What is so different about a Baavet to other wool duvets on the market?
We don’t create an illusion of quality with words like luxury, or handcrafted.
We don’t call our wool luxurious, grade A1,or claim it's platinum grade, because there are no such wool grades.
We don’t make our duvets by hand with just a couple of stitching lines to keep the wool in place because a duvet needs to be professionally quilted to stop the wool moving around.
We don’t ever bleach our wool or add any chemicals as this destroys the very qualities of the wool we need.
We don’t needle our wool which makes it thicker and heavier
We don’t use a cheap fibre proof cotton
We don’t attach our wool to polypropylene layers inside the duvet making it just a fancy polyester duvet.
We don’t sell a combination duvet for winter and summer as we think it’s only a selling gimmick to get you, the customer, to buy more when really one wool duvet should be sufficient for most people for most of the year.
We don’t make our duvets in Eastern Europe or bring them all the way around the world from China,New Zealand or Australia
We don’t plaster all our duvet pictures with British flags giving the impression of being British made when only the wool is British.
We don't pretend to give you a 365 day cash back guarantee when it really means you have to return it in its packaging unused
We do however:
Use the talents of British people whose experience of wool goes back generations:
Our wool is individually sourced from British farmers we personal know.
Our finest quality cambric cotton is made especially for us and comes from one of the oldest trading cotton merchants in Manchester. It has a 250 thread count and its then calendared which means its passed through heat rollers to shrink it. So its almost waterproof, making it totally fibre proof. It's similar to the cotton used in the most expensive down duvets.
Our wool is graded for us in Halifax by one of the oldest wool merchants in Yorkshire
The wool is then gently washed for us in Dewsbury. There are no harmful chemicals used and the wool isn’t bleached which would destroy the important scales on the wool fibres.
The wool then goes to a traditional Yorkshire Mill in Huddersfield it’s carded (combed) to a very fine degree taking it back into the state that it is on the sheep. It's then professionally quilted on our multi needle quilting machine.
And finally, tucked away under the ancient walls of Harlech Castle, using ex Laura Ashley seamstresses, we individually make your Baavets
A truly British product
Even our presentation bags, our embroidery, our boxes and all of our printing, in fact just about everything is British, or sourced in the UK
We think we have created a truly world class product, a British product from EWE to YOU
And we are so confident of the quality of our product that you can try it for a month and if it doesn't do what we say, or for any other reason whatsoever, we will replace it or refund your money. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.
More technical info for those who want to know
- The words luxury Australian wool at a very cheap price may hide other details like... really made in China....and if carrying a chemically treated label then there is definitely something wrong. Pure wool should not be chemically treated and if it is it will not regulate body temperature as naturally untreated wool. You can also tell chemically treated wool duvets just by the initial chemically sanitized smell they give off when you open the packet.
- When you first smell the duvet does it have a natural smell (lanolin) or is there a chemical smell or sanitized smell. A chemical smell suggests either a fire retardant has been added to the cotton or the wool has been bleached or chlorinated. This scorches the microscopic scales from the fibres that enables the wool to regulate body temperature. It effectively kills the wool thereby reducing the effectiveness of the wool. In our opinion a tumble dryable wool duvet has had this treatment (see.. Is a Baavet tumble dryable?... for more info)
- Is it in a cambric or fibre proof cotton outer. If not then its not a pure wool inner. There is a simple test you can do. Try blowing through the cotton, if you can easily then its not fibre proof. If its difficult it's fibre proof if its very difficult its cambric.( Scroll down to see below why real wool duvets are more expensive). One of the most expensive duvets on the internet actually uses a less expensive fibre proof cotton and the wool is bleached.
- Is there a proper binding around the edge of the duvet or is it just stitched. If its just stitched the filling is not pure wool .
- Other wool pullers!There is a major British duvet company making a wool duvet abroad with a polypropylene lining to which the wool is attached. These are the cheap end of the wool duvet market, for obvious reasons, and they are being sold by well known high street names; the polypropylene lining is there to hold the wool in place during manufacture and of course this cuts out the wool advantage. Check the box or the product specifications.
- If the duvet is hand made on ordinary sewing machines with 2 or 3 stitching lines is this really a duvet or quilt as we call it? In time the wool will probably move around, break up, and eventually clump; and of course if you wash it, then it will probably clump together even more.
- You should ask the company if its a pure wool duvet as there are 3 outlets all selling the same British wool duvet on Eco sites which is very cheap because they use wool mixed with synthetic material bonding the wool together and then use a very cheap cotton outer without any binding. We have had the wool tested and its only 60% wool. But the websites don't say this. There is an ongoing investigation into this. But there is a way to tell whether its pure wool or not look at the cotton and the biding (see above 3 and 4).
- The use of Merino wool as a selling point. A merino wool is a beautiful lustre wool has a long staple and lies flat and it makes great clothes. You can use Merino in duvets but its not a good wool to use because the fibres are long and lie flat it won't trap air. The best wool has a shorter staple, is springy, creates loft and traps air.(See uses of different wools below)
- Trying to get on the bandwagon of using British wool then the British flag on every advertised duvet suggesting the duvets are made in the UK. But then sending the wool abroad to be made into duvets and shipping it back again.
- Unfortunately you can't see inside a duvet before you buy it unless you buy one of ours then we show you. Most wool in duvets is bleached so you can't see the specks of vegetation that is always in wool after carded. Also some duvets card and then needle the wool making the wool thicker and heavier, more like a blanket so that the wool can be handled. This doesn't make them warmer just heavier. Baavets are only lightly carded making them lighter and warmer gram for gram of wool more like a feather duvet feel.
- You can't look inside the duvet to see the quality of wool but you can feel and see quite a lot from the outside. Does it generally look a good quality item; does it have a soft feel; or is just flat or does it loft up with air after compressing it?
- Lot's more info below if you are interested
How is wool different to down,feathers or polyester?
These are all insulators,they make the body hot and don't release heat, which is fine when you first get into bed. But then during the night our body temperature should drop as we go into deep sleep but these insulators bring our body temperature up so we either fully wake up or toss and turn to cool off. Then we go to sleep again and repeat the process of getting hot. But this time it maybe our partner is too hot in the bed and so the great duvet war starts with us pulling and pushing off the duvet. This is not natural sleep and it prevents essential deep sleep.
Wool is not just thermal and an insulator it also acts as a regulator
But how does wool compare with down and feather duvets?
-Down is light and airy and has excellent thermal qualities but it just gets warmer and warmer; it doesn't have the natural heat regulating properties that wool has.
Down and feather also attract dust and dirt ( remember feather dusters) and therefore It actually attracts dust mites where as wool is naturally clean and is dust mite resistant.
Real down is the very finest, smallest feathers next to a birds' skin. Most so called 'down' duvets are, in fact, made up of very small amounts of down supplemented with feathers, often just chicken feathers. Feathers don't give an even coverage because they tend to gather in clumps and migrate to the bottom of the duvet, leaving cold spots and you are forever having to shake it to spread them out again. Also many people are allergic to feathers . Feather/down and polyester make you sweat. The sweat is retained in the duvet and dust mites thrive on it. Wool on the other hand is naturally hypoallergenic and the most breathable fibre on the planet and it doesn't attract dirt.
Practically all feather and down come from factory farmed birds. How do you think White Hungarian Snow geese can make so many duvets? Only by factory farming and the methods used to get the feathers are sometimes far from humane. Sheep shed their wool naturally its just we help them by shearing.
How does wool regulate your body temperature?
- As said above,wool does not just have thermal properties like polyester and feather. Wool is actually a regulator,not an insulator, it regulates your body temperature the same way as it does on the sheep. When it is hot the wool passes the heat mainly in the form of moisture from the sheep's body out and when its cold its keeps the heat in. Easy really and it will do the same for humans. All wool products can do this but the more you process the wool, i.e. spin and weave it, then the less the wool can regulate heat. So we keep the wool in the same state as it is on the sheep. But the amazing thing about wool is that it will actually regulate the temperatures of 2 different people in the same bed. You can get the scientific analysis of this from the web.
So how does it do
Every fibre is covered with little cuticles,these are
little hooks which allow us to spin and weave wool. It also makes wool felt.
It's these hooks which dust mites hate. But just like a pine cone on a tree
these cuticles open and close according to humidity and temperature. But they
open and close much faster than pine cones. they react as soon as a body, be it
sheep or human comes into contact with it, thereby regulating the the body
temperature. But just like a pine cone which continues to open and close even
when it's not on the tree so the wool cuticles continue to open and close as long as you don't chemically treat it or bleach it. This
will only scorch the cuticles from the fibres thereby reducing the wools ability
to regulate. It really becomes an insulator and only keeps you warm.
Are Baavets tog rated?
- Not exactly, we just give an approximate tog rating.
Tog rating was introduced to measure the insulating properties of synthetics it is not used for wool because wool does far more than a polyester duvet or a feather duvet. Wool reacts to heat and moisture from the body and will breath ( transfer) both moisture and heat from the body or retain that heat thereby regulating body temperature rather than merely acting as an insulator. Its also warmer than a polyester of equivalent tog rating. and also cooler.
How are Baavets rated for warmth?
- We have chosen to adopt the outdoor sleeping bag equivalent of seasonal ratings.
But remember wool has a different thermal heat transferable quality than other duvets therefore is generally warmer on the lighter weights and you should also bear in mind what kind of house you live in; what kind of heating you normally have in your bedroom; and whether you are hot blooded or feel the cold more. The longer we trial wool as a filling the more amazed we have become and we have had to down grade the weight of grams needed to retain body warmth. In the UK we have become too used to expect a duvet to be really heavy to be warm. This is not the case with wool if its finely carded.
The 2/3 season is for people who don't want a duvet that's too warm or heavy at approx 300/350grams per sq metre. this can be used as a summer /autumn/spring. This can also double up as a 'throw' for very cold winter nights. (it might be too warm for very hot summer nights but then who has a duvet on then!)
Then we have the 3/4 season at approx 400/450 grams per sq metre which is the most versatile and popular model which is usable for most of the year except for warmer summers and extreme cold winter nights of around freezing . But then you can always use a throw over for those times.
We have a winter weight of 500/550 grams per sq metre for those who really feel the cold. Or live in very cold areas and houses.
At the moment we live in a very exposed farm house in the crog loft (no insulation!) and we use a 2-3 season from April to Nov. We use a 3-4 season through most of the winter, if necessary with a top sheet or a throw if it goes below -5c.
But many people now live in very insulated houses and only need a lighter duvet and it can last all year.
Why are the wool weights variable in each season category?
When wool is in a light carded state it is very difficult to keep it consistent, unlike polyester which is heat bonded and very consistent in weight.
-All wool duvet companies experience the same problems of producing a completely consistent weight of wool. Some duvets we have seen are as much as 100 grams per squ metre different to the weight shown on the label..
But we are honest enough to tell you that! We actually check the weight of each Baavet and work within a 50 gram tolerance.
Why are woollen duvets so expensive when wool is supposed to be cheap?
For the same reason that feather and down are expensive. Its not the filling, it's the fibre proof or Cambric Cotton outer which is so expensive. It has around fine 250 cotton threads per sq inch and to become fibre proof the cotton has to go through a separate heat treatment process which actually shrinks the cotton. There are not many places in the world that can do this any more. There are no chemicals used in this process its just heated rollers.
With normal cotton the wool or feathers would migrate through the cotton fabric.
Is there some way I can tell if the cotton is fibre proof or cambric?
There is a simple test you can do. Try blowing through the cotton if you can its not fibre proof. If its difficult its fibre proof if its very difficult its cambric. If its not fibre proof then the filling is not pure wool but probably a polymered wool to bond it together (glue it together) so it can't migrate through the cotton. A polymered wool can't breath or regulate body temperature properly.
So can you use any old wool in a duvet?
To be honest, yes you can, even polymered wool or chlorinated wool but there are certain wools which are much better than others.
There are 2 reasons why we have different wool and different sheep breeds.
First we have different breeds of sheep which have, over hundreds of years, been bred specifically for different parts of the world and for different climates. So the very small,hardy Hebridean Sheep with its thick long coat thrives on seaweed on the extreme northern outer reaches of the UK. Then we have the Downs sheep of lowland Britain with a short tight fleece and our own Welsh Mountain and Herdwicks of the Lake District and Cumbrian fells with their heavy thick coats to with stand harsh cold winters, and many more. Its quite an interesting subject if you care to check it out
The second reason we have different sheep breeds is because each breed has a very different wool with completely different qualities for different uses. The wool has different micro sizes,and staple lengths.
So the Wensleydales and Blue Leicester's produce a lustre wool, soft and silky, with along staple length and fine micron size, which is great for spinning and weaving into clothing While the tough Welsh Mountain is great for hard wearing carpets.
Its also possible to cross breeds of sheep to get differing qualities of wool.
Isn't Merino wool the best wool?
-Some companies claim to have all or some Merino wool in their duvets this is just a marketing ploy aimed at creating a selling image recognisable by the general public.
Merino wool, is a beautiful wool and is excellent of course for fine clothing but it isn't really the best wool for duvets. It's too fine with a long staple and lies flat so it won't have loft to trap air. You need a thicker micron and shorter springy staple to have the same thermal qualities as our lofty springy wool.
The Merino comes from Spain and Australia. It's a hot weather climate where the sheep need to keep cool. What we want in a duvet is a blend of wool from a cold climate sheep to keep us warm!
So what wool is used in a Baavet?
-Well not any Merino for sure, and not the pure Welsh Mountain, unfortunately, as we are surrounded by thousands of Welsh mountain sheep here in Snowdonia.
We spent months researching and testing wools in association with the Wool Authority Testing Station (where wool for the whole Northern Hemisphere is tested ,hence our knowledge of competitors duvets) which is only 20 miles from where we live.
We found there are excellent British breeds and specifically Welsh Breeds, especially pedigree sheep breeds and cross breeds, which have good micron wool size and staple lengths which we can then blend into just the right optimum British wool, with excellent thermal properties yet with the lightness and loft (bounce) that we want in our Baavets. We need good quality wool that has no or little kemp, (that's spiky sheep hair in poor quality wool) We also use wool from specific traceable farms, again we are the only company able to do this.
Where else are woollen duvets made?
While we were all in bed with Poly Ester (who ever she is) countries like New Zealand have been developing wool products for decades – New Zealand has a lot of sheep and not much oil! Also Italy, Hungary, Slovenia and of course China.
We are the only company able to quilt pure wool in the UK. Unlike 2 other UK duvet company's which either aren't quilted and have minimal stitching, allowing the wool to move around and eventually clump or use a synthetic polymer bonding in the wool.
Does one weight of wool suit all ?
No duvet can be an all year round wool duvet to all people, and no one weight of wool can be a 'one weight fits all', so we offer several weight options and we are pleased to talk to anyone who is unsure which to buy.
Is a Baavet Tumble dryable?
Some wool duvets are sold as tumble dryable. We believe that no pure wool can be subjected to tumble drier heat and tumbling action because the wool will shrink and felt unless the wool has been treated in some way. The normal way is to subject the wool to a chlorinating, scorching, process that kills the wool smell and stops the wool felting to do this the process strips the wool strands of its cuticles. It's these cuticles that will cause felting but its these cuticles that trap air which is the key to heat transfer and thermal qualities. The cuticles also act as a barrier to the dust mite, the microscopic cuticles make the wool rough and spiky and they don't like it! Add to that Lanolin and you have a dust mite free product.
We don't treat the wool in any way other than to wash it commercially to remove the greasy lanolin. This means that sometimes there maybe a slight wool smell (it's the lanolin that smells by the way) but in time and with airing that will always go. Remember it's also the lanolin that dust mites hate so a little left in the wool helps.
Is my Baavet machine washable?
- Yes, you can wash your Baavet on a wool setting at 40c. spin and line dry, but DO NOT TUMBLE DRY. You will be amazed how quickly your Baavet will dry out.
Anyway wool is an extremely clean organic fabric, you only have to dig into the fleece on a sheep's back and see how clean it is. Its much a cleaner filling than polyester or down, both of which attract dust. So we suggest you air your Baavet on a sunny day and let nature do the cleaning for you.
What about the combination woollen duvet offered by some companies?
We have decided, after extensive customer consultation and research, that in most cases people who have bought one haven't really used it as a combination and those that have find them difficult to handle especially when putting them into a duvet cover, especially if it only has ties. Its much easier to use a throw or just add a top sheet. Simple and less expensive.
Or buy 2 different weight duvets for different times of the year, but usually you can have one Baavet that suits for most of the year unless you live on an exposed Welsh hillside like we do so we use a winter one and a summer one.
Is a wool duvet itchy?
- No, the wool comes as a fine soft fibre that is
covered in a high quality closely woven cotton cambric fabric.
Will the wool move around and felt or clump?
-Not if it's and quilted properly and carded into lofty layers which when quilted won't move unlike feather which clumps or wool duvets that aren't quilted. It won't felt with movement either.
Are any animals harmed in producing wool duvets?
- Absolutely not. In fact some sheep are naturally self shearing. The rest just love a haircut for the summer. There is no factory farming with Sheep in the UK . This is not the case with down and feather duvets. Most down and feather comes from intensive factory farming and a bird can't survive being plucked! In China they even pluck them alive.
If wool is so good why haven't we made wool filled duvets before?
- Before World War II, and in the austere years following, we used to be a nation of beds with woolly blankets. Everyone used wool for bedding. Then, in the swinging sixties, amongst all the other social revolutions going on, we went cosmopolitan and were introduced to the continental quilt (which at first was down or feather). Then the sixties brought us the petrochemical revolution and we moved to cheap man-made polyester. Continental quilts were re-invented as duvets with polyester fillings at a price everyone could afford. Whereas on the continent wool has been used for duvets forever.
So why make them now?
- First of all wool isn't as expensive anymore, unless you buy an expensive wool carpet or a wool suit, and that's because it's the cost of processing that pushes the price up. And secondly, we're realizing that polyester isn't such a great material for bedding for so many reasons. Meanwhile feather and down while being very good insulators can't regulate your body temperature which makes for a restless sleep whether you are aware of this or not.
Also many people are allergic to them. Whereas wool is totally sustainable and doesn't require factory farming as with chickens, ducks and geese.
Is the Baavet really British?
- Yes, we can guarantee that the wool in a Baavet is from British farms and the entire process from carding to packaging is done in Britain. In fact in most cases our wool comes from specific Welsh farms. Only the cotton comes from abroad, Britain just doesn't have the right weather for growing cotton, unfortunately. We now even make our own cotton bags rather than from abroad and we have all the embroidery and printing done here.
Can you return your Baavet if your aren't happy?
Some companies have a fairly strict 7 or 14 day returns policy making it very difficult for you, the customer, to find out if your duvet is the right one for you. We have a simple returns policy. Try it for 30 days and if you don't like it you can send it back!!
But really your Baavet should last you a life time.