A duvet is occasionally called a comforter, and a comforter a duvet! To make things even more confusing bedding options can also include a quilt or a coverlet.
Duvets originated in Europe and were made from the down feathers of the eider duck, known for its usefulness as a thermal insulator. These days duvets are typically filled with a natural of synthetic fibers and are of varying thicknesses to determine the level of warmth required. They range from lightweight and versatile to extremely warm for the coldest nights. The duvet is usually white or a neutral color. A duvet cover protects the duvet, in the same way a pillowcase covers and protects a pillow insert. A duvet cover is easy to change so you can change the look of your bed as often as you want. It also protects the duvet and should be easy to wash. Duvets and duvet covers are designed to be used alone (with no sheets) because the insert can be removed and the outer "bag" can be laundered.
Two examples of a duvet set with the duvet inside the duvet bag Link to my Etsy shop
A comforter is similar to a duvet except that it doesn't have a separate cover. The fabric of the comforter has a printed or woven pattern that creates the design of the bed. Like a duvet, it's filled and quilted but usually comes as part of a set with coordinating shams.
Traditionally composed of three layers of fiber, quilts consist of a woven cloth top, a layer of batting and a woven back, all stitched together is a decorative pattern. They have many classic patterns and traditions which can mark important life events such as graduations or marriage.
A coverlet is a lightweight, non-reversible bedspread that is usually either quilted or woven. Classically designed as a decorative layer to go over thicker bedspreads, coverlets often have a thin layer of batting, making them appropriate for use as a stand-alone bed covering, depending on the weight. They can also be used as throws on a bed or sofa.
Advantages of using a duvet and cover set
1, You can easily change the look of your bedding and the color scheme of your bedroom.
2, The duvet cover is easy to remove and wash as it will fit into your washing machine.
3, As the duvet cover protects the duvet insert, the insert does not need such frequent washing.
4, The duvet cover is usually made of a natural fiber such as cotton or linen so is more comfortable to have next to your skin.
5, Many people prefer using duvets because they reduce the complexity of making a bed, as it is a single covering instead of the combination of bed sheets, blankets, quilts and other bed covers.
This is how I created an ombre, hand dyed bedding set for a student going into dorms.
I received a request on Etsy for a custom bedding set for a student going into dorms. The student had been accepted into the University of California Berkeley so the request was for graduating dark blue at one end to white at the other which are the Cal colors.
After I had mixed up some fiber reactive dye (which works with natural fabrics such as cotton, silk and rayon), I experimented with concentration levels of the blue dye so that the color graduated smoothly from dark to white. I used paper towels to test the results until I had the desired effect.
Next I soaked the duvet cover set in soda ash and then spun it out in the washing machine so that the fabric was just damp. I placed elastic bands at equal intervals along the narrowest width of the rectangular fabric and made use of some old wire basket trays to keep the dye off the garage floor.
3, After covering the dyed set in plastic and leaving it to set overnight, it was hand washed carefully in cold water first followed by more washing in the machine until all the access dye had been released. Some fabric softener and a good iron left this designer set crisp and ready to mail out to my customer.
This is what my lovely customer had to say about the finished product
Here's her review from Etsy
eileen on Jul 11, 2016
5 out of 5 stars
Gorgeous custom dorm room bedding for my Cal-bound kid! Isobel couldn't have been more responsive or helpful or talented! Exactly what my daughter was looking for and couldn't find anywhere else. We asked for something entirely original -- a pattern that graduated from dark Cal blue to lighter and light then to white, like dusk or ocean waves, and Isobel more than delivered! Hopefully Isobel will post a picture. Fabulous, with great quality in materials. AAAA+++++
Ever wondered what goes into creating your tie dye? Here are the basic steps in processing that unique item for you to drool over.
1, Purchase cotton blanks
2, Have fiber reactive dyes available (procion)
3, Wash blanks and soak in soda ash (sodium carbonate)
4, Fold, tie, or scrunch
5, Apply dyes.
6, Soak for at least 24 hours in an air tight container.
7, Rinse, to release dye, dry and iron
8, Display in good light
9, Photograph and upload to social media.
10, Prepare for the next craft fair!