Monday, January 30, 2006

Quality material, careful work produce linens that last for years

Question: What should consumers look for in linens?

Answer: It depends on what your priorities are. If you want new and different all the time and you're likely to switch out your bedspread or your sheets once a year, then you might not care that much about quality. If you like things that are classic and timeless -- and will last for years to come -- then you should look for the little details of quality construction.
If you look at a well-made quilt or sheet or even a pillow, you can see the little tiny tucks, the quality of the embroidery, the fine stitching that makes a big difference over time.

When you look at antique quilts, you'll see these details. They're the reason that the quilts are still around today. If you seek out quilts made today with that same attention to detail, then you're investing in something that you can hand down to your children.

There's now this big trend toward producing linens that have an upscale appearance but aren't upscale in terms of construction. You can tell the difference between a well-constructed sheet and pillow just by looking at the lace and embroidery, looking at the tucks and the stitching. Better pillows should be filled, at least partly, with feather or down, not just foam. You can wash a high-quality sheet over and over again and you'll still be using it in 35 years. Most sheets made today won't last nearly as long.

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