Understanding fine bedding—its materials, construction, styling and care—is essential to creating the ensemble of your dreams. To familiarize yourself with some terms that you will often see while perusing our collections, here, are a few terms that you will see often while perusing our collections.
Baffle Box Construction
All Scandia Down and comforters are constructed with baffle box stitching. It means that within each stitched square on your comforter there are vertical interior walls which keep the fill from shifting, eliminate cold spots and promote maximum loft. Introduced in the 1990s, it is more effective than traditional box stitching.
Our All-Down featherbeds are constructed with baffle channels that run the length of the bed. This allows the fill to loft throughout the featherbed, conform to your body when you lay down, and stay in place as you move from side to side. It also lets you manipulate where the fill is placed, giving you adjustable support wherever you need it most.
The classic way to construct a comforter, box stitching (or stitched-thru box) keeps the fill from shifting and promotes even warmth. It was standard for down comforters before the introduction of baffle box construction in the 1990s. Our Down-Free™ comforters are still constructed this way because it is the best method to manage our hypoallergenic synthetic cluster fibers and maximize their warmth.
A tightly woven cotton in a flat weave with a high thread count. It feels light, smooth and luxurious yet is extremely durable. Ours is woven in Germany at one of the finest mills.
A slightly lustrous ticking fabric in a plain weave. Like all of our luxurious materials, it’s feather light, soft to the touch and extremely durable.
This closely woven fabric in a plain weave is the simplest, strongest choice for sheeting. It has a crisp hand, unmatched durability and never pills. The standard thread count for cotton percale is 180, but our luxe version of this traditional favorite is woven with 500 threads per square inch, for a softer, more sumptuous hand.
Traditionally used as a decorative cover over a blanket on a formal bed. Today, it is meant to be layered under a comforter. A coverlet may be tucked in or left untucked, according to its weight and your preference. The comforter is then folded at the foot of the bed, for easy access to greater warmth and a luxurious look.
Made on a jacquard loom, a damask weave alternates satin and matte textures to create a glossy pattern. The design is visible on both sides of the fabric.
Dobby fabrics are woven on a dobby loom, this fabric can be made with a linear, dot or geometric design. Woven stripe, solid color sheeting is usually a dobby fabric. Dobby weaving is used commonly in terry towels and is evidenced in the design of towel borders.
Double stitching is a sign of quality and superior construction in down pillows and comforters. It is much stronger than single needle stitching and prevents down from escaping. It is used around the edges of bedding and usually finished with piping. Scandia Down has continued to use this feature while other brands have adopted less expensive and lower quality methods.
Down is the soft cluster found under the breast feathers of waterfowl like geese and ducks. It is nature's finest insulator and is a brilliant way of keeping these birds warm in frozen climates. When used in bedding, down keeps you cozy in winter and provides a light breathable layer in warmer weather.
Unlike feathers, which are flat and 2-dimensional, down clusters are structured somewhat like 3 dimensional snowflakes with dozens of soft, fine filaments. Scandia Down only uses premium down from mature birds that have superior down clusters. As the filaments "loft" (expand and fluff), they create thousands of tiny warmth pockets, trapping air and body heat, keeping you comfortable and making our down luxuriously lightweight. We also use the largest clusters from the goose, which better interlock and overlap to trap a protective layer of air that keeps warmth in and cold out.
We always tell you where our down originates from—primarily Hungary, Poland, northern Europe or Siberia—because province matters. These locations produce the finest clusters in the world. The colder the climate, the larger the clusters—therefore the better the down.
In French, the word Duvet means “comforter”, although in the United States it is mostly used to identify the Duvet Cover, a decorative fabric covering that protects your comforter’s ticking from dirt, moisture and body oils. Scandia Duvet Covers always have a button closure, which is a European tradition. Duvets should be laundered regularly to keep your comforter at its best.
Eiderdown is extremely rare down that is hand-collected from nests of large, migratory ducks on the cliffs of Iceland. After each brood fledges, nests of these protected birds are abandoned and the eiderdown is harvested by hand. Eiderdown is extremely soft and has exceptional warmth characteristics, superior to other down or synthetic fills. Eiderdown is also extremely rare and consequently expensive. Scandia Home® bespoke services can craft a custom Eiderdown comforter or pillows to suit your needs.
Long staple Egyptian cotton is one of the finest cottons in the world. You will find it in several of the Scandia Home sheet and towel styles. Long staple fibers can be spun into finer yarns and, therefore, result in softer, more lustrous fabrics. It is an ideal material for bed linens because it is absorbent, cool, crisp, smooth and strong.
These large 26-inch decorative pillows are placed against the headboard to dress up the bed and for extra support for sitting up. Stack them on end rather than lying them flat, then place your sleeping pillows in front of them. They are always placed in a decorative pillowcase called a sham.
The actual feathers on geese and ducks—as opposed to the soft cluster of down found underneath—are durable and springy, making them an essential element in featherbeds and firm- or some medium-support pillows. We use exclusively European small white goose feathers.
A pillow for the entire body, a featherbed is placed on top of a mattress to create gentle contouring support and soft warmth. It is made of down and/or feathers, encased within a fabric shell. And it is considered a de rigueur part of bedding in European households.
Fill Power is a guide to measure the loft of the down clusters. High fill power down gives you more warmth with much less weight. It is also a measure of the ability of down to regain its shape when pressure is released, it is the best way to judge the resilience, durability and memory of this natural insulator.
The greater the fill power, the greater the loft—and more loft creates more warmth. As a general guide, remember that within the industry, 500 fill-power is considered average and 800 fill-power, sublime.
A decorative strip of matching fabric that runs around all four edges of a pillow sham or duvet cover. It gives these items a more formal and finished look.
Refers to the pocket depth of the fitted sheet.
Any fabric woven on a jacquard loom, which creates intricate and complex designs. Damasks, brocades and tapestries are all created this way. It is also the name of a specific weave. Jacquard sheeting has a quiet shimmer, rich texture and silken touch because its pattern is woven directly into the fabric.
The tactile qualities of a fabric; the way it feels when you touch it.
A small decorative stitch, traditionally used along a border or hem. Also known as faggoting.
The thickness and fluffiness of down, especially as an indicator of its warmth. Also see Fill Power.
A natural fiber made from the wood pulp of the Beechwood tree, lyocell has subtle luster, excellent drape, light feel, great strength and silky hand. And it’s significantly more absorbent than cotton. This relatively new fiber is being used more and more in luxury bedding.
A beautiful way to stitch together the corners of a border on a sham, coverlet or blanket, so the two pieces fit together perfectly (think of a picture frame). Also referred to as a mitered corner.
A rounded cording sewn along the outside edge of a comforter or pillow. It is decorative as well as functional, adding a layer of protection to the seams—often the most vulnerable place for wear.
A cotton fabric in a lustrous satin weave. It has a very smooth surface and silky soft feel. Ideally, it should be ironed after washing to restore its luster.
A decorative covering for pillows that has a more formal, neater appearance than a traditional pillowcase. Shams are finished on all four sides and usually have an envelope closure in back.
Note that the dimensions listed for our shams do not include the flanged borders, but reflect pillow size only.
A synonym for individual fiber. 'Staple length' is an important indicator of quality in natural fibers such as cotton and linen. The world’s finest cottons have consistently and significantly greater staple lengths that most commonly used grades. At Scandia Home, we always used premium long staple types of cotton in our fabrics and sheeting. Long staple fibers can be spun into finer yarns and, therefore, produce softer, more lustrous fabrics.
The shell of a comforter, pillow or featherbed. Ours are made of the highest quality cotton, tightly woven to prevent any filling from escaping.
The actual number of threads in one square inch of cloth. To arrive at this number, the warp (vertical) thread count is added to the weft (horizontal) thread count.
Generally, higher thread count ticking and sheeting are more finely woven. But it is much more than this number that determines quality. Quality fibers, superior yarns, careful craftsmanship, hand finishing and attention to detail all dramatically affect the feel, look and durability, too.
In the end, trust what you see and feel. Discerning eyes and hands can always tell the difference between a gorgeous 500-thread count fabric and a merely mediocre one.