Thanks to Laura at Little Stuff

Thank you to the lovely Laura at Little Stuff for the great review about our Bright Stars Bed Linen

Here is a copy of her comments…

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Finding bedding for teenagers can be really tricky, I find. They’re WELL past the stage of wanting their favourite comic book hero or tv character sleeping next to them each night, and yet they’re usually not ready (especially the boys) for the adult offerings of floral patterns or plain old block colours that seem to be the only alternative.

So I let out a Whoop Of Happy when I was looking at the Fine Cotton Company’s site and teen boy crossed behind me, pausing to exclaim spontaneously “Oh, I love that stars duvet cover, that’s really cool!”

Hurrah hurray hurroo.

And out of the website and onto his bed, how does it stand up?

It’s flipping gorgeous.

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I clearly didn’t read the description clearly, because I was surprised to see the star pattern is actually embroidered on and not printed. Such a nice touch that really lifts the set.

The biggest test of all, of course, is how it feels. The boy is VERY fussy, and chooses to sleep under an old and faded spiderman duvet cover rather than a newer, more suitable cover that isn’t 100% cotton and therefore doesn’t feel as nice on his skin.

The Bright Stars set? Passes with flying colours. My only issue now is that he won’t sleep under anything else, so I have to wash it and dry it in a day!

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The set washes beautifully, and being 100% organic cotton it dries fast too. It does need an iron, but I’m sorry to say the boy prefers his bedding ‘softly rumpled’ and not crisply flat, so no iron was used in the making of this bed.

The Bright Stars organic 200tc bedding can be bought direct from the Fine Cotton Company. It’s available in double, single and cotbed sizes, and the single duvet cover is £45.

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Spring at The Fine Cotton Company

Brooklyn Bed Linen

Brooklyn Summer Bed Linen

Spring is the perfect time to enjoy new beginnings. It gives the best avenue for you to participate in the rebirth of the Earth. It’s as if everything that has been happening for the past year is being cleansed, and the whole world is being given a fresh new start. New flowers blossom to reinvigorate nature’s colours, and the trees all grow a little greener. The environment tries to pick itself up from any issues in the past, and no matter how dark and dusty a place usually is, spring gives it that one little annual boost.

Invite spring into your home sweet home

Don’t leave spring outside where it can only be enjoyed far from home. Invite it into your own home, so that the freshness you can expect from outside would enter your house, too. Let the cleanliness reflect within your home so that you can enjoy your very own new beginning. Imitate the events outside your door and copy them within your walls to let yourself enjoy the spring brightness even within the coolness and comfort of your very own home.

Creating a blank slate to work with

Before buying any products, your first step would be to clear out your old linen. If you have any bedding and sheets that are close to falling apart, get rid of them and try to find new sheets. Look for sheets, bedding, pillowcases and throws that will represent the brightness of spring and the freshness of new beginnings. This is your opportunity to splurge on new things: if you want some new furnishings, buy them and enjoy their novelty.

The Fine Cotton Company’s top buys to make your home just like spring

Make sure that all of your buys are of light, airy colours. Don’t use really deep colours that may dampen the light feeling of spring. Put enough colour to make the room interesting but not too much to make it overwhelming.

Crisp white bed linen, colourful throws, plush new towels and a light bathrobe can be the first items to build into your new furnishings.

Spring is all about new days. You have every opportunity now to create a whole new room, to make something different from what you had last year. Take this chance to give your room a makeover from something old and reminiscent of last year to something exciting and ready for this year.

Find the perfect match for spring with our collection at The Fine Cotton Company.

Create a Nursery Fit for a Princess or Prince

Nursery Ideas

Nursery Ideas From The Fine Cotton Company

The Royal Baby has now arrived – Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

Here are a few tips for creating a beautiful nursery for your baby.

Choosing your Nursery Bedding

With babies spending up to 14 hours a day sleeping, after choosing the cot, one of the most important purchases will be the bed linen.

The skin of your precious new baby is so delicate that what we put against it needs to be as pure as possible. To protect your baby from nasty chemicals and pollutants which leach from the materials into our bodies, it is important to consider buying organic cotton bedding as organic cotton is grown without chemicals and pesticides. Bear in mind that ordinary cotton sheets are typically coated with formaldehyde to make them wrinkle-free, and are processed with chemicals that have essentially become a part of them. When your baby sleeps on this bedding, he or she will be in direct contact with these harmful substances, without you being fully aware of the effects.

Pure organic cotton bedding is breathable and this will help with temperature regulation of your baby.

It is probably a good idea to opt for subtle coloured bedding and add personal touches of colour with toys and pictures. Neutral colours will ensure that everything will go together with no colour clashes and also so it has a bit of longevity.Having a baby is an expensive time so it helps if you can buy things that can be passed down to a baby in the future.

When buying your baby bedding plan for 3 or 4 fitted and flat sheets and 2 light weight baby blankets for layering. This will enable you to have a couple of spare changes. The baby blankets we recommend can be used as a swaddling blanket.

Tips for Buying Bedding

You’ll need a good collection of quality essentials

  1. Quality – always ensure you buy good quality fabrics such as percale. As you have to wash baby bedding so frequently they will last longer than cheap fabrics.
  2. 100% Organic Cotton. Don’t go for mixed fibres such as polyester cotton as these will be too warm and sticky for the baby and after frequent washing tend to ‘pill’ and become bobbly to the touch.
  3. A Swaddling Blanket is an essential item to help with the new baby’s sense of security. Always choose one made of natural fibres; 100% organic cotton is best.
  4. Go for a mix of sheets and light-weight blankets, so you can easily add an extra layer or take one away – Please do remember that a blanket doubled over counts as two layers.
  5. Duvets, pillows and cot bumpers are not suitable for babies under 12 months old.
  6. There is currently a debate about the use of cot bumpers and their safety. Certain States in the USA have banned the use of cot bumpers as they believe they may contribute to cot deaths. There have been many cases reported of suffocation caused by the baby being caught between the bumper and the mattress.

Essential Accessories

  1. Blackout Blind -Planning for a good night’s sleep now will make all the difference in those sleep deprived weeks yet to come. Most babies sleep better in the dark simply because their bodies start to produce the sleep hormone that is stimulated by darkness.
  2. A brightly-coloured mobile that attaches to the cot is a good choice for stimulating his senses.
  3. Swaddling Blanketmay help with the baby’s sense of security.
  4. Baby Monitor – as a Mum you want to hear everything once baby is safely tucked up in bed

Soft to the touch and kind on the conscience, The Fine Cotton Company ensures optimum quality by offering 100% organic cottons, silks and natural fabrics, all ethically produced without any harmful chemicals or pesticides. All organic cotton used is certified by GOTS, which ensures the organic status covering the production, processing and manufacturing of the fibres.

Five Natural Ways To A Good Night’s Sleep

Are you one of those people that toss and turn for hours every night, only falling into a deep sleep when the alarm goes off? Well you are not alone, as the NHS reports that one in three of us Britons go through periods when we have trouble sleeping and that one in ten of us regularly takes some type of sleeping medication. Shockingly, around 15.3 million prescriptions for sleeping tablets were handed out to patients suffering from insomnia during the last year according to the Economic and Social Research Council. While having a few nights of disrupted sleep causes nothing more than a bit of tiredness, poorer performance at work and irritability for a few days, scientists have conducted many studies that prove that being sleep deprived over a long period can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes, weight gain, strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure. Chronic insomnia is even believed to be a contributing factor to developing cancer and that if you don’t get enough hours you can expect to have a shorter life.

The stressful, busy life that many of us lead in this modern world is one of the major reasons why we are finding it so hard to sleep. And although sleeping tablets can be very effective for helping with a short term bout of sleeplessness, they are not a long term solution for chronic insomnia. So if you are fed up with feeling weary all the time and dragging your way through the day, don’t despair as luckily there are many natural ways in which you can help yourself get a satisfying night’s sleep. So what can you do to get that quality sleep time that you so richly deserve and wake up in the morning feeling vibrant, optimistic and energetic?

1. Your Bedroom Is Just For Sleep

Your bedroom is where you sleep and spend the greater part of each night, so it has to be just that – a bedroom. Your bedroom should only be used for sleep and lovemaking and nothing else. If you have created a work station in your bedroom, use it to watch TV or do one of your hobbies, stop this right now and move the equipment out into another room if at all possible. If you are really short of space and can’t move these activities elsewhere in your home, try and use screens to create a discrete space for your bed. To sleep well you need a space that spells sleep and rest for you; a space where you can put mentally put the day’s activities away and relax.

2. Creating The Right Environment For Sleep

Have you ever had a good look around your bedroom and assessed whether or not it is optimised for helping you sleep? If you are having trouble sleeping, you may need to make some changes in your bedroom, so that you can enjoy your eight hours of blissful slumber every night. Starting with the bed, check that the mattress you are sleeping on is the right one for you and supports your body properly. What about your bed linen? If yours is old, worn and mismatched, maybe now is the time to invest in some new sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers. We humans are very visual creatures, so if you come into a bedroom that is tidy, well-coordinated and visually pleasing, you are going to find it much easier to relax and drift off to sleep. It also helps to make sure that your bedroom smells nice for when you want to try to go to sleep. Try burning something soothing like lavender oil before you lie down for the night, or put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton wool ball and pop it under your pillow. Ensure that you choose organic cotton bed linen, as commercially grown cotton contains strong chemicals that can irritate your skin as you are sleeping and can even affect your breathing. Also make sure that your bedroom is always properly aired, as this will also help you to sleep well. Leave a window open and turn the heating off even on a cold, winter night, as it is hard to sleep properly in stuffy, hot rooms.   If you suffer from the cold invest in a quality, high tog duvet and a hot water bottle to keep you cosy.

 

 3. Keep Your Bedroom Dark

Have you ever thought of how dark your bedroom really is at night? We live in a world full of electrical light sources, so you may think that you are sleeping in a darkened room but actually you may have light coming in from outside, while inside there may be screens glowing or standby lights on electrical appliances burning. These lights, however dim, get mistaken for daylight by our brains, which then confuses our body clocks. Our brains produce a hormone called melatonin which helps to regulate our sleep patterns, but if there is too much light in the room while we are asleep, the brain won’t produce the amounts of melatonin we need. Even though our eyes are closed during the night, our brains can still detect any light in the room through our eyelids.   We evolved in a world where we would go to sleep when darkness fell and there were no electric lights, and would wake naturally as the sun rose. So your bedroom is not the place for electrical appliances with flashing lights or screens. Remove as many as is feasible, and if you must keep some then switch them completely off at night, so the standby light is not on. Similarly, if you really must have a computer or tablet in your bedroom, shut it right down before you start to nod off, so there is no glow from the screen. If light is coming in your bedroom window from street lights outside, it is time to invest in some heavy duty curtains or blinds, or sew some blackout linings onto your existing curtains. As you are winding down for the night, gradually dim the lights in your bedroom, so that you brain is naturally led towards the sleep state and you will find that you drop off really quickly when you switch off that one remaining lamp.

 

 4. Create a regular Sleeping Routine

One of the great things about growing up and becoming an adult is that we can now do what we want when we want. Unfortunately, however, having an erratic schedule could be one of the major contributors to your insomnia. Many of us have lives where we get up early for work during the week, stay out late partying and then sleep in at the weekends to catch up. But sleep experts are now saying that one of the best ways to ensure that you get a good night’s rest is to have a regular sleep schedule that you keep to even at weekends. So it is recommended that you get into bed and go to sleep at roughly the same time every night and then aim to wake up at the same time every morning. And you may even be surprised to find that getting up at seven o’clock on a Sunday morning isn’t so bad after all? If dropping off still proves to be a problem, then implement a regular winding down schedule. Stop doing any tasks that require a great deal of thought and concentration a couple of hours before you plan to go to bed, switching off computers and TVs. Listen to some soothing music, take a gentle walk in the fresh air or have a long hot bath. Read a book or magazine and make yourself a hot, caffeine-free drink to sip. Whatever you choose, try and do the same things in sequence every night, so that your mind begins to associate your activities with preparing for sleep. Likewise, if you are one of those people who just lays in bed worrying and fretting instead of sleeping, decide that you are going to put your worries away for the night and leave them outside of your bedroom. While you are cleaning your teeth in the bathroom every night, just visualise or imagine that you have a box on top of the bathroom cabinet for your stresses and worries. Identify what is on your mind and mentally put that worry away in the box for the night. There is nothing you can change in the middle of the night, so what is the point of fretting about it? If sleep is still elusive, try some reverse psychology. Most people lie there telling themselves that they can’t sleep or will never get to sleep, which is a self fulfilling prophecy. Instead, try telling yourself that you intend to stay awake all night, and see how fast you drop off! You can always decide to pick your worries up the next morning if you really have to, but wouldn’t it be much better for you if you decided to pack them away for good?

5. Drink and Eat Yourself Into Sleeping Naturally

We are what we eat and drink, so it stands to reason that what we put into our bodies can either help or hinder our sleep. Many people have a few glasses of wine or beer in the evening in the mistaken belief that it is helping them sleep. In fact, although they may fall asleep faster, they will generally have a night of broken, disrupted sleep and will not go into the deep sleep part of the cycle that our bodies need to become truly rested and refreshed. Traditionally warm milk or a hot milky drink like cocoa has been the bedtime drink of choice for insomniacs. Hot milky drinks help us sleep because they are rich in calcium which relaxes us. They also contains tryptophan, a substance that the body can convert into serotonin in the brain, making us feel contented, relaxed and drowsy. The trouble is that a lot of us don’t like the taste of hot milk, but if you still want to get your dose of tryptophan, why not try snacking on a turkey sandwich during the evening? Turkey is a good source of protein and tryptophan, and the carbohydrate in the bread will make it easier for the brain to use the tryptophan. Another drink that recent studies have shown to be good for promoting a great night’s sleep is tart cherry juice. Packed with antioxidants, Montmorency or tart cherries are rarely eaten as fruit because they lack sweetness, but are often made into a potent cherry juice concentrate, that is now sold in a lot of health food shops. Dilute the cherry concentrate with water to make a refreshing, fruity drink or add to a healthy, milky smoothie and sip during the evening before bedtime. The reason why drinking tart cherry juice can help you to sleep is that is packed full of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate our sleeping patterns. There are also some herbs that can be drunk as teas or taken as tinctures that can naturally help you to sleep. One of these is valerian, a flowering plant that has been utilised as a medicinal herb since antiquity. It is taken to reduce anxiety, relieve muscle tension and help you drift into a deep sleep. Valerian is truly one of nature’s natural tranquillisers, and its efficacy is thought to be down to helping increase the levels of gamma amino butyric acid or GABA in the brain, which is believed to boost relaxation levels and reduce anxiety. Having a mug of camomile tea before bedtime is also another natural way of helping you sleep, as it is very calming and will help your body rest. For a stronger infusion pour hot water over dried camomile flowers, and add some honey and lemon for taste. For a relaxing bath, just hold some camomile teabags under the hot water taps as you are running it and then just get in and luxuriate. One of the more unusual natural foods I came across that promotes sleep is lettuce. Apparently, including lettuce in your evening snack gives you a supply of a substance called lactucarium, a natural opiate found in the white, milky sap at the base of the lettuce heart and leaves that soothes and sedates your nervous system.

So, as you can see, if you have trouble sleeping there are many natural ways of aiding sleep that you can try. Everyone is different, so you may find some things work for you better than others, but I’m sure that very soon you will be enjoying a great natural night’s sleep!

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the information given in this article about natural aids to sleeping should in no way be used to replace advice given to you by your doctor or health professional. If you suffer from a serious medical condition or are at all concerned, then you should always consult your doctor before changing your diet or starting to take any form of dietary supplement or natural remedy.

New Bright Stars Duvet Covers for Children

Childrens Bright Stars Duvet Covers

Bright Stars Duvet Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just arrived, the Bright stars duvet cover collection for children any age.

The duvet covers are made from 200 Thread Count Organic Cotton Percale embroidered with blue and red stars. In double, single and cot bed sizes.

The pillowcases are available separately in standard and cot bed sizes.

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