Henrietta Lilley

  1. What is the fastest way to put on a duvet cover

    What is the fastest way to put on a duvet cover

    We’ve all been there - trying to change our duvet cover and wondering if there is an easier way. Single duvet covers are manageable, but when it comes to a King, Super King or Emperor size then it becomes far trickier - especially if you have having to do this by yourself!

    According to research carried out by Which? magazine, there are several methods, including  the ‘inside out’, ‘the roll’, the ‘all in’ and ‘the ghost’. The easiest, but slowest, way is the ‘roll’ and the fastest is the ‘inside out’ method, taking an average of 1 minutes and 23 seconds, but this needs a certain level of stamina!

    For the ‘Inside Out’ method:

    1.     Lay your duvet flat out across the bed.

    2.     Turn your duvet cover inside out and put your arms inside it, reaching for the two furthest corners of the cover (away from the fastenings).

    3.     Still ‘wearing’ the duvet over your arms, with your hands holding the two corners, reach down to the duvet and grab the two closest corners of the duvet up towards you.

    4.     Lift your arms up and shake the duvet cover down over the top of the rest of the duvet.

    Each one of our duvets - whether it’s made from British wool, British alpaca wool or our 100% plant-based Botanic filling - is individually handcrafted by our wonderful seamstresses at our Devon workshops. All of our duvets have 100% natural and sustainable fillings and casings.

    We also have beautiful 450 thread count 100% PIMA cotton duvet covers to go with our duvets, specially made for us by another family run business. What’s more, if you purchase a duvet cover at the same time as one of our duvets, then you’ll get 50% off the duvet cover. Then all you’ll have to do is de

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  2. Why we know every stitch of our duvets

    Why we know every stitch of our duvets

    Experiencing a great night’s sleep is important for body and soul and what you sleep under or on can have a big impact on that. At Devon Duvets we know all about duvets and that’s why we’ve made sure we know exactly what goes into ours, down to the last stitch! In fact, thanks to years of research and experience, you can say we know our duvets inside and out - and this goes back to the time when our products were just a twinkle in the minds of our founders, Dick and Pauline Beijen.

    It all started when they left their busy international careers to live a more sustainable lifestyle in Devon but, being the creative thinkers that they are, it wasn’t long before they wanted to find a way to make beautiful, handcrafted duvets that would not only be sustainable and eco-friendly but would also support British sheep farmers. So, the search began…

    The key part of this was knowing the journey of every part of our duvets and making sure we chose to work with farmers, cotton growers and mills that shared our commitment to responsible sourcing. This required a lot of research to find high quality wool, the right mill to wash our wool, the best and most ethically produced cotton fabric and the best seamstresses to work their magic in our workshops on the edge of Dartmoor.

    Our wool has always come from British farmers, whom we know have the highest standards of animal husbandry. Our wool is also certified by the British Wool organisation and is fully traceable from farm to duvet. We were the first soft bedding company to pioneer the British Wool organisation’s traceability programme, and our farmers receive above market value for their fleeces. We also only ever use wool from live sheep and from Spring and Summer shearings, when the sheep need to lose their heavy winter fleeces.

    For the washing of our wool, our research led us to a long-established British mill and as we only select natural white wool, there is no need for bleach to be used. Neither do

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  3. Tucked up and away at Dittisham Hideaway with Devon Duvets

    Tucked up and away at Dittisham Hideaway with Devon Duvets

    The Devon Duvets team is thrilled to be crafting our award-winning duvets for exclusive holiday destination, Dittisham Hideaway.

    Dittisham Hideaway is the latest venture from hotelier and entrepreneur, Peter de Savary and his wife Lana. The collection of Treehouses, five luxury Shepherds Huts and an original, but fully renovated, 1956 American Airstream, is tucked away in magical wooded valley with meadows and a stream, in the heart of the South Devon countryside. Perfect for couples or families, Dittisham Hideaway is also dog friendly.

    We’ve always been committed to making natural products that are as sustainable as possible, and so working with Dittisham Hideaway, whose focus is on providing their guests with a ‘close to nature’ experience, felt like the perfect match. We all agreed that there could not be a more appropriate duvet than ones made from beautiful 100% British wool, especially as Shepherds Huts are included in the choice of accommodation!

    It’s not just Dittisham Hideaway’s stunning location that brings guests close to nature - it is incorporated into the accommodation, each one of which has a high level of interior design, including artisan-crafted wood finishes and highlights, eco toiletries, its own private decking area with a traditional wood-fired cedar hot tub, hammock, and BBQ/outside dining area. Another specially included treat is the Welcome Hamper with tasty West Country produce. The gorgeously comfy beds have luxurious 100% cotton bedlinen and our award-winning, individually handcrafted, 100% British wool duvets. So, even when you’re tucked up in your bed, you’ll still be close to nature.

    Dittisham Hideaway offers woodland walk activities, eco car charging points, electric wheelbarrows for use during your stay and a dog welcome pack. The site is only 5 minutes from the village of Dittisham and the River Dart, with the historic towns of Dartmouth and Totnes close by.

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  4. One important thing we all have in common

    One important thing we all have in common

    Although we are all individuals, each of us with our own life journey, talents and quirks, we all have one very important thing in common. We all need our sleep. Sleep is critical for our wellbeing – physically, mentally and emotionally and is as vital to us now as it was thousands of years ago.

    We’ve found some great quotes about sleep, so thought we’d write a short blog and share them with you.

    “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” Homer, Greek Author

    “Even a soul submerged in sleep is hard at work and helps make something of the world.” Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher

    “A well-spent day brings happy sleep.” Leonardo da Vinci, Artist and Polymath

    “Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary labourer and heals hurt minds. Sleep, the main course in life's feast, and the most nourishing.”  William Shakespeare, Poet and Playwright

    “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” Francis Bacon, Philosopher and Statesman

    “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you; snore and you sleep alone.” Anthony Burgess, British Novelist and Critic

    “When the going gets tough, the tough take a nap.” Tom Hodgkinson, British Writer

    “I tried counting sheep so I can fall asleep but that got boring, so I started talking to the shepherd instead.” Anonymous

    “Man is a genius when he is dreaming.” Akira Kurosawa, Japanese Film Director

    “Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” Thomas Dekker, Actor

    “Sleep is the best meditation.” Dalai Lama

    As handcrafters of beautiful soft filled bedding made with natural fibres, we particularly agree with interior designer, Bobby Berk when he said: “Spend money on your mattress and bedding because these things make a difference on your sleep and, u

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  5. Why we use BCI cotton

    Why we use BCI cotton

    Sustainability and responsible sourcing have been at the heart of Devon Duvets, since before we were even making our products, so we wanted to write a bit about the cotton fabric that we use for the casings for our 100% British wool and 100% British alpaca wool duvets.

    Our goal was to find a cotton fabric that was made with cotton grown as sustainably and ethically as possible. As cotton growing techniques and practices vary around the world, we also needed to find cotton that came from growers who were committed to good socio-economic principles and work conditions.

    Our research led us to the Better Cotton initiative, the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton. A non- profit organisation that was founded over 17 years ago, its mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Education and support for these communities now means that nearly two million farmers, in 23 countries are now licensed to sell their cotton as ‘Better Cotton’.

    Here’s how Better Cotton works:

    Helping cotton farmers become more sustainable: farmers who take part in the Better Cotton initiative are given the knowledge, support and resources to grow cotton more sustainably. This includes improving soil health, better water management, and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.

    Helping farm workers: The Better Cotton programmes and producer organisations make farmers and farm workers a priority, helping to improve working conditions and achieve higher standards of living.

    Helping farming communities: Better Cotton’s education and social programmes help to confront inequalities and empower women.  

    Supporting civil society organisations that are connected to the cotton supply chain: The Better Cotton platform can be used by organisations that serve to continue the drive for more ethical and transpare

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  6. Diet tweaks that can help you to sleep better

    Diet tweaks that can help you to sleep better

    Wool Wellbeing Tip #2: Foods that can help you to sleep better

    It’s amazing to think that certain types of food and drink can help you to sleep better – but it’s true!  Most of us know that chocolate and other sugary foods are more likely to rev you up, and even more so if you are tucking into them before bedtime. Spicy, fatty and acidic food (such as curry, onions, pickles and strongly flavoured crisps) eaten late at night can also cause sleep issues.

    Caffeine is a well-known stimulant, so if you tend to drink a lot of tea, coffee or energy drinks throughout the day and into the evening, then this can impact on your sleep. It can also increase your blood pressure, which is known to cause problems with sleeping. This also applies to some brands of ‘diet’ drinks, which contain as much caffeine as their regular sugar-loaded counterparts! It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you’re also going through the Peri Menopause or Menopause, these types of food and drink - especially those with caffeine - can exacerbate ‘night sweats’.

    Now for the good news! We’ve put together some suggested diet tweaks that can help to ease your body into a more peaceful sleep.

    High Protein Foods: these contain tryptophan, an amino acid that’s essential for the production of serotonin, which triggers the production of the ‘sleep hormone’ melatonin. Tryptophan is found in chicken, fish, beans and oats.

    Fermented Foods: these contain GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid – phew that’s a long one!), which soothes the central nervous system, lowers blood pressure and slows brain waves – all of which will help you to relax and sleep. GABA can be found in pickled vegetables, such as kimchi, and also in GABA Oolong teas.

    Magnesium: studies have shown that magnesium can help increase the amount of time we stay asleep. It can also weaken the frequency and intensity of hot flushes. Boost your magn

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  7. How a summer duvet can help to keep you cool

    How a summer duvet can help to keep you cool

    As the nights start to get a bit warmer, you may be thinking about a lighter duvet, but with so many options out there, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees (and speaking of trees, we’ll get to that a little further on in this blog!). So, with keeping cooler in mind, we’ve put some pointers below and if you’d like more information, then we’re here to help.

    Firstly, each one of our duvets is individually handcrafted, here in Devon, by our brilliant seamstresses. We only use natural fibres for our fillings because they are breathable and better for temperature regulation, unlike synthetic fibres, which can trap heat and make you feel hotter. Natural fibres are also sustainable and eco-friendly too, because when it’s time to replace your duvet, it won’t sit in landfill for decades. You can even use the filling for compost in your garden!

    Secondly, we often get asked when the best time is for making the switch to a summer duvet. Although this will depend on when you are starting to feel a bit too warm under your winter duvet, there are other factors to consider, such as the ambient temperature in your bedroom. Natural fibres have the ability to adjust to this, releasing or retaining heat and thereby helping to keep your core body temperature level. The time taken for this adjustment to take place depends on the tog rating of your duvet. For example, with our lightweight 100% British wool duvet, there is one layer of wool, so it can react more quickly to warmer temperatures, releasing heat, whereas our medium (warmer weight) wool duvets, has two layers so the adjustment will take slightly longer in a warm bedroom. The same applies to our other lightweight duvet options. This makes a lightweight natural fibre duvet a great choice for the summer.

    We’ve put some information below about the lighter tog duvets available in our range of natural duvets, together with their features and benefits. However, if you’d like to chat through any opt

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  8. How to create a calm and peaceful environment in your bedroom

    How to create a calm and peaceful environment in your bedroom

    April is Stress Awareness Month and it is now widely recognised that not getting enough uninterrupted sleep each night can have an impact on our stress levels. If we’re not sleeping properly, then we are tired during the day, we find it hard to concentrate and can struggle with our daily jobs and chores. This can then add to the usual stresses of everyday life.

    It’s hard to relax sometimes, with emails pinging back and forth, constant communication available through our mobiles and social media - and distressing news on the radio and TV. Night sweats, experienced by those going through Peri Menopause and Menopause, are also well-known culprits for causing disrupted sleep patterns. However, getting a good night’s sleep is critical and so it’s important to find ways to switch off around bedtime and get the best possible night’s sleep.

    Here’s some tips on how to get ready for cosy slumber and creating a peaceful environment in your bedroom.

    Cool it

    In order for our brain to trigger us into sleep, our body temperature has to drop by 1 – 2 degrees and this also helps us to stay asleep for longer. Hot, stuffy bedrooms that are heated will end up keeping you awake. The ideal bedroom temperature is said to be around 17 degrees centigrade, so turn that radiator down or off (this will help with heating bills too!) and if you can, open a window. Having a warm shower or bath about 30 minutes before bedtime will cause your body temperature to rise slightly and then drop as you cool down and this can also help trigger sleep.

    Colour me beautiful

    Choose calming colour schemes for your bedroom. These include all the natural tones, such as beige, pale greys, off-white, as well as pale blues, soft greens and very light pinks. Try to avoid purple, red and orange as these evoke energy and creativity. Very dark browns and bl

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  9. How Devon Duvets featured on UK wide radio for World Sleep Day

    How Devon Duvets featured on UK wide radio for World Sleep Day


    Last Friday, 18th March, was World Sleep Day. The focus for this annual event is the importance of sleep for our health and wellbeing. Our founders and owners, Dick and Pauline Beijen were approached by a number of UK radio stations, from Scotland to Cornwall, and as far as the Channel Islands, to talk about sleep and how to create the best environment to help achieve a great sleep when you tuck yourself up each night. They were also featured on Sky News Radio.

    One of the topics discussed was ‘Sleep Divorce. Recent research has revealed that there has been an increase in couples choosing to sleep in separate beds due to their partner’s annoying sleep habits. The study discovered that 51% of Brits prefer to sleep apart from their partners so that they can sleep better. Nearly half of UK adults admit that they don’t get the right amount of sleep, with women (54%) being more likely to agree than men (41%) – with differences in body temperature being one of the main reasons

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  10. Why wool is better than synthetic fibres

    Why wool is better than synthetic fibres

    Wool Wellbeing Tip #1: Wool Clothing

    It can be difficult to know if you are making environmentally-friendly choices when you are shopping for clothes, but one thing is clear – choosing natural fibres over synthetics can make a huge difference in protecting our soils, waterways and oceans.

    Microplastic particles from synthetic clothing and textiles are widespread in aquatic and land-based ecosystems around the world and 35% of those in marine environments are fibres from synthetic clothing. During a recent survey, 44% of people asked did not realise that the synthetic fibres in their clothes (such as polyester, acrylic or nylon) are actually plastic.

    Naturally (excuse the pun!), because we handcraft wool-filled bedding products, we regularly write about how wool is better than synthetic fibres because of its sustainability.  A sheep’s fleece continuously grows and so in the spring and summer needs to be sheared to relieve the sheep from its heavy winter coat. Wool also has temperature regulating properties, as well as a natural resistance to dust mites. But it doesn’t just stop there. When it comes to biodegradability, wool is a lot better for the planet than synthetic materials because it does not cause microplastic pollution.

    So, it's not just about being better for us but also for our beautiful planet too – and we call this ‘wool wellbeing’! Recent studies have shown that wool readily biodegrades, releasing nutrients, and this is better for our soils and, ultimately, our marine environments.  

    When you are next out and about, shopping for new wardrobe items, here are some things to bear in mind:

    • Check the labels: choose garments that are made from natural fibres or, at least, have a high percentage of natural fibres. Examples are wool, cotton, tencel, linen, bamboo and silk. Clothing made from synthetic (plastic) is listed a
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