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Henrietta Lilley

  1. Ten unusual uses for wool

    Ten unusual uses for wool

    Here, at Devon Duvets, we know all about wool and how amazing it is!  It’s been at the heart of our business for over 11 years and we’re proud that the wool we use for our duvets, pillows and toppers is 100% British wool, from our hard-working British farmers - and that each product is individually handcrafted by our brilliant seamstresses, here in Devon.

    Wool is a wonderful and versatile fibre that has many uses, other than for the more common ones you will know about, such as bedding, carpets, furniture and clothes. We thought we’d share some of these with you – and there are some surprises along the way!

    Mulch: Wool can be made into pads that have been designed to mulch your garden. The wool will help to supress weeds, retain moisture and regulate the temperature of the soil. As wool is 100% natural, it will biodegrade harmlessly over time, releasing valuable nutrients into the soil. You can also protect more delicate trees and larger plants in winter by wrapp

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  2. Twelve things you might not know about sheep

    Twelve things you might not know about sheep

    Sheep are amazing animals, producing fleeces that continually grow throughout their lives. Humans have been farming sheep for thousands of years, especially for their wool, which is a wonderful fibre. Temperature regulating and breathable, it makes the perfect fibre for clothing and bedding.

    In fact, sheep are ‘woolly wonders’ and here are twelve facts about them that you might not have known:

    ONE: There are over 1,000 different breeds of sheep and the UK has the highest number of breeds in the world – over 60! Wool from British sheep has been prized for over 2,000 years.

    TWO: Sheep are naturally friendly. They can wag their tails, like dogs, and they form strong bonds with other sheep, goats…and people.

    THREE: Sheep are known to self-medicate when they have some illnesses. They instinctively choose and eat specific plants that they know will help them feel better.

    FOUR: Sheep are intelligent and have a similar IQ to cattle. In fact, they are nearly as clever as pigs and are capable of problem solving.

    FIVE: Sheep have excellent memories and can remember up to 50 individual sheep and people for years. Hand reared lambs will bond very quickly with their human ‘parents’.

    SIX: Sheep are very sociable. They are highly independent from birth and like to be in a group. They are able to communicate different emotions through various vocalisations and will also move their ears to show differing emotions.

    SEVEN: Sheep were considered to be sacred for thousands of years. The Ancient Sumerians (4,000 – 2,000 BCE) immortalised sheep in the form of their gods, as did the Ancient Egyptians (3,200 BCE – 30 AD), who also mummified them when they died.

    EIGHT: A sheep’s fleece will grow for ever. Depending on the breed, a sheep will produce between two and thirty pounds of wool a year. In the UK, sheep are only sheared in the Spring and Summer, when they naturally need to lose their fleece. The British Wool organisation are responsible for providing training courses for shearers in the UK.

    NINE: Sheep have excellent peripheral vision. Their large pupils allow them to see almost 360 degrees and the can see behind themselves withou

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  3. How to care for your Devon Duvets wool duvet

    How to care for your Devon Duvets wool duvet

    Although we do give care instructions on our website, we often hear from customers who want to chat to us about their wool duvets and asking how they can put as much love into taking care of them as we do in making them!

    We thought it would be a good idea to talk about that here, in our blog, and also pass on some helpful information and advice.

    Your Devon Duvets certified 100% British wool duvet is individually handcrafted by our talented seamstresses and only using high quality materials. As with any high quality wool product, it does need some extra TLC - but it is worth it to ensure that your investment in night after night of healthy sleep lasts as long as possible.

    We only ever use certified 100% British wool in our duvets because we are committed to supporting British farmers - and the British wool we’ve selected is of excellent quality. This wool is carefully washed (known as ‘scouring’) in British mills without the use of bleach or chemicals, so it re

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  4. Devon Duvets loves the planet on Earth Day - and every day

    Devon Duvets loves the planet on Earth Day - and every day

    On the 22nd April, the world stops and pauses for Earth Day.

    On this day, more and more of us make a conscious effort to conserve energy, and think about our impact on our beautiful planet.

    We can all make a difference, however small it may seem at the time – and at Devon Duvets, sustainability and our impact on the environment is always at the heart of every decision we make throughout the year.

    For example, we only ever use 100% certified British wool in our award-winning wool bedding. We buy our wool from British farmers who only shear in the Spring and Summer, when the sheep naturally need to lose their winter fleeces. Our wool is then cleaned in British mills, without the use of bleachor chemicals, and needled into a soft fluffy layer. The wool is then individually hand stitched into 100% natural cotton casings by our expert seamstresses, here in Devon. So when you buy a wool duvet from us, you can be confident you are getting a product that’s 100% sustainable and 100% natural.

    As an alternative to wool, our 100% plant-based Botanic duvets are made with fibres containing TENCEL™Lyocell, created from certified sustainable wood sources, through an Eco award-winning process. As with our 100% British wool duvets, each of our Botanic duvets is handcrafted by our seamstresses at our Devon workshops. Also an award-winner, our Botanic range was the first bedding of its type to be registered by the Vegan Society.

    In fact, our aim is to be sustainable in our everyday processes here at our Devon workshops, and this includes our long-held commitment to achieving a ‘zero waste’ policy. We’re almost there and are proud to say that over 99% of everything we produce in terms of ‘waste’ is either reused or recycled. For example, one well known rubber glove brand creates the lining for their gloves using offcuts from our beautifully soft 100% natural cotton mattress topper casings!

    Finding the right kind of packaging has been a big part of our product development. Our outer shipping packaging is recyclable, and our individual, zipped product bags can be reused in all sorts of useful ways to help with storage around your home. We’ve put our heads together to come up with some suggestions and we’re sure that there are lots more that we haven’t thought of – but you will!

    Rotating your winter or summer clothes: Our reusable bags will fit several jumpers and other winter clothing, or a stack of T-shirts and shorts. Once sealed, you can pop them on the top shelf of a cupboard, under your bed or anywhere else that’s dry, such as inside a suitcase, ready for when you need them.

    Your spare duvet: Some of us sleep under an ‘all-seasons’ option but many of you prefer to use our light or ultralight duvets for summer and a warmer tog duvet for winter. This means you’ll need to store the one you’re not using. Hanging on to your reusable bag will ensure your duvet is kept neatly stored away for you.

    Beach towels and swimwear: Hunting for swimming costumes and beach towels can be time consuming, especially if you’ve put them somewhere ‘out of the way’ until the summer – or until it’s time for your holiday. Put them altogether in your reusable bag and they’ll be easy to gather up when it’s time to pack.

    Throws: Many of us use throws in winter for snuggling up on the sofa to watch our favour

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  5. How to add comfort to your staycation home from home

    How to add comfort to your staycation home from home

    Staycations are likely to prove even more popular this year, especially now that we are all hoping to be out and about a bit more in the coming weeks. For those of us lucky enough to have our own travelling ‘home from home’ in the form of a motorhome, campervan or caravan, now is the time to start planning your adventures – and adding one or two luxurious elements to make your nights out on the road even comfier!

    If you’re a newbie to the joys of travelling by campervan, then we’ve also shared some useful tips for your first time on the road, a bit further down in the blog.

    First up…we all know that campervan beds can sometimes be just a little unyielding, but you can boost those comfort levels with a mattress topper. After a long drive or busy day exploring, you’ll want to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the next day ahead. Here at Devon Duvets, we’ve been making award-winning wool mattress toppers for nearly 10 years. Made from certified 100% British wool, e

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  6. How to choose the pillow that is right for you

    How to choose the pillow that is right for you

    To ensure a comfy night’s sleep, it’s important to have a pillow that gives you proper support – and we know that once you’ve found a special pillow that’s just right for you, it’s very hard to sleep on anything else.

    What is the right height pillow for me?

    First of all, you need to find one that is the right height for the way you sleep. If you are a side sleeper then, ideally, you will need to look at a pillow that’s medium to firm and high enough to fill the gap between the mattress and your head. The pillow also needs to keep your spine as straight as possible, to avoid neck pain. If you are a back sleeper, then opt for a fairly firm pillow to support your neck but one that doesn’t push your head too far forward. If you are someone who likes to sleep on their stomachs, you’ll need a softer, lower pillow to avoid your head being pushed back and putting strain on your neck.

    What is the best kind of filling for a pillow?

    Fillings that a

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  7. Happy International Women's Day

    Happy International Women's Day

    International Women's Day started way back in 1911 and was given a new energy in 2001, with people and businesses starting to recognise the day’s significance and giving it a voice.

    The world has witnessed a significant change in thoughts about women's equality.  There are more women in the boardroom, greater equality and impressive role models in every aspect of life.

    But there are still barriers that need dismantling. We need to talk about the taboo subjects...such as the menopause. Half of the population will go through this and yet we are only just beginning to understand how it can affect us. For years, doctors dismissed women as insane, and the Victorians had very unusual ways of treating it. Anyone for a concoction of carbonated soda before mealtimes with the occasional dash of opium? Followed by a trip to the asylum for a few months!

    Today, there are a variety of homeopathic remedies, a plethora of home-made tips, treatments from your GP, but the biggest problem to solve is the night sweats that can make sleep impossible.

    Here at Devon Duvets, we regularly speak to customers with this particular issue and are able to help by suggesting they choose bedding made from 100% natural materials, as these are breathable. Our lightweight wool duvets are particularly helpful, and many customers find these are suitable year-round in helping to regulate their body temperature whilst they sleep. Wool is also naturally resistant to dust mites and so if you also suffer from allergies, our wool duvets will help to alleviate this. Our lightweight range also includes duvets made from 100% British alpaca, 100% silk and our 100% plant-based Botanic range. 

    Don’t suffer in silence. Let’s help to break the taboo. Speak to your GP, join groups online and have a chat to our team about the best lightweight duvet for you. Just get in touch via email, or call us on 01752 345399.

    You can find out more about International Women's Day here.

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  8. Get ready for World Sleep Day

    Get ready for World Sleep Day

    The World Sleep Society (WSS) promotes and celebrates World Sleep Day each year. This year is the 14th annual World Sleep Day and it’s set for 19th March 2021. The aim of World Sleep Day is for sleep professionals to advocate and educate the world about the importance of sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle and the theme of this year’s event is ‘Regular Sleep, Healthy Future’.

    Studies show that stable bedtimes and rise times are important for establishing good sleep patterns and helps with better moods, psychomotor performance and academic achievement. The Word Sleep Society recommends 10 steps that will help achieve healthy sleep.

    1. Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
    2. If you are in the habit of taking a nap, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
    3. Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
    4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime – this includes coffee, tea and many soft drinks, as well as chocolate.
    5. Avoid heavy, spicy or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
    6. Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
    7. Use comfortable bedding (we’ll get to this further down!).
    8. Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated (you’ll find further details on this below).
    9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
    10. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room – in other words it is best to avoid the use of ‘screen’ time in the bedroom.

    The best bedroom temperature for sleep is approximately 18 degrees (Celsius). This may vary from person to person but if you do use heating in your bedroom overnight, then most doctors recommend keeping the thermostat between approximately 16 degrees and 19 degrees for the most comfortable sleep.

    Now to the very important issue of bedding! Bedding that is made from 100% natural materials will provide a better sleep experience than bedding that is made from synthetic materials that are not breathable. Fibres such as wool, alpaca, silk and 100% plant-based fibres, such as TENCEL™Lyocell, are breathable and will help to wick away moisture to keep you feeling comfy and fresh. They also help with temperature regulation whilst you are asleep, radiating heat away from you if you are too hot, and keeping you warm when it’s not, thereby creating a healthier sleeping environment.

    At Devon Duvets, we only ever use 100% natural, 100% sustainable materials in our duvets, pillows and m

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  9. Five reasons to love your 100% plant-based Botanic duvet

    Five reasons to love your 100% plant-based Botanic duvet

    At Devon Duvets, looking after our planet is at the heart of everything we do – and that’s why all of our duvets, pillows and bedding are made from responsibly sourced, environmentally friendly, 100% natural materials. We initially founded our business making our award-winning wool filled bedding, using 100% British wool so that we could support British farmers. We then designed and created our Botanic duvets so that we could also offer a 100% plant-based option – and we’re proud that these duvets are the only bedding product of their type registered by the Vegan Society.

    Here are five reasons why our customers love their Botanic duvet.

    1. The filling of our Botanic duvets contains TENCEL™Lycocell, which is a 100% natural, ethical fibre, derived from certified and controlled sustainable wood sources. It is processed using an Eco award-wining process and then needled into soft fluffy layers. TENCEL™Lycocell fibres are fully traceable, so you can be sure you are buying

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  10. Why British wool has been prized for over two thousand years

    Why British wool has been prized for over two thousand years

    Wool cloth production in Britain started in the Bronze Age, in around 1900 BC, although fleece from domesticated sheep had been used for warmth as early as 6,000 BC. Initially, wool was combed from the sheep during the time they lost their fleece in the warmer months, with the first evidence of shearing, dating back to the Iron Age.

    Even before the dawning of the 1st century, the Ancient Britons had already developed a woven wool industry. In fact, when the Romans arrived on our shores in 55 BC, British wool cloth was considered a luxury item. The Romans were so impressed by British woven wool cloth that they established a wool plant in Winchester in 50 AD, to further develop the skills of British weavers and ensure a steady supply of this prized item. By the 4th century, the British birrus (hooded cape) was amongst the highest prized and most desirable items listed in The Edict of Diocletian, a summary of traded goods across the Roman Empire.

    Britain continued to export woollen fabrics to mainland Europe, and beyond, throughout the next few centuries, and this gathered momentum after the Norman Conquest in 1066 to such an extent that by the 12th century, wool was England’s greatest national asset. Over the next 500 years, Flemish master weavers settled in the UK, followed by Huguenot weavers from France, all adding their unique skills to the production of British wool cloth. By the end of the 17th century wool cloth amounted to over 65% of the value of British exports. Throughout this time, the wool trade created some of Britain’s wealthiest merchants, who then made sizeable donations towards the building of churches, schools and universities.

    With the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, mechanical processes for spinning and weaving British wool meant that Britain was able to produce considerably more cloth for the domestic and international market, with British tweed becoming a byword for quality and style.  Further mechanical processes also led to the production of luxury woven carpets, particularly in the West Country. British farmers and sheep breeders pioneered new breeds of sheep with even finer wool and now the UK still has more types of breed than any other country. These breeds made their way to Australia and New Zealand, where they are thriving today.

    Today, British wool is still sought after, with up to 50% exported annually. It is graded and sold under the auspices of the British Wool organisation – which is owned by approximately 40,000 sheep farmers in the UK and regulates the process to ensure that high quality standards are maintained.

    Here, at Devon Duvets, we only ever use 100% British wool for our award-winning wool filled bedding products because it’s important to us that we support our hard-working British farmers. We choose high grade wool that is certified by British Wool and this also enables us to use the British Wool Crook mark, a mark that consumers can trust. What’s more, British sheep are amongst the best cared for in the world, thanks to our high standards of animal husbandry. We only use wool from late Spring and Summer shearings, when the sheep naturally need to lose their fleeces in the hotter weather. The British Wool organisation is the approved provider for sheep shearing and wool handling training in the UK, all carried out by registered instructors, highly experienced in this traditional skill.

    Our wool is washed in

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