being 60 x 100cm, the IKEA pillows are alot smaller - I think half the size.

Re. feather / down: look out if the feathes were plucked while the birds were still alive or dead. Sorry, if you're squeamish - but it's best to know. Here's a link to an article. from Tierschutznews.ch (no awful pictures, unless there's something in the video - I didn't watch it - the text is enough for me).
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Old 19.04.2009, 11:39
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Re: Question about bedding

yep, beastly bedbugs !!! can happen with feather duvets, you can also bring them to the dry cleaner every once in awhile though.


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I was typing as you were typing and now I'm alarmed. Are you talking about bedbugs that get in the duvets?
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Old 19.04.2009, 12:06
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Re: Question about bedding

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Oh, and my advise (unless you can afford to pay someone to do your ironing) is to buy poly-cotton not 100% cotton - the ikea stuff is usually 100% cotton - crispy and creases like crazy, and the ones we bought had no press-studs or buttons so the duvet/doona falls out...luckily I have a press-stud machine so it's a 5-10 minute job to remove the 'ties' and put studs on instead...

Ooh, where'd you get one of those? We have been putting safety pins on our doona covers. Tres hobo.
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Old 19.04.2009, 13:08
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Re: Question about bedding

Galatea, you seem to know what you're talking about, so I hope you don't mind me asking a question about the feather/down source. Is the down just collected from the nests of baby birds who have grown feathers or is the whole process more sinister than that?

As for bed bugs, ewww, I know two people who have had them and my advice would be to just chuck out (securely, so nobody else 'recycles' it) the duvet (and anything else the bed bugs have been hiding in) and start a-fresh. They're not worth taking the risk over, and the chemicals used to get rid of them once they take a hold are pretty nasty.
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Old 19.04.2009, 14:17
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Re: Question about bedding

Related to bedding: any recommendations where to buy good-quality duvet covers in Zürich area?
Discovered the Fischbacher store in the Rennweg however there duvets cost about 300-400 Francs !
Ideally looking for something still very good, but not over-the-top expensive. Tips are welcome!
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Old 19.04.2009, 15:00
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Re: Question about bedding

Big selection around Zurich - Micasa, Coop city, Jelmoli, Manor all have tableware and linen departments...

Also, we spotted some nice modern designs in Fly.

All on the 'not-so-expensive' end of the range...
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Old 19.04.2009, 15:38
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Re: Question about bedding

You don't want to know :-(


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Is the down just collected from the nests of baby birds who have grown feathers or is the whole process more sinister than that?
 

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