The Ancient Passion for Luxurious Bedding

By on September 14, 2015, in Soft Surroundings

The desire for a comfortable, warm place to lay one’s head is as old as human life, and the first coverlets were probably sewn pieces of doeskin and rabbit fur, pulled up and tucked around the body—pure luxury at the time.

The ancient Egyptians are given the credit for growing the first (and still the best) flax and spinning it into fine linen, but fabric for sheets wasn’t common until the Greeks and Romans. Even then, it was a symbol of opulence and royalty.

The English word “quilt” comes from 12th century France, when beds finally had mattresses and layers of downy quilts, flax sheets, fur-lined blankets, decorated bedspreads, and the ultimate—a personal pillow!

But the true beginning of luxurious bedding happened in 1397 when the seventeen-year-old Princess Isabelle of France was given a trousseau before her marriage to England’s Richard II. A trousseau was a wealthy home’s essential collection of fine linens for bed, bath and table, and a woman’s most prized possession. Can’t you just picture Isabelle’s lavish trousseau folded and stacked in her gorgeous French armoire?

Fast-forward to 2015. We might not have trousseaux anymore, but we certainly still have our passion for luxurious bedding. And now we have so many more options to choose from: silk, linen, cotton, quilts, comforters, coverlets, and so much more.

Here at Soft Surroundings, we consider sumptuous bedding a must-have and we are happy to offer a wide range of comfortable and beautiful styles….

Lombardi Bedding Collection

lombardibedThe Italians have long been known for the richness and splendor of their textiles and it is in that grand tradition that we created our Lombardi Bedding Collection. First, the heavenly soft coverlet is smocked by hand for an ethereal drape. The design is punctuated with handmade rosettes for a unique combination of casual and carefree with pops of sophistication. The shams look fit for a princess with an oversized ruffle framing the hand-gathered smocking and rosettes. Pair the Lombardi ensemble with the Silk Provencal Bed Skirt and Euro Shams and the frosting is on the cake.

Autumne Quilt

autumnebedAlexander the Great made cotton more popular in Europe after his expeditions through Asia and eventually cotton became more common than linen for sheets and bedspreads. Our Autumne Quilt is entirely made of cotton, including the fill, and a striking example of the way rich color and style can transform a room at the turning of the seasons.

The Autumne Bedding Collection is both soothing and spicy, with the warmth and gladness of gold and green fall leaves peppered across a piquant red field. The quilt has unspoken depth of character with lattice quilting through the center and stitching to define the leaves around the fluid border. The sham is the perfect complement, tied with three cotton bows in the back. Add a touch of neutral contrast to the spicy rich red and gold palette by accenting the look with our Festonne Euro Sham and Heritage Bed Skirt. It’s enough to make Alexander the Great double take.

Sumptuous Chenille Blanket

71803We think a bed always seems to be missing something when there isn’t a throw or blanket in the mix. And as the temperatures begin to drop we will be layering on a new favorite, the Sumptuous Chenille Blanket with its velvety softness. In fact, this blanket gets our highest softness rating! In gorgeous shade of ivory, taupe or champagne, these blankets and throws finish off with decorative knotted fringe.

Uffizi Quilt

uffizibedFeaturing classic Italian design, the iconography of our Uffizi Quilt and Shams is inspired by an antique Florentine medallion. We express it in elegant steel grey, taupe and ivory. This luxurious bedding is 100% cotton top to bottom, including the fill. Every medallion is outlined with pick stitching to create a lovely pattern on the solid grey voile underside. Rounded corners and braided cotton edging complete the picture. We love that the swirling medallion is the hero of the design on our Uffizi Shams. Match the Uffizi Collection with our Luxury Bamboo Sheet Set and sink into the softest, prettiest bed you’ve every experienced.

Santorini Skirted Coverlet

santorinibedWe consistently get five stars in the reviews for our pure white Santorini Skirted Coverlet because of the pooling drape to the sides and its ultra softness. The center section is sewn with thousands of hand-guided stitches and the skirt is double layered and dotted with delicate rosettes at the corners. The Santorini Shams are equally breathtaking with elaborate stitching and an easy ruffle.


71815Ever since the Middle Ages, pillows have been a point of extravagance. Anne of Brittany liked silk taffeta pillowcases. Margret of Austria wanted hers decorated with gold and silk thread. And Charlotte of Savoy kept her lace pillowcases in a locked rose-scented chest!

70855We will easily admit we are rather obsessive about our pillows too!

Let’s start with our Capri Silk Neckroll. This is the essence of luxurious bedding, made with lustrous silk, a subtle ruched effect and your monogram embroidered at the center. Pure ivory linen is the fabric used to make our sweet Amour Pillow, with its loving embroidery and petite ruffle. And our Ticking Striped Pillow Case has what every Renaissance lady wanted in her personal trousseau: luxurious lace edging along with graceful embroidery. We especially love the French ticking stripe of these particular pillowcases. It combines elegance with a French country vibe.70970

Try to imagine life without fine bed linens. It might happen! Already paper towels have nearly wiped fine damask napkins off the dinner table! Until then, though, find delight in the softness of cotton, linen and silk sheets and bed covers. Enjoy the opulence of decorative touches like hand stitching, monograms and embroidery. And revel in your luxurious bedding!

  • JudyMalone

    Will the Santorini Skirted Coverlet ever be available in the twin size? Pleeeeez! It is so beautiful – I would buy it right away if it was ever available.

    • Soft Spoken Soft Surroundings

      Hi Judy. Unfortunately, the Santorini Skirted Coverlet will not be offered in a twin size. We do offer twin sizes but only in a select few styles. Check out a complete listing of our bedding coverlets and duvet covers here:

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