The Bedding Snob

Cultivating relaxation need not leave you starving for style …

Snobbish Thoughts June 2012

Maine Home & Design show in Rockport this weekend!

astal Contemporary" photo courtesy of Maine Home & Design Magazine & Trent Bell

"Coastal Contemporary" photo courtesy of Maine Home & Design Magazine & Trent Bell

If you’re a fan of Maine Home & Design magazine, or are looking for interior design inspiration, you’re in luck! This Saturday and Sunday (June 30 and July 1), the Maine Home and Design show is taking place in Rockport, Maine. The show features over 150 exhibitors, ranging from architects and custom home builders to landscapers and home furnishing companies. Maine architects will also be on hand to answer questions about home-building and design.

If you’re planning to visit Maine another weekend and are looking for things to do, our Employee Favorites page highlights events, restaurants and more from around the state!

Soothing, Sensuous Silk

India - Colours of India - Silk yarn waiting to be made into saris

India - Colours of India - Silk yarn waiting to be made into saris by mckaysavage, on flickr.

There’s a reason silk has been a favorite fabric for centuries of emperors and commoners alike – it’s all-natural, supremely soft, lightweight yet strong, and is one of the most versatile fabrics on the planet.

The Goddess of Silk, Lady Hsi-Ling-Shih, the wife of the mythical Yellow Emperor, was believed to have developed the process of unraveling the thread from the cocoon of the silk worm, and to have begun the first silk-cultivation farms in China. Artifacts associated with “sericulture” (the raising of silkworms to obtain raw silk) have been found along the Yellow River in northern China, dated to between 2600 and 2300 BC, or even earlier.

Silk quickly became a much sought after commodity as its luxury spread westward. The famed Silk Roads, trading routes that grew between the great silk producing centers in China, through Persia and India to the Mediterranean, were largely responsible for the growth of international trade and the spread of culture and knowledge.

Luxurious, yet practical

Cuddledown Silk Pillowcase by NK Home

Cuddledown Silk Pillowcases by NK Home

Silk is one of the most versatile fabrics currently in production. Silk fibers appear delicate but in fact, are considered the strongest of all natural fibers. Due to its capacity for absorbing moisture, silk is temperature regulating – cool in summer and warm in winter.

Silk is used in everything from fine apparel and home furnishings to medical sutures and prosthetic arteries. It can be dyed a rainbow of deep, vibrant colors, and floats over the body with a shine and shimmer all its own. Plus silk isn’t as fussy as some would have you believe – many silk products can be machine washed on a cold, gentle cycle.

Silk has long been associated with the highest luxury – and it is no wonder. For sheer elegance, drape, comfort and style, there is absolutely nothing to compare with the allure of silk.

Not just a fabric for a shimmering gown on worn on the red carpet, silk pillowcases are one of the best loved beauty secrets of movie stars and models. Silk is a 100% natural fabric, is hypoallergenic and temperature regulating. Composed of sixteen different amino acids, some say silk is beneficial for the skin, helping to prevent wrinkling, and also can keep your hair looking healthy and shiny. Whether that’s a scientific fact or not, it feels heavenly against your skin as you sleep!

If you’d like to learn more information about silk and other sheet types, check out our new infographic! There’s also still time to enter our contest over on our Facebook page.

Learn about the benefits of clean sheets, and win great Cuddledown prizes!

Cuddledown's advice about clean sheetsDo you keep your bed crisply starched to military specifications, or rumpled, messy and questionably clean? Or somewhere in between? Here at Cuddledown, our talented designer, Chad, created this fun-to-read infographic all about the horrors of unwashed sheets, and the sleep benefits of a fresh, clean bed. If you’re anything like some of us here, you’ll be surprised at some of the statistics!

To celebrate the wonders of clean sheets mentioned in our infographic, we’re holding
a contest on our Facebook page starting now through Tuesday, July 3 at 8:00 a.m!
Simply post your comment about our infographic and you could win one of three great prizes, some fine Cuddledown fabric washing liquid and lavender linen spray, a set of luxurious silk pillowcases, and our grand prize – a $100 gift certificate! Winners will be drawn Tuesday morning, so don’t wait – go comment now!

Cuddledown tips on why it's good to wash your sheets!And in case you were wondering — if you’ve ever seen a weather chart or an exercise diagram, or read USA Today, you’ve seen information graphics or “infographics” – a visual representation of any kind of data or information. They may include charts, diagrams, graphs, tables, maps and lists which can summarize a lot of statistical information. So go check ours out – you may find it very educational!

What’s hiding in your sheets?

When you hop into bed at night, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is what’s crawling in there with you (like microscopic bacterial cells – eww).

Sheets by Vivian Chen, on Flickr

Sheets by Vivian Chen, on Flickr

The icky but true fact is that the human body is home to over 1000 species of bacteria. Earlier this month, scientists reported on a 5-year study of all the bacteria that inhabit the human body. The study found that there are roughly 100 trillion bacteria, weighing 2-6 pounds in a 200-pound person!

Of these bacteria, there are several types that thrive on the surface of the skin. Interestingly, different species live in different areas of the skin. So, the bacteria on your back aren’t the same as those found between your toes. As described by Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute, some areas, such as the nose and belly button, also host a greater amount of bacteria.

If that wasn’t enough, bacteria aren’t the only things that take up space in your bed. Of your billions of skin cells, you lose roughly 1,500,000 per hour while you sleep. Over the course of a night, that’s a lot of sloughed off skin! Allergy-causing dust mites then feed off of these dead cells. So, if you find that you’re waking up with a stuffy nose and watery eyes, there’s a good chance you have a dust mite allergy.

So, how do you minimize the number of dust mites and bacteria on your sheets?  Stay tuned for simple hints on how to ban these from your bed – and for a fun contest starting soon on our Facebook page!

The 50th Annual Windjammer Days Festival in Boothbay, Maine

If  you’re looking for a fun event in Maine this week, we highly recommend checking out the 50th Annual Windjammer Days Festival going on now in Boothbay!

Boothbay Windjammer Festival.. Isn't She A Beauty by Tina1111, on Flickr

Boothbay Windjammer Festival.. Isn't She A Beauty by Tina1111, on Flickr

The festival features a wide variety of events for all ages, including a sailboat race, pancake breakfast, antique boat parade, and fireworks over the harbor. Don’t miss the arrival of the windjammers; they sail into town on the 27th!

For more information on Windjammer Days, the Boothbay Harbor Chamber of Commerce has the full schedule of events. You can also find additional upcoming events, festivals, and more on our Employee Favorites page.

“Perfect in every way” – our Cuddledown product review of the week!

We love hearing from customers who have tried and loved our bedding. So, we were thrilled to receive this glowing product review of our Overfilled, Queen size 300 Thread Count Sateen Synthetic Fill Gusseted Pillows on our Facebook page!

“Perfect in every way” – from one of our Facebook fans

300 Thread Count Sateen Synthetic Fill Gusseted Pillow

300 Thread Count Sateen Synthetic Fill Gusseted Pillow

“I purchased our Cuddledown pillows because I prefer to lay my head on a pillow made in Maine as opposed to one made in China, etc. I LOVE these pillows because they are the best, most comfortable, that I have ever slept on in my 70 years of life. Thank you Cuddledown!”

 

We always love hearing your feedback, whether on our Facebook page, Twitter, on our website, or right here on the blog.

Happy First Day of Summer!

In celebration of the summer solstice, we wanted to share a picture from the Portland Press Herald of one of our favorite summer treats – lobster rolls!

Lobster roll at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, ME (photo courtesy of Portland Press Herald/John Ewing, Staff Photographer)

Lobster roll at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, ME (photo courtesy of Portland Press Herald/John Ewing, Staff Photographer)

If this doesn’t say summer in Maine, we’re not sure what does! For more tasty offerings from Vacationland, plus events, outdoor venues, and more, our Employee Favorites page will give you the inside scoop on the best around.

Retro decorating, Mad Men style!

Don Draper's apartment on Mad Men (photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

Don Draper's apartment on Mad Men (photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

After such an excellent season of Mad Men, we’re already anticipating what season 6 will have in store. One of our favorite parts this year was the show’s fabulous ’60s style – from the costumes and accessories to Don Draper’s chic new Manhattan apartment.

The Los Angeles Times took an inside look at the set of Mad Men, and the little details that give Don’s apartment a distinctly retro feel. Set decorator Claudette Didul commented that Don’s home blends his appreciation of clean design with his new wife Megan’s love of bold color. Taking inspiration from three 1960s interior design books, Didul outfitted the apartment with furniture from a variety of sources, ranging from antique shops and contemporary designers in California, to eBay and even Craigslist.

Don and Megan's kitchen on Mad Men (photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

Don and Megan's kitchen on Mad Men (photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

Don and Megan in Mad Men (photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

Don, Megan, and friends in Mad Men (photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times)

Tell us, what do you think of Don’s new place – and are you a fan of the show? We’d love to hear!

Three cheers for the Red, White and Blue! It’s Flag Day at Cuddledown

London Bedding Decorative Pillow

London Bedding Decorative Pillow

Since we’re celebrating Flag Day – you may think perhaps there’s something wrong with this picture?  However, bet you didn’t know that historians think George Washington may have flown the Union Jack in some initial battles of the revolution!  Soon thereafter he realized we needed our own flag, and on June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress took a moment from drafting the Articles of Confederation, to pass a resolution that said, “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Apparently historians still really aren’t sure who designed our flag in that exact pattern, and to the dismay of schoolkids everywhere (and her relatives), the story of Betsy Ross sewing the first flag in 1776 may, in fact, be only a legend. You can check out the full story at History.com.

US-made Red White and Blue at Cuddledown

US-made Red White and Blue at Cuddledown

Regardless of how it all came to be, we Americans sure love the red, white and blue. And at Cuddledown, we’re no exception – you can even celebrate the day with some red, white and blue items made right here in the USA! Or you can celebrate our predecessors with some fine London bedding, including the decorative pillow depicted above.

 

Bamboo Towel in "Regatta" blue

Bamboo Towel in "Regatta" blue

To make a fine day even more fun, we’re also celebrating by giving away a bamboo towel (a customer favorite!) in a beautiful shade of blue! Just go to our Facebook page and comment about the flag, the day or even how you’re kicking off summer. Submit your comments by midnight June 14, and we’ll randomly pick a winner Friday, June 15 (super duper extra bonus points to anyone posting a video of them singing the National Anthem or Stars and Stripes Forever!) :)   Good luck!

Father’s Day Weekend Sale at our Freeport, Maine Store!

Still searching for the perfect Father’s Day gift? Instead of going with the typical tie or set of tools, why not give him something different – and cozy!

Calida Men's Unwind Cotton Short Pajama

Calida Men's Unwind Cotton Short Pajama

This Thursday through Sunday, save 20% on all regularly priced sleepwear, slippers, and king size items at our Freeport Outlet Store!

Did You Know? Our retail store has an extensive collection of home decor items and gifts not found in our catalog or on our website. Shop for distinctive accessories and jewelry, soaps and candles, unique glassware, serving pieces and items to liven up your summer entertaining. Plus, you’ll find great discounts on our apparel by Lilla P, Ramblers Way and Miraclebody®. Click for driving directions to our Freeport store

7 tips to properly care for Linen Bedding

Caring for your linen bedding can be a simple procedure; it doesn’t have to be Linen Stacktreated in any special way, but we recommend you take certain measures to make sure it lasts as long as possible.

Some things to remember when cleaning your linen bedding:

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, washing/drying instructions can vary based on the stitching or the dyes used
  2. Try your cleaning method on a hidden area to make sure it’s the right method
  3. Never use bleaches or detergents with color brighteners, these can discolor and weaken your linen sheets
  4. Hand or machine wash with like colors, use mild detergent like our Fine Fabrics Detergent, in lukewarm or cold water on a gentle cycle, always be sure to rinse your linen to remove any soapy residue. You can wash in hot water but remember heat weakens fibers
  5. Don’t over load your machine, the more water the better
  6. To minimize the natural wrinkling properties, you may hang them on a line to dry or machine tumble dry on a low temperature or a wrinkle release setting, remove and fold the sheets promptly when dry. You may iron warm, if desired
  7. Try to remove any stains immediately after they are formed, as they get more difficult to take out the longer they set. We have a helpful article with quick steps to help minimize damage from stains, How to Remove Stains

Linen is a soft yet durable fabric created from the fibers of the flax plant and gets softer with every wash; it doesn’t pill stretch or loose shape. It’s hypoallergenic, moisture wicking and adjusts to your body temperature to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter which makes it a great choice for any time of the year.

Shop our exclusives: Plain-Sewn Italian Linen Bedding or Italian Linen Triple Hemstitch Bedding

Portland’s Old Port Festival is this Sunday, June 10th!

In the Old Port by PhillipC

In the Old Port by PhillipC, on Flickr

If you’re looking for a fun event this Sunday, why not check out the Old Port Festival, located right in the heart of historic downtown Portland! Now in its 39th year, the Old Port Festival features local bands; Maine-made arts and crafts; activities for kids; and of course, lots of delicious food from Portland’s fantastic restaurants!

The festival kicks off at 11am with a parade down Exchange Street – just a block away from where the above photo was taken! For more details on the festival, check out the website for Portland’s Downtown District.

Join us tonight for a virtual party on Twitter, 9-10 pm EST!

green balloons by LS Lam, on Flickr

green balloons by LS Lam, on Flickr

We’re talking with Practically Green and friends tonight, June 6th, about sustainable living, easy ways to “go green”, and the small steps we can each take to make a big difference in the environment.

To join the party, simply follow @Cuddledown or @PracticallyGrn, and use the hashtag #OneSmallAct after your tweets. That’s all there is to it!

Several special guests (and perhaps a few celebrities!) will be there, too; check out the full list over at Practically Green. Plus, we’ll be giving away a set of Bamboo Towels – so stay tuned!

For more info, follow @cuddledown on Twitter – and we hope to virtually “see” you there!

How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?

Woman sleeping with Jane Austen

Woman sleeping with Jane Austen by WarmSleepy, on Flickr

Do you ever have those nights where you wake up after a few hours and just cannot fall back asleep? Not only are you not alone, but you may be following a more natural sleep pattern than on those nights when you slumber straight through eight solid hours!

According to historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech, who spend 16 years researching sleep patterns, there is, “a wealth of historical evidence that humans used to sleep in two distinct chunks.” Ekirch found that the typical night involved a, “first sleep” of four hours, “followed by waking period of one or two hours and then a second sleep.” However, he found that between the onset of the Industrial Revolution, and the growing use of indoor lighting and street lamps, the common practice of spending long, leisurely nights with multiple “sleeps” began to fade away.

Odd as it may seem to us now, this research does seem to explain why so many of us often find ourselves wide awake, staring at the clock in the wee hours of the night. Truthfully, we find the idea of enjoying a late-night cocoa break in soft, comfortable loungewear, with a good book, and a puffy down comforter wrapped around us very appealing, although we admit that it might be tough to pull it off every night in today’s fast-paced society! What do you think?

Please comment below to share your thoughts! You can read more about Ekirch’s research on sleep patterns in, “The myth of the eight-hour sleep.

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