Italian Minstrel

Italian Minstrel

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Warm and cosy quilts...

Snow Geese at South Walk Farm!
I could not resist this photograph, our stunning pure white geese against the December snow with the wooded valley below, each twig covered in an ice blue hoar frost as beautiful as I've ever seen. The amazing thing is that the geese are impervious to the below zero temperatures, with their thick down beneath the waterproof feathers. I love to bury my fingers into the down when I pick up one of our geese so that I can marvel at the warmth inside. It proves to me why goose down is such a favoured filling for duvets and eiderdowns (although of course the best is the eider feather from the Scandinavian eider duck). Goose-down is light and ultra warm, and perfect for the deep winter we have been having this year.

The French however have another filling for their bed-covers: they use sheep's wool in it's 'just sheared' condition (but obviously washed), and then they hand-quilt the bed-cover to keep the pockets of wool in position. It is also light and speaking from personal experience I would say it might even be a little bit warmer than down. These quilts are often very beautiful and usually hand-worked family heirlooms, increasingly hard to find. There are French cotton quilts too which are just an extra decorative layer to add - however if you want real cosiness look for the French wool quilts!

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