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The Fine Art
of Bedding

The Fine Art of Bedding
Laura Lovett

For most of us, there is simply nothing more luxurious than getting into crisp, fresh sheets, resting our heads into marshmallow-like fluffy pillows and melting into slumber with soothing, butter-soft sheets.

One only has to caress a Frette bedsheet to appreciate the superior feel of the fabric, created by using the finest threads at luxuriously high densities and, once you’ve felt the difference, it’s impossible to go back to anything else. This is bedding at a couture level.

Founded in the 1860s, Frette supplied linens to luxury hotels around the world from the very beginning. Its sheets grace the bedrooms and dining rooms of historical establishments like the Danieli in Venice to the Ritz in Paris, Claridge's in London to the Peninsula in Hong Kong. Then when the company revolutionised a way to weave a family’s crest into the sheets in the 1880s, it was appointed as the official supplier of bed linen to the Italian royal family.

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Frette’s brand director, Andrea Warden, admits: “The first night I slept in Frette sateen, I said the next morning that I never want to sleep in anything else.” And Warden is not the only person addicted to what is arguably the world’s finest bedding. “We have customers who have Frette in their numerous homes globally, some who travel only with Frette sheets and other loyal customers who order our Limited Edition pieces every year even before we have woven them,” she explains.

What is it that drives this passion for bedding? The difference lies in the detail. An important part of Frette’s success is its focus on handcraftsmanship and across Italy, in some of the oldest and most reputable mills, weavers have spun, weaved, sewn and embroidered the linen for generations.

Most people look at thread count when they are choosing sheets, but this is irrelevant if the raw materials aren’t right. “It is only one of the considerations, and not the most important,” says Warden. “The quality of the yarns, weaving and finishing, all create the best sheets, and these are factors overlooked by many brands.”

The real thing that matters, above all, is how it feels against your skin, and that comes down to raw materials, something that sets Frette leagues apart. Long fibres make for a more uniform, resistant and smoother thread, and that undefinable “feel” quality is determined by the finishing process. Moving through traditional looms that will have been used hundreds of years ago, the fabric is gassed, washed, ironed and mercerised - a process that involves plumping the fibres to make them stronger and more luxurious - and the results speak for themselves.

The company, like a couture house, has its own in-house design department where, according to Warden, “Artists develop the pattern idea and sketch it in a free-hand design.” This in turn is then translated into a pattern for the jacquard loom, a fabric that is at the very heart of Frette.

The brand’s inimitable jacquard brings material alive. In Frette’s hands, “the finest details and shadings are woven into the fabric like a painting,” says Warden, and “colouring the yarn before weaving adds wonderful chromatic effects as well.”

There is no denying that quality linens enhance our sleep experience, and Warden reveals the lengths that the company goes to in order to ensure that the experience is beyond compare, every night at home as it is in the worlds best hotels. “We photograph every bed linen set that customers buy dressed upon the bed and then we visit to train their home keeper on how to make up the bed in Frette style.”

In a busy, crowded world, the ultimate luxury is a place where you can relax and recover from the stresses and strains of everyday life, your own private sanctuary. Your bed, as the ultimate nest of rest, calm and love, is at its heart. The only problem with Frette might be in wanting to actually get out of bed.

2015-09-09 00:10:00.0