Behind The Design | The Cotton Quilt
The story behind our new super-comfy layer for your bed, launching 19th September.
Bedfolk founder Jo James (who heads up our product design) opens up about the design process that led to our Cotton Quilts & Quilted Squares, which are - and we're not joking - the squishiest layers ever.
Quilt development - an early sketch
We really value the relationship we have with our customers, and chatting with them about what they want is a huge part of our design process. In our regular rounds of customer discovery, one request that kept coming up again and again was extra layers for the bed, so we put these to the top of our design schedule and started working on them in mid 2019.
We loved the idea of creating a modern take on a traditional quilt – something super-soft and squishy that pairs perfectly with our bedding. An effortless product that is useful year-round, is easy-care and super versatile.
I’ve been testing our quilts in my own home for over a year now and they are used every day on the beds - It makes them look pulled together and SO comfy, with such little effort. I also have one in a basket next to my sofa which gets used most nights, and it often gets pulled out as a play mat when my niece and nephews come to play! It’s versatility and durability was something that was very important to us.
The Cotton Quilt & Quilted Squares in Ink
(Layered with Classic Cotton in Snow)
Tell us about Quilted Squares…
We’re also launching matching Quilted Square Pillowcases to work alongside the Quilts. At Bedfolk, layering and mixing & matching are key to everything we design – we love the idea of our customers being able to update their bedrooms by adding a layer, or switching up the colour of a pair of pillowcases. It’s such an easy way to give your bedroom a cosy update.
Like our Quilts, the Quilted Squares (65 x 65cm) are also really versatile – on beds they are perfect for layering behind your standard pillowcases, and propping yourself up in bed when reading or having a cup of tea. They also work really well on the sofa (and I shouldn’t admit this probably, but my little dog has really taken to using a prototype sample as a very comfortable bed!)
The Cotton Quilt & Quilted Squares in Clay
(layered with Relaxed Cotton in Ink)
What’s so special about The Cotton Quilt?
As well as its versatility, there are several features of our Quilts that make them different to bed layers you’ll find elsewhere.
- They are made from the same high quality cotton as our bedding, which is unusual - a lot of manufacturers will use a cheaper quality cotton on their blankets / bedspreads. We use our best-selling Relaxed Cotton front and back to maintain our quality standards and offer a super-soft, long-lasting version.
- Our Quilt sizes are much more generous than the typical UK sizing, making your bed a cloud of comfort! It’s so nice to have a quilt that you can properly fit the family under on your sofa or bed.
- We spent 10 months designing them and getting the perfect weight for year-round use whilst making them ultra-easy to care for. They can be paired with a flat sheet for cool summer sleeping (or even used alone) or layered on top of your duvet for the ultimate in winter cosy. Our part-recycled poly-batting fill means they are machine washable and tumble friendly too, because life is complicated enough without having to dry-clean things you use every day.
The Cotton Quilt in Rose
(Layered with Relaxed Cotton in Snow)
What did the design process involve?
The term quilt comes with a lot of nostalgic connotations, but it actually just refers to a style of manufacturing that has 3 layers: top, inner batting, and bottom. All 3 layers (in our case 100% Relaxed Cotton top, part-recycled poly-batting inner, and 100% Relaxed Cotton bottom) are stitched through at the same time. Traditional designs tend to be quite fussy, with lots of detailing and colour, which obviously isn’t the Bedfolk aesthetic at all. We wanted to design a modern take that was easy to layer in any bedroom, so we pared it back to a very simple linear design. It’s got all the cosiness of a traditional quilt, without any of the fussiness!
Even though our design is simple and looks pretty effortless, it actually took many rounds of prototyping to get it right. I’ve been sleeping with prototype versions of this quilt since summer 2019, tweaking things and making sure it’s absolutely perfect before we launched. As well as getting the weight right for year-round use, we also had 3 different takes on the width of the padded sections, finally landing on the 15cm spacing – which gives a really laid-back and comfortable look.
The Cotton Quilt in Clay
(Layered with Linen in Snow)
We spot a new colour (Clay) - tell us about the launch colour palette…
For the launch colour palette, Ink was a no-brainer as it’s been our bestselling colour since we launched it earlier this year. Ink also pairs perfectly with our other core colours.
We spent a long time debating which other colours to launch with, and I kept coming back to Rose which is also really popular with our customers. It’s such a soft pink, it can work almost anywhere. We love Rose on Rose but, like Ink, it also works really well with our other bedding colours.
Our new colour Clay is actually a bedding colour we’ve been working on for a while (we'll be adding it to our bedding collection soon), but we decided to introduce it early with the Quilt, and I’m so glad we did! It’s my personal favourite of the 3 (my bed combo at the moment is our Snow Linen layered up with a Clay Quilt & Clay Quilted Squares). Clay looks particularly good with our Snow & Ink bedding, but also works with Rose & Dove.