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Are we getting enough sleep?

1/10/2012 4:54 PM

Sleep, it’s our bodies natural way of recharging. Unfortunately, you probably take better care to recharge your cell phone than you do your own body. Or at least that is what the National Sleep Foundation has found; reporting that lack of sleep is the most common complaint amongst Americans today. I’m guilty of it too. Despite a busy day, once I try to hit the sheets, I can’t seem to drift off easily.

We all know that the obvious drawback of not getting enough sleep is that you will be tired, which isn't the best feeling. But researchers are now finding that there are some pretty serious health risks that come along with a lack of sleep. For instance, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high blood pressure are the major ailments you put yourself at risk for. Not only that, but your immune system also takes a hit from lack of sleep. And guess what does that mean? More colds and infections. Beyond that, lack of sleep can actually mess up your plans to diet as well! Some experts say that sleep deprivation causes your body to boosts production of the hormone that makes you hungry. And it makes sense: your body is probably trying to shore up missing energy from another source.

Fortunately, just one extra hour of sleep per night can make a huge difference. Logging that extra nightly hour will not only improve how you feel during your daily routine, but you will reap the long term health benefits as well.

Start trying to develop a healthy routine that should be practiced before bed. Your kids probably have a bedtime routine to keep them alert and active during school, so why shouldn’t you take care of yourself in the same way?

This might seem hard, but for at least four hours before bed, avoid consuming any sort of stimulant. Coffee, soda, and even chocolate are major culprits to avoid. I started switching out my late night coffees with caffeine free peppermint tea after dinner. Also think about stimulants for your mind, the TV, radio, computers, and your cell phone. Unplug yourself from all of these distractions and let your mind start to wind down.

Exercise three to four hours prior to sleep is also a bad idea. Exercise won’t tire you out instantly; it will actually get your energy levels up. If you are committed to your workout routine, trying hitting the gym before work, you might even find this keeps you more energized during the day!

And while it is a good idea to get on a routine with your sleep, your body also craves a certain amount of variety. So don’t feel guilty about sleeping in on a Saturday morning! You might have to answer the call of the alarm clock during the week, but if you can, find a weekend morning where you can let your body decide when you are ready to rise.

This is it for now. In the coming weeks, I'll be writing about addressing our bedding needs and how having a proper, clean and comfortable bedding space can make a difference in your sleeping habits. For now, I'd suggest checking out www.homeapparel.com for a variety of bedding options.


Comments | Posted in News By H.A.

Stress Free Bedrooms

1/18/2012 4:55 PM

Did you know that your bedroom can play a major role in how you sleep and wake up? From the room decor, the colors and the actual bedding itself, every aspect of your bedroom can effect the way you sleep and feel. A bedroom should be a calm and peaceful space. Everyone struggles with stress from everyday life, the problem is when the stress follows you into the bedroom. Stress can lead to sleep issues, illness and insomnia. Your bedroom should be free of stress triggers. Remove any distractions. For instance, the television, computer and any other electronics that could potentially distract and keep you from falling asleep.

Color plays a major role in mood, cool colors provide a calm feeling, while warm colors can make a room feel more cozy. You want to choose a color scheme that will make you feel most relaxed.

Make sure you have something to cover the windows. A window treatment will not only add to the coziness of your bedroom but they also serve a purpose to block out light and keep cool drafts from coming inside.

Choose bedding that is not only comfortable, but makes you happy. Loving the look and style of your bedding, comforter or duvet can put a smile on your face every time you get into bed and every time you wake up.

Let me know how you, make sure your bedroom space is comfortable and free of stress. 

Comments | Posted in News By H.A.

Percale Vs. Sateen

3/26/2012 11:29 PM

We often get the question, whats the difference in percale and sateen bedding. Percale and sateen are two types of fabric often used for bedding. These fabrics are determined by the way they are woven. There is a different arrangement of warp and weft threads to create the fabrics. The warp threads run up and down the fabric, and the weft threads run across the fabric. Percale is is stronger fabric than sateen because of the weave structure

Percale's Weave Structure:
Percale is a fabric made with plain weave. Plain weave is created by weaving over, under, over, under with the warp and weft threads. Percale is typically at least 200 thread count (200 threads per inch). It creates a tightly woven fabric.

Sateen's Weave Structure:
Sateen fabric is woven with long floats to create a smooth, shiny surface. Floats are created when long areas of yarn (either the weft or the warp) are exposed on the fabric's surface. Sateen fabric is generally woven four over, one under. The weft thread is over four warp threads before going under one warp thread. The weave structure varies depending on the twist of the yarn and the material.

Percale Material

  • Percale can be made with cotton or a 50% cotton/50% polyester blend. 100% cotton percale is a more expensive, higher quality fabric than a cotton/polyester blend.

 

Sateen Material

  • Combed cotton yarn is used in high-grade sateen. Long staples of cotton are combed and twisted to make the yarn, creating a softer, shinier yarn. Mercerized cotton is commonly used. The cotton is treated with a chemical to add shine to the yarn. Rayon is also used in sateen fabrics.


Considerations:

Percale and sateen fabrics have the same function with different qualities. Percale is a stronger, crisper fabric. Sateen is a shinier, softer fabric. Sateen appears to be a higher quality fabric because of the sheen. The material content and thread count contribute to the quality of the fabric.

Comments | Posted in News By homeapparel admin

Here is a quick explanation of, what is what of bedding. 
Please feel free to post your comments/questions. Thanks. 

Bedding explained by Home Apparel

Comments | Posted in News By homeapparel admin

Ritz Carlton

One of the reasons why people stay at high-end hotels is to get pampered. 5 star hotels mostly use Egyptian cotton sheets. For instance, Ritz Carlton uses Frette brand bed sheets. They are an Italian brand. In fact, Frette, Pratesi, Sferra, and Bellora are considered the top European linen makers .Now if you look up their site, sheet sets go from $550 to $3000. Yes, I am talking about bed sheet sets, that come with flat sheet, fitted sheet and two pillow cases.
If you are still reading, it means you are a smart buyer. Now if you look around, there are other high end bed sheet brands. But I am sure; you are familiar with the routine that, they sell you the brand name (mostly), without caring much for the quality. Here is an example, if you go to Frette’s site and look up bed sheets, they don’t tell you the thread count, which is one of the factors that determines the quality of a fabric.

Now if you want to pamper yourself ‘hotel style’, at your home – you don’t buy what hotels use. The key thing is the thread count. The higher it is, the softer/finer the sheet is. A luxury sheet, according to industry standard starts from 350 thread count and up. Please keep in mind that hotels do not necessarily buy the best sheets out there, because they have to balance between profit and luxury. They use a maximum of 300 to 400 thread count sheets. Please keep in mind that there are other factors that also determine the quality of a sheet, which is the type of fabric used in the bed sheets – those are Egyptian cotton, Italian cotton, satin and silk.
Here is our collection of luxury hotel style sheet sets, which come in 1000 thread count. Starting at $109.99. Compared to the same sheet that Frette’s make for $400 plus.

Thank you for reading and be sure to share your thoughts in the comment box. 

 

0 Comments | Posted in News By Homeapparel Admin

7 Spring Cleaning Tips

3/18/2013 10:00 AM

Spring is almost upon us. Here are some spring cleaning tips. 

-          Organize Closets: Store your winter clothes and get rid of unused items.

-          Silverware: Clean the silverware in your kitchen.

-          Let the Air Pass: Open your bedroom, kitchen and living room windows while you are cleaning.

-          Switch Bedding: To create a spring like moon, change your bedding, linen, towels.

-          Clean your carpet.

-          Remove Stains: Remove stains from the painted walls, counter tops and appliances.

-          Organize Bookshelves: Remove dust from your bookshelves and organize the books either size and subject. 

Comments | Posted in News By Homeapparel Admin

Is a duvet cover a comforter?

5/24/2013 8:55 AM

I often get the question, 'is duvet cover a comforter?’ Or, 'what's the difference between a duvet cover and a comforter?'
Short answer is, 'no, a duvet cover is not a comforter'. 
duvet cover is an envelope that is used for covering a comforter for whole bunch of reason. Including the fact that, it keeps the comforter clean. Also because duvet covers are relatively inexpensive and come in variety of colors, designs and patterns. Therefore, it’s very easy to change them, wash them and match them according to your mood, walls, drapes, or even the carpet. 
That said, what’s the difference between the two? 
It’s very easy to remember, one is filled with soft down and offers warmth and comfort - thus the word comforter. The other one covers the comforter and therefore, called duvet cover. 

Comments | Posted in News By Homeapparel Admin

Types of Fabric

2/5/2014 9:10 AM

Cotton
Cotton is the world’s most important raw material for textiles. The cotton fibre can absorb more than 20% of its net weight without feeling moist. The good washability makes cotton the most popular base material for bedware.

Mako-Cotton
Egyptian Mako-Cotton is the highest-grade cotton quality. The long, fine single fibres are the basic requirement for particularly lightweight, shiny fabrics.

Mako-Cotton Cambric
Super light cotton fabric. Especially suitable for high-grade down-comforters and cashmere-quilts. This quality is particularly light.

Mako-Cotton Satin
Magnificently soft-flowing fabric, whith a shiny look due to its special kind of binding. This quality of fabric is the perfect underground for extravagant and highly detailed printed designs.

Twine-Jersey
A jersey sheet a class of its own – a mat shine and non-iron quality. All round elastic and hollow seam workmanship are as much a matter of course as a broad palette of colours and special-size-service.

Lyocell
Pure wood in a different form. Lyocell is made of pure pulp. Its features are optimal climate regulation and smoothness.

Feathers and Downs
Nature gave geese and ducks a coat of feathers as a perfect protection against the cold and wet. Goose downs as the lightest and cosiest natural filling material are the perfect padding for down-comforters.

Down-comforters
Down comforters are light quilts, whose upper and lower inlets are sewed together in checks. The bulging pockets store body heat. Excess heat can emit through the backstitched seams.

Coffer-down-comforters
Fluffy, thick down comforters, whose upper and lower inlet are connected with full-length bridges. About 3-4 cm high bridges give the coffer-down-comforter a constant, pleasant warmth and improve cosiness.

Cashmere
The name “Cashmere“ itself is synonymous for luxury. The unique soft and climate regulating wool is harvested manually by combing free-living cashmere goats.

New Wool
New wool is another important natural raw material for textiles. The Merino wool used for quilts has a very high billowing power and is very soft. With a natural content of about 0,5% Lanolin oil, it is even self-cleaning.

We will be glad to be of assistance with further questions and details.

Comments | Posted in News By H.A

Bedding is a very personal choice – from the colors and patterns, to the accent pillows (or lack thereof), and the materials and thread counts.  With many packages and options, it is also a confusing process.  The good news is that, with the little bit of knowledge we will provide you with here, you will be well prepared to make an educated bedding decision.

First, some basic bedding terms you should know:  

  • Bed Skirt - A piece of material laid on top of the box spring on a bed and used to decorate the base of the bed and hide the space underneath the bed.
  • Comforter - The top layer of bedding, usually consisting of two layers of fabric, filled with either down or fiber filling.
  • Down - Natural feathers used to fill cushions of pillows, bedding, and upholstery; the material traps air to provide extremely soft comfort; also a very warm insulator often used in bedding (particularly comforters). 
  • Duvet - A duvet is similar to a comforter and/or a quilt in that a duvet is also composed of two layers of fabric with an insulation substance between. However, the difference between a duvet and a comforter and/or quilt is that the duvet is to be placed inside a duvet cover.  A comforter and/or quilt can be used as independent bed covers
  • Duvet Cover:  A giant pillowcase-like covering that fits over a duvet.  It is open on one end, typically closed by buttons, ties, Velcro, or a zipper.
  • Egyptian Cotton - Cotton grown exclusively in Egypt and the longest fiber staple in the world.  This means less linting, more durability, more luster and a softer feel, frequently used to make sheets and other bedding materials due to its softness and high quality.
  • European Sham (also known as Euro Sham, Eurosham, European Pillow Sham) - A large pillow case used as an accent in bedding sets; usually contains additional fabric surrounding the standard pillow case and commonly included as a part of bedding/ comforter sets.
  • Feather Bed - Feather –filled sacks made to fit under or on top of the fitted sheet
  • Fill - The material used to stuff items such as comforters or pillows.  Natural down and man-made synthetics are examples of fill materials.
  • Fill Power - A measure of how many cubic inches one ounce of down will loft and expand to fill an empty space.  Fill power usually ranges from 500 to 800 cubic inches, with 625 or greater considered excellent.  A higher fill power means that the down will loft more, insulate better and provide greater warmth and comfort.
  • Fitted Sheet – A sheet with pockets at each of the four corners and an elastic band around the sheet, made to fit the mattress.
  • Flat Sheet – A sheet that is hemmed on four sides usually with a larger hem or cuff at the top of the sheet.
  • Loft - Measured by fill power and is the ability of down to fill an empty space.
  • Neckroll Pillow - A small, oblong accent pillow commonly found in bedding/ comforter sets.
  • Percale – Smooth fabric: a smooth-textured closely woven cotton or polyester fabric used for bedsheets and clothing.  It sometimes has a glazed finish.
  • Quilt - Created by placing a layer of cotton or some other fill between two layers of fabric.  Held in place by stitching or sealing in a regular, consistent, all-over pattern.
  • Sateen Weave - A weave structure having single vertical threads woven over four to eight horizontal threads and under one horizontal thread.  This weaving method gives the fabric a smooth finish and shows off shiny threads.
  • Satin Weave - A basic weave, characterized by long floats of yarn on the face of the fabric.  The yarns are interlaced in such a manner that there is no definite, visible pattern of interlacing and, in this manner; a smooth and somewhat shiny surface effect is achieved.
  • Sham (also known as Pillow Sham or Standard Sham) - The fabric used to form an encasement to a pillow, traditionally known as a pillow case (pillowcase). 
  • Thread Count - Measured by counting the number of threads per inch in the woven fabric in both directions of the weave (these directions are referred to as warp and weft).  Generally, the higher the thread count, the silkier and lighter the sheets. 
  • Top of the Bed – This is an industry term that refers to all textiles used to cover the mattress – from the sheets to the pillows and comforter/duvet.
  • Tri Pillow Pack - A pillow combination consisting of three decorative pillows.

 

Now that you’ve got the key terms under your belt, you can understand the different commonly packaged options available for purchasing your bedding.   Here are the options frequently available:  

 

  • Sheet Sets – Available in 300, 500, and 1,000 Thread Count sets – it is critical to understand the relationship between price and thread count before purchasing.  To learn more, read our article on sheet sets, or view sheet sets at a featured online retailer.
  • Comforter Sets – Contains a comforter and some bedding pieces.  Online manufacturers sometimes break them into the three following categories.

          Ensemble Pack – Comforter, bed skirt, and standard shams

          Deluxe Pack – Comforter, bed skirt, standard shams, and tri pillow pack

          Super Pack – Comforter, bed skirt, standard shams, tri pillow pack, and pre-filled  Euro pillows

  • Luxury Bed in a Bag – More luxurious than standard comforter sets, includes a comforter, a complete sheet set, and standard shams.  Matching Duvet Covers and Euro Shams are also available.
  • Daybed Bedding – Bedding specifically designed for us with daybeds.  Daybed bedding sets typically include a comforter, bed skirt, and two king-size shams.  Pair with twin sized sheets set for a complete bedding set.
  • Futon Covers – Fabric covers designed to completely cover the mattress used on futons.  Futon cover sets typically come with the cover and two coordinating color accent pillows.

Different retailers will package bedding in different ways.  Good online furniture retailers put together sets based on what consumers buy most frequently.  Your personal preference will depend on what thread counts you prefer – will you pay more for a softer feel? – and how you like to ‘dress’ your bed.

 

0 Comments | Posted in News By H.A

Growth of bamboo is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. But much of the bamboo fibre used in the manufacture of clothing and other products is made using a process which chemically regenerates bamboo. Essentially these bamboo fibres are cellulose which has been broken down using chemical solvents and then reconstructed as a cellulose fibre. Chemically regenerating the bamboo fibre can also weaken it.

Organic bamboo is different as it is processed naturally without the use of sodium hydroxide and carbon disulfide in this process which is also known as hydrolysis alkalization and without the use of bleach

Our manufacturer uses a newer way of processing the bamboo into fibre that is completely natural. The woody part of the bamboo is crushed mechanically before a natural enzyme retting and washing process is used to break down the walls and extract the bamboo fibre. This fibre is then spun into yarn. The same manufacturing process used to produce linen fabric from flax or hemp. Bamboo fabric made from this process is sometimes called bamboo linen. More clothing companies are moving towards this product as it becomes more widely available.

The natural processing of bamboo allows the fibre to remain strong to produce an extremely high quality product. This process gives a material that is very durable.

Comments | Posted in News By Joe

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