Devon Duvets Blog

  1. New research shows eight out of ten women did not know wool bedding can help menopause

    New research shows eight out of ten women did not know wool bedding can help menopause

    New research, conducted by British Wool to mark its ‘In Bed With The Menopause’ campaign, found that 65% of women didn’t know the menopause could affect sleep until going through it. The research also looked at the wider effects of the menopause and the symptoms women were experiencing.

    These included hot flushes (68%), night sweats (62%), difficulty sleeping (58%) and experiencing low mood or anxiety (53%). Lack of sleep was highlighted as a big issue in terms of the impact it could have on daily life, causing a feeling of exhaustion all the time. Those taking part in the research said they had tried various ways of tackling the problem, including sleeping with the window open, sleeping naked and trying lavender pillow spray. However, eight out of ten (81%) had no idea that using wool duvets, pillows and toppers can help regulate the body’s changing temperature, and therefore help with sleep. Wool is breathable and so can dissipate heat and, although it can’t stop flushes, can help to manage them so that you don’t keep waking up.

    British Wool’s Head of Sleep, Julia Robinson, said that British Wool’s research had shown that many women still suffer in silence but that making small changes, like using wool bedding can help. Diana Danzebrink, founder of the not-for-profit community interest company, Menopause Support, said that everyone in the UK will be affected by symptoms of the menopause at some point in their life, whether that’s directly or indirectly. She added that there are over thirty psychological, cognitive and physical menopause symptoms, many of which can be debilitating for some. She stressed the importance of educating ourselves and each other to ensure that those experiencing menopause don’t feel alone.

    The research also revealed the top life lessons according to women over fifty and what they would like to share with the younger generation. Top of the list was to make ti

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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Welcome to ‘Flaming June’ and a wonderful summer!

    Welcome to ‘Flaming June’ and a wonderful summer!

    June is named after the goddess Juno (also known as Hera by the Ancient Greeks), the Roman goddess of marriage, children and family. It was said to be especially lucky to marry in June, when marriages would be blessed by her. June is also the month when the summer solstice falls in the northern hemisphere and the ‘longest day’ is still celebrated by many cultures.

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. The History of Sleep

    The History of Sleep

    As the lyrics in Bob Dylan’s song states “Times, they are a changing” and throughout time, our sleep patterns have also changed. Historical research shows that there is a huge amount of evidence that people in Western societies used to sleep in two phases (biphasic); known as ‘first sleep’ and ‘second sleep’.

    Although we cannot be sure if this goes way back to prehistory, it has been discovered that from (at the very least) the time of Ancient Greece through to the nineteenth century, most people went to bed at around 9pm or 10am and slept for three to three and a half hours (‘first sleep’) waking after midnight for an hour or so, before settling back down for their second phase of sleep until dawn.

    The earliest written reference to this is in Homer’s Odyessy (written in the late eight/early seventh century BC) but other classical writers, such as Roman historian Livy and the Numidian Latin-language prose writer and philosopher, Apuleius, also refer to it.

    It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that single phases of sleep in Western societies began to evolve, and this was also likely to have been affected by the increase of artificial illumination, starting with gas and followed by electric lighting. By 1823, nearly 40,000 lamps lit more than 200 miles of London’s streets. This expanded into businesses and affluent households, where light from a lone gas light was twelve times as strong as that from a candle – but by the end of the nineteenth century was one hundred times more powerful.

    This slowly led to later bedtimes but did not seem to change the dawn rising time, causing more fatigue and heightening the drive for sleep. This would have encouraged people to make the change to going to bed and staying in bed so they could sleep continuously for a longer duration and get enough sleep, rather than sleeping in two phases. However, it wasn’t until the early twentieth century that one phase of sleeping was considered as normal.

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  9. 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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  10. Happy Easter from Devon Duvets

    Happy Easter from Devon Duvets

    “Easter is the only time of year when it is safe to put all your eggs in one basket.” Evan Esar, Author and Humourist.

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