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Get creative with the Dormitory moodboard competition

Moodboard Competition.

Here at Dormitory, we are big fans of a moodboard for facilitating  our bed linen design process. A board doesn’t need to be a literal representation of a design scheme of course, it is more of a visual representation of the vibe or feel you are trying to achieve. It’s a great way of clarifying and arranging your vision into something truly inspirational.

With a new season comes a new mood, and we’d like to celebrate the start of Autumn with a  moodboard competition on Pinterest. We’re challenging those of you with creative aspirations to build a board on Pinterest for an Autumn bedroom makeover centred around 1 of 4 of our luxury bedlinen designs. To enter, simply follow us on Pinterest, find the bed linen images to use on our Dormitory competition board, and the rest is up to you!

Choose from:

Empress in Green or Blue – Egyptian cotton sateen

Brunswick in Dew Pond or Flint – pure linen

Stanhope white with classic hemstitching – Egyptian cotton percale

Wallace Sand –  a contemporary Egyptian cotton percale




Get those creative juices flowing and play around with colour, textures, furniture, accessories and detailing. Have a look at at our board with examples. If its your first time creating a board, here are some tips:

  1. Look beyond the digital world – find your own sources.
  2. Take pictures wherever you are – find inspiration.
  3. Curate what you include.
  4. Choose a style but make it loose. Make the theme obvious.
  5. Build around your favourite statement or image.
  6. Aim to spark an emotional response.
  7. Don’t make assumptions.

A small panel of interior design experts will pick the best board in each of the 4 bed linen design categories, and from those, the ultimate winning board. The winner of the most inspiring board will receive the set of luxury bed linen they chose to use for their board design.

Your board should contain 15-20 images and the closing date for entry is October 20th 2018. Please use the title ‘My Dormitory Bedroom’ and the hashtag #MyDormitoryBedroom for your board description and tweet a link to us @dormitoryuk or email


Terms and Conditions: • Competition closes at 11.59pm on 20/10/18. Competition is open to UK residents only •  The winner will be chosen on 23/10/18 and notified by email or Twitter • If the chosen winner does not claim their prize within 24 hours then another will be chosen • The winner will receive one set of bedlinen (as used in their moodboard design – 1 duvet cover, 2 x pillow cases) • The prize carries no cash value, is non-transferable and may not be substituted • Only one entry per person is permitted • The prize will be sent directly from Dormitory and is subject to delivery times • Dormitory cannot be held responsible for any damages or delays as a result of accepting the prize • This competition is not sponsored, endorsed by or in any way associated with Pinterest or Instagram •

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Bed linen glossary of terms – a buying guide.

bed linen glossary of terms

Bed linen glossary of terms – a buying guide.


Buying bed linen and linen accessories can be a confusing process these days. There are so many varieties of fabric, each with their own properties and different types of manufacturing and finishing processes that affect the feel, quality, durability and price of the final product. Most of us have a vague awareness that ‘Egyptian Cotton’ is the most luxurious fabric for bedding and that thread count is important, but with all the claims made by today’s manufacturers and marketers, how do we really know what we’re getting? To help clear up the confusion, we’ve put together a bed linen glossary of terms used in the industry which should hopefully help you see the wood from the trees (and your Egyptian Cotton from your Pima).


Bed Linen Glossary of Terms


Applique – a sewing technique whereby a small cut-out piece of fabric is attached to a larger piece to form a design or pattern.


Binding – the finishing of an edge or hem of a piece of fabric by rolling or pressing then stitching on a trim or edging decoration.


Blend – when two or more fibres are mixed together to create a new fabric with different properties.


Boll – the round protective case surrounding the seeds of the cotton or flax plants.


bed linen glossary of terms


Boudoir pillowcase – the covering for a small decorative pillow, commonly 30cm x 40cm


Brocade – a rich fabric woven with a raised pattern (often in silver or gold).


Brushed cotton – at the end of the manufacturing process, the cotton fabric is brushed on one side to remove excess lint and to raise the surface giving a soft and fluffy finish. This is how you create flannelette or flannel.


Combed cotton – a very soft version of cotton which is made by treating the cotton fibres so that the staple threads line up as perfectly as possible and are aligned for spinning. It gives you the smoothest thread possible from the fibres that have been used. It’s also often the name given to blends of different grades of cotton.


Cording – a narrow strip of fabric wrapped and sewn around a cord, used as a decorative finishing element (also known as piping).


Cotton – the soft fluffy cellulose staple fibre that grows in a protective case (boll) around the seeds of the cotton plant, native to tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. The fibre is spun into yarn and woven to make a soft breathable fabric.


Damask – a rich, lustrous fabric made of silk, linen, cotton of wool, with reversible patterns woven into it.


Dorset button – a craft-made button originating in the county of Dorset in the seventeenth century.


bed linen glossary of terms


Down – the layer of fine bird feathers found underneath the larger, tough exterior feathers. It’s a great soft, thermal insulator so is commonly used as padding in high-quality bedding and clothing materials.


Eiderdown – the down feathers specifically from the Eider duck, and the term for a quilt or coverlet filled with down or other insulating material.


bed linen glossary of terms


Egyptian Cotton – coming from a different plant than other grades or types of cotton, Egyptian cotton originated in the rich soils of the Nile valley and produces a longer fibre or ‘staple’. The longer staples cause the resulting spun yarn to be stronger and finer than regular cotton which means it can be woven more tightly to create a uniquely soft, strong, durable and breathable fabric. The best quality cotton available on the market.


bed linen glossary of terms


Embroidery – the sewing of raised and ornamental designs or patterns on woven fabrics.


Euro pillowcase – the covering of a square pillow, often used decoratively on the bed behind the functional pillows, commonly 65cm x 65cm.


Fibre – a hair-like raw material made of plant cells which can be spun and woven into fabric.


Fitted Sheet – a fabric bottom sheet with elasticated corners designed to fit over a mattress.


Flat Sheet – an ordinary sheet without elasticated corners.


Flax – a blue flowered herbaceous plant. The textile fibre is obtained from its stalks and spun and woven to make linen.


Garment washing – a process by which fabrics are treated to remove starch and develop softness after manufacture.


Hem – the edge of a piece of fabric that has been turned over and sewn to prevent fraying.


Housewife pillowcase – a covering for a pillow that has a sewn edge and fits closely round the pillow with no border.


Jacquard – an intricate variegated pattern formed on a special jacquard loom which has perforated cards for the production of brocaded fabrics.


bed linen glossary of terms


Jersey – a type of fabric construction that originated in the Channel Islands and which can be made of various materials, including cotton and synthetic fibres. It produces a lightweight and stretchy finish, ideal for draped textiles.


Linen – a strong, cool and absorbent cloth woven from the fibres of the flax plant. Ideal for use in hot weather.


bed linen glossary of terms


Mercerise – treating natural threads to shrink them and make them stronger and more lustrous. It also increases their affinity for dyes.


Micromodal – a sustainable fibre derived from beech trees. It makes a smooth and cool drapable material that is a great alternative to silk.


bed linen glossary of terms


Oxford pillowcase – a covering for a pillow that has a border or frill. A more dressy and elegant pillow covering than the Housewife.


Percale – a closely woven plain-weave fabric, usually of 200 thread count or higher that is strong, durable and washes well. It is smooth, of matt appearance and can be woven from cotton or blended fibres.


Pima Cotton – a cotton plant that produces a strong and firm fibre developed primarily in the south-western US by the selection and breeding of Egyptian cottons.


Piping – (see cording)


bed linen glossary of terms


Ply – the particular number of threads from which a fabric is made.


Sateen – a short-staple cotton fabric woven like satin to produce a lustrous finish.


Satin – a weave that has a glossy surface and a dull back.


Sham – a decorative covering for a pillow (North American version of a pillowcase).


Silk – a very fine and lustrous fibre produced by silkworms to make cocoons and which is spun into thread and woven into fabric.


Staple – an individual fibre of cotton.


Thread count – the number of threads woven together in a square inch of fabric. The finer the thread, the tighter the weave, hence higher thread counts being associated with fine quality. Beware very high thread counts (over 600) though. Some manufacturers might make one thread from four plies twisted together, thus giving quadruple the thread count without an associated impact on the actual quality of the finished product.


bed linen glossary of terms


Tog – the measure of thermal resistance of a unit area used to label the warmth of duvets. Lightweight summer duvets typically range from 3.0 – 4.5 tog, Spring/Autumn duvets range from 7.5 – 10.5 tog and winter duvets range from 12.0 – 13.5 tog.


Top sheet – a flat sheet which you lie underneath in bed, and which would have blankets or coverlets on top. An arrangement used in traditional bed dressing and often seen on hotel beds. Top sheets and blankets/quilts have largely been replaced by duvets in Europe.


Valance – a decorative border that hangs down over the side of the mattress to hide the bed structure and space beneath.


bed linen glossary of terms


Voile – a very thin, fine, lightweight, semi-sheer fabric made in plain-weave from cotton, silk, wool or synthetic fibres.


Waffle Weave – (also known as honeycomb weave) – a fabric construction which is very absorbent and allows air to circulate around the fabric so making it quick-drying. It is often used to make towels and robes for these reasons.


bed linen glossary of terms



In an era where, luxury can be used to describe anything from cat food to cheese boards, Dormitory looks to what true luxury means – quality materials, an unstinting eye for detail and true, old fashioned craftsmanship. We take pride in the creation of well-crafted products of integrity. Shop our products here.

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Breakfast in bed, the perfect Valentine’s day

With Valentine’s day just around the corner, we asked one of our new favourite food bloggers, Kate Baker, to give us some ideas for a romantic start to the morning


Breakfast in bed


Valentine’s day. Breathtakingly exciting for 10 year olds, mortifying for teenagers and pretty much non-existent for anyone with kids. But hold on! If anybody deserves to be told that you love them, it’s the person with whom you have shared night feeds, 5am episodes of Ben & Holly and that sinking feeling when you realise you don’t understand your child’s homework.


And this is why I think breakfast in bed is exactly what we should all be bringing back this Valentine’s day (and frankly, any other Sunday morning that finds you both at home). I confess that as somebody who struggles with early mornings, sneaking back to bed with a plate of toast and a coffee is absolutely one of my favourite things – so to make it a bit special for your loved one this February, here are my top tips for a romantic breakfast in bed.


Focus on your surroundings – if you’re planning a romantic surprise the next morning, spend a couple of minutes clearing the stage the night before. I’m not suggesting you re-decorate, however nothing kills the mood like a week’s worth of unfolded laundry winking at you from the corner of the room.


Get your good stuff out – don’t save beautiful bed linens or gorgeous crockery for best – use them, love them and appreciate the pleasure that little luxuries bring to our lives. I love crisp white linen, supersoft throws, huge scatter cushions to lean into and I have a thing for beautiful coffee cups.


Keep it simple – this is a treat, now is not the time for a painstakingly complicated cooking session. I’ve put my favourites here…

  • Toast and marmalade with coffee – it seems really obvious, but the key thing here is to use great ingredients – proper butter, sourdough bread, good (preferably local) marmalade and decent coffee. It’s always popular in our house and the kids can help too if you want them to.


  • An oldie but a goody. Salmon, scrambled eggs and avocado sprinkled with nigella seeds for a bit of added interest and served on rye toast.


  • Stir some rhubarb compote (homemade or shop bought – whatever works for you) through a small bowl of Greek yoghurt. Sprinkle over some crushed pistachios and drizzle with runny honey. Serve with a warm croissant to rip up and dunk and the fruit tea of your choice. Easy, delicious and looks amazing.


  • Porridge, with anything you like – the world is your oyster!  When I have time to make it properly, I like mine with bananas, honey and figs. I like it even more when someone else has made it for me.


  • If you’re really pushed for time, you can easily find ready to cook croissants or pain au chocolate in the frozen section of your local supermarket. Sling a couple in the oven while you feed the dog and hey presto – breakfast in bed!

Attention to detail – STOP! Before you take that tray upstairs have a look at it. A small posy of flowers, the newspaper and a handwritten note make a huge difference – heck, it IS Valentines after all!

And finally….

Make a habit of it. Catch up together, let the kids in for a snuggle and turn a blind eye to the toast crumbs – it’s the little rituals that turn our homes into havens.


Words and pictures by Kate Baker  – Food and lifestyle blogger





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Because you’re worth it – why you should invest in quality Egyptian cotton bedding for a good night’s sleep.

It’s no secret that we all love our beds, but the physical and mental benefits of regular good sleep is becoming increasingly apparent. A 2017 book by neuroscientist Matthew Walker revealed that sleep is much more important for our health and happiness than previously thought and that getting less sleep than we need (a massive 8 hours!) increases our chances of getting diseases like cancer and Alzheimers, and can actually shorten our life-spans.

Achieving that perfect 8 hour slumber is easier said than done though. Most of us are aware that we need comfortable, supportive mattresses and optimal sleeping conditions – a regular bedtime routine, low-lighting, good ventilation, and an absence of screens in the bedroom. But the bedding we sleep in should also be a priority. The material we choose to wrap ourselves in and that is in contact with our skins for 1/3 of our lives is a key ingredient in the recipe for comfortable and revitalising sleep.

egyptian cotton

Egyptian Cotton – simply the best.

Pure Egyptian cotton has long had the reputation of being the softest and most luxurious material for bedding – and rightly so. The secret to its quality lies in the special characteristics of the Egyptian cotton species. The climate and particular environmental conditions where it is grown in the Nile Delta creates a longer, thinner, and stronger staple (fibre) which when woven produces a uniquely fine and durable fabric with a supremely soft texture. It is light and breathable, and the strength of the fibres mean that the fabric lasts for years, can be machine washed and tumble dried, in fact, becoming softer and even more luxurious over time with repeated washing.


Thread Count. The only way is up – or is it?

The thread count of the fabric is a measure of the threads in a square inch and it is the thinner, finer staples of Egyptian cotton that enable it to be woven tightly into a super fine, high thread-count material. Beware of very high thread count (over 800) cheaper cotton varieties as these have had extra threads woven in which artificially raises the thread count, but doesn’t enhance the quality, durability or texture of the fabric.

egyptian cotton

Invest for good rest.

There are a lot of high-thread count 100% cotton sheets available on the market, but as we have seen, many of these are not all that they appear to be. The best quality, longest-lasting and most comfortable sheets are made from single-ply genuine Egyptian cotton, grown and hand-picked in Egypt, with a thread-count no higher than 600. The finest bedding is woven in Europe (specifically Italy) which has a long tradition of craftsmanship in weaving and where specialist looms, dyeing and finishing techniques are used. This bedding comes with a higher price-tag than other cotton variety and blended material sheets woven elsewhere, but if you invest wisely and follow the care instructions, you can look forward to many years of use and comfort. When you are shopping for bedding therefore, look out for labels with 100% cotton or pure Egyptian cotton on them, check where the sheets have been woven, feel the material, hold it up to the light (it shouldn’t be thin or see-through) – and if the price seems too good to be true – it most probably is!



Don’t just take our word for it though, try for yourself. Order free swatches of our pure Egyptian cotton bedding fabric and you’ll see what we mean – email:



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Why we all love wool in winter: the history of the ultimate cosy natural fibre.

history of wool

The history of wool

Wool is a wonderful and versatile natural fibre and for centuries sheep and their fleeces have been an integral part of the British landscape and commerce.

Compared to the animals we know today, wild sheep  were hairy rather than woolly and became domesticated some 9,000 to 11,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence from Iran  suggests the first selective breeding of woolly sheep may have begun around 6000 BC, with the earliest woven wool garments having only been dated to 2,000 or 3,000 thousand years later.

history of wool

The easy mobility of sheep allowed the Persians, Greeks and Roman empires to distribute and therefore introduce sheep and their fleeces across Europe, and throughout the Roman period, there is evidence that wool fleeces became superior through further selective breeding.

During the 12th century, Greek weavers were sent to Italy as slaves after the Norman conquest of Greece which stimulated the Italian weaving industry to extraordinary work. It continued to be one of the centres of weaving excellence until the 16th century when the arrival of silk superseded it.
In the 13th century, the wool trade became the economic engine of Northern Europe  and central Italy. In Britain the monastic orders were at the centre of wool production as they had accumulated vast tracts of land during the previous two centuries while prices were low and labour still scarce.

history of wool

Raw wool was baled and shipped from  ports on the North East coast of England to the textile cities of  Flanders, Ypres and  Ghent, where it was dyed and worked up as cloth.
At the time of the  Black Death, English owned textile industries accounted for only 10% of English wool production. The textile trade grew rapidly during the 15th century, to the point where the export of wool was discouraged. Over the centuries, various British laws controlled the wool trade or required the use of wool even in burials. The smuggling of wool out of the country, known as  owling, was at one time punishable by the cutting off of a hand.

history of wool

The importance of wool to the English economy can be seen in the fact King Edward III insisted the Lord Chancellor should sit on a wool bale in Parliament to show its central role in the economy. Even today the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords  sits on a chair called the “Woolsack’’.

In 1789, two Spanish Merino Rams and six ewes arrived in South Africa after they had been gifted by the Spanish King to the Dutch. They had not enjoyed the North European climate but thrived in South Africa. Later their descendants were sent further afield to Australia and became the basis of their thriving sheep industry. Australia’s early economy was based on wool production and they supplied Bradford which was at the centre of the industrialised, mass production wool industry in the 19th century. Australia is still the main producer of fleeces but is now closely followed by China.

history of wool

Having been superseded by many man-made fibres, wool now accounts for only 3% of world textiles. However, it remains a fantastically versatile material with amazing natural properties. Being a breathable fibre, it can regulate itself to individual body temperatures. When it is cold, it can wick moisture from the skin and insulates to trap dry, warm air, and when it is warm, it lets in air which helps remove heat and moisture from the body. Not only that, it is water and dirt resistant, flame retardant and naturally anti-allergenic. Despite competition from man-made fibres, wool remains hard to beat as the ultimate cosy material for winter.

We are now stocking a new range of gorgeous 100% lambswool throws – have a look here.



Dormitory create timeless, exquisite bedlinen. Crafted in our own workshops we combine traditional techniques with the best luxury European fabrics.