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faq
What is linen?
Linen is considered by many to be the ultimate material for sheeting because it's a very durable, strong fabric and one of the few ones that are stronger wet than dry. It does not stretch and is resistant to damage from abrasion. It is woven from flax and extremely durable. Flax is a vegetable fiber.

Linen breathes, just like skin, it can absorb up to 20% of its own weight in moisture, while still feeling dry to the touch. The perfect pampering product, linen is truly healthy. Linen cannot provoke allergies, it is anti-static and can even help soften and preserve the skin due to its natural pH balance

Linen bed sheets are prized above all others for their amazing comfort, durability and beauty. They are the epitome of coolness and there is nothing to match the way they feel, thanks to linenís temperature-regulating properties. In hot weather, linen absorbs moisture and excess heat, whilst in cool weather it retains body heat. Over time linen becomes softer and even more comfortable.

What is thread count?
Whenever you hear people talking about fine linens, the subject of thread count is bound to come up. Technically, it is a measure of how many threads are woven into one square inch of fabric. It may seem like a small detail, but in fine linens details make a big difference. The higher the thread count, the softer and more comfortable the sheet. Good quality sheets start at 180 thread count, 200 and higher is considered premium. All linen linens and bedding sold at madaspen|home are at 200 thread count or above.

Isn’t all down the same?
Goose down is a much better down than duck down. The larger clusters fluff up to better produce down’s unique insulating quality, which makes you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

What is fill power?
Fill power is a measure of the volume filled by an ounce of down. The greater the fill power, the more the down will loft, or expand and trap air. Pillow inserts of the same weight may have different fill powers. The average fill power is 500. Fill power of 550-650 is considered high. Our pillow inserts from Down etc are top quality. We do recommend using Le Blanc Down Wash for laundering down-filled products like Down Coforters, Down Pillows,...

What is the difference between a pillow case and a pillow sham?
Pillow cases are open at one end. Pillow shams are fashioned with a European or envelope closure. In a sham, the pillow slips between a tailored flap of overlapping fabric in back, so that the pillow edge is not visible from the side. Both styles work well on all types of beds, and you can even mix and match.

Is there anything I’m missing?
Duvet covers are envelopes of fabric that button, snap, zip or fold closed over the duvet or comforter. They are not only decorative, but protect your comforter from soil, moisture, and body oils.

Bed skirts are used to cover the boxspring, bed frame and underbed space as well as decoratively to complete the bed.

Quilts or Throws made of quilted cotton matelasse and pique serve a different function than bedspreads. Coverlets are sized to drop over the sides and end of the mattress only slightly more than the mattress depth. Extremely versatile, they can serve as a lightweight blanket or as a surface to introduce additional patterns and colors. Because of size and construction, they may be made reversible with contrasting patterns, and may be used with or without a duvet.

How do I care for fine linens?
With some care, linen will last quite a while and here’s an added bonus: linen actually feels better as it gets broken in! So don’t be afraid to wash yours. With a minimum amount of proper care, the natural beauty of linen is easily maintained. Linen is the strongest natural fibre known to man, and of all textile fibres is the one which washes best. Linens should be separated into light or dark colors.

All of our products can be washed in cool or warm water / gentle cycle / low heat tumble dry. We do not recommend dry cleaning for any of our products except the curtains and bed skirts.

We do recommend using Le Blanc Linen Wash.

Avoid overloading the machine to prevent breaking long fibers. If presoaking is necessary it should be in cold water.

Avoid using bleach, any natural fibres worst enemy, as a cleansing agent as misuse can significantly degrade and weaken the fibres. Be careful in choosing your laundry, as poor laundries may cut corners by using bleach in too high a concentration to help whiten the laundry.

Allow your washing machine to fill up and begin agitating before you add detergent.

Remove washed bedding promptly from the machine; this helps reduce wrinkling. Shaking damp linens out before drying (at low heat) will also help reduce wrinkles.

The history of bed linens
Assyrians, Medes and Persians, inspired by animals of symbolic strenght, shaped frames of metal into lions, bulls and serpents around piles of pelts, stacks of carpets, and later, properly made-up woven bedclothes. A linen dressed bed entombed in Egypt dates back to 3000 B.C. The Greek sleep was a silken affair with gilded purple coverlets and cushions at the head and feet. The Semite custom of reclining while eating and using the bed as banquet travelled to Roman Sybarites, who also laid the firsst double bed. By the Middle Ages, both Oriental and Occidental sleeping quarters evolved into cozy rooms within rooms, cloistered by four-posters, ample fabrics, and testers. The bed became social in the 17th century when the lavishly appointed ones were the focus of gatherings for the nobles of French court life. The bedroom as a private sanctum is a modern notion.

Foundation
The Mattress.
A good foundation starts with an innerspringmattress and a box spring made with springs instead of a wood frame with foam. It's the quality and density of materials used in the construction that makes the difference. Coil count is key. A full-size mattress should have at least 312 wire coils, a king at least 450. The wire in the coils should be no less than 13 gauge. The smaller the gauge, the sooner the beds wear out. There should be several layers of padding above and below the springs. The outside upholstery fabric covering is best when made of old-fashioned ticking: strong, closely woven, striped warp-faced fabrics. A mattress should last ten years. It should be 6 inches longer than the sleeper.
Feather beds
Today's style of dressing the bed to satisfy our craving for all-natural layers has revived the feather bed. This mellow sack filled with down and feathers is the softest, warmest form of mattress padding and for most Americans is first encountered in European luxury hotels. A feather bed should be the exact same size of the mattress. In the classic order the feather bed fits between the mattress and bottom sheet. It is as close as one can get to sleeping on clouds.

The stuffing
Your main concern when it comes to feather beds and pillows is this: if you like sleeping on a cloud you must look into the silver lining. Information about the software inside is crucial to hygiene, allergies, upkeep, and simply getting your dollar's worth. The option for fillings is dizzying: down vs feather, goose vs duck, feathers vs fiberfill, nature's untreated cotton padding vs technology's highly evolved microsynthetics. These days, for special reasons, bedding is also plumped with rare and luxurios particulars. Milkweed floss from Wales acts like a magnet to attract and hold irritating fine dander away from allergic addicts of down bedding. The best solution in natural fibers for those who are allergic, however, is silk filling from Italy, which adjusts its temperature to the body's needs. Cashmere is now also encased for its airy warmth. "Baffling" is the word not to be baffled by. It refers to the stitching that keeps the clusters of feathers and down in unshifting "poufs" to provide loft without lumps.

Pillow covers
It's pillows that largely define the bed's aesthetics and creature comforts. The pattern, texture, and border of pillows make for fantast voyages to faraway places. They can evoke a French boudoir, Victorin England, or a bit of American country. Shams and Eurosquares, the decorative, bigger, envelope-style cases, draw the line between a masculine or feminine mood. When crisply piped or bordered with a flat flange, the look is more tailored and masculine. Hemmed in ruffles and lace, they are effectively feminine. Many women prefer to sleep on the small baby pillows, also covenient for taking on trips.

Cotton bedding
It "breathes". It wicks body moisture away from the skin. It launders splendidly. And it gets better the more you use it. But Its most endearing quality for the global generation is that it can look just as great and feel just as good when it is unironed. The cotton plant, gossypium, has had a greater impact on the economics and politics of the world than any other commodity. As "King Cotton" it controlled the American South, the cotton gin was the opening gun in the industrial revolution,. This "roayal plant" adapts itself to many homes. In the tropics it is a perennial 20 foot tree; in the U.S. it is a 4 foot annual shrub.

Linen bedding
The highest quality bedding are made of linen. They also are the most expensive. Linen's unequaled purity, gloss, and smoothness make it the healthiest material for sleeping. Spun and woven from flax, it has several advantages over cotton. Linen presents a less woolly surface, does not soil as readily, and does not retain moisture like the more 'spongy" cotton. It comes in many weights from the heavy tarpaulin to the delicate handkerchief. Its colling effect makes it ideal for summer. They grow softer and more precious with time and care. Two sets of fine linen sheets, in constant alternate use, can easily last a quarted century.

Sleep is the best meditation ~Dalia Lama

It is the beholder who lends to the beautiful thing its myriad meanings and sets it in some relation to the age ~Oscar Wilde


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