Bedding dilemmas

January 10, 2021

Bedding has been an interesting dilemma in the van. This is the third duvet set in just over three years. The first one came with us from the house but soon shredded at the top (where our current one has also torn). We stripped the old one into rags and patches and bought a cheaper one, which also shredded, and in the time since then we’ve vowed not to buy cheap cotton products wherever we can help it (if it’s cheap then some other person somewhere in the world has paid for us to have it cheap).

As I’ve said before though, we are imperfect people in an imperfect world, trying to undo much of the thinking our culture has stitched into us, and trying to make better decisions – not always succeeding. We’re trying to buy the absolute best quality we can stretch our budget to and then make these things last.

About eighteen months ago we invested in this beautiful linen bedspread (which we love). It wasn’t cheap but research showed that linen is around 30% stronger than cotton. I’m not surprised that it’s also torn in the same place – we use only one bedspread which is washed and tumble dried at the launderettes. It’s good quality, British made, and linen is a pretty sustainable plant, but we use the bed as a sofa, the hounds fight on it blah blah.

So I’m going to try to keep mending this one instead. You can see the dark grey linen I’ve stitched underneath for the visible mend, but now the other side’s gone – that’s January’s mending project sorted. At the moment I’m buying new linen to stitch in, but perhaps I also need to rethink that. Anyway! It’s a learning process – how fibres work and shift, how best to mend them, how to treat them to keep the most life in them.

But, because we invested significant money, and I’ve now invested significant time into this bedspread, it feels more valuable, something we want to keep, even as it’s now reached the wear stage where others might throw it away.

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