History of the Duvet

The duvet has become a part of our everyday lives and have become the most popular form of bed covering in northern Europe. The days of blankets, bedspreads and many sheets are now over. Duvets make it far easier to make a bed than before. Did you really ever learn how to make hospital corners? The duvet is such a practical way to make a bed and if you choose the appropriate duvet for you, makes for a really good nights sleep.

Who Invented the Duvet?

The answer is we don’t know! Some sources state that the Chinese were the first people to use duvets and that was a long time ago, around 3000 B.C. My research though shows that an English gentleman, Paul Rycaut (1629 -1700 A.D.) was the first to try and market the duvet in England. Duvets were apparently already in use in Germany. However he failed to create a market for them. In 1749 English writer Thomas Nugent had been on the Grand Tour of Europe and Nugent mentions in his writings a description of what appears to be duvets being used by European families. In Victorian Britain the Eiderdown became popular and whilst we might describe it as an early form of duvet it did not replace blankets which were much heavier and warmer for the Victorians.

The Duvet in Modern Times

The Duvet in Modern Times

The duvet really started to become well used in the 1970’s where in Britain it became commonly called the Continental Quilt. Sir Terence Conran (founder of Habitat) discovered duvets being used in Sweden and became the first to sell duvets in Britain in 1964. Very soon the use of duvets caught on and were marketed as the 10 second bed as it is much easier to make a bed with a duvet.

The modern duvet is made from many fillings with natural fillings like feather or down, alpaca and man made materials such as polyester. We here at Penrose Products use alpaca, as we find it offers superior qualities and comfort levels and is ideal for allergy sufferers. The duvet certainly has a long history and we can take comfort in the fact that we can now have the benefits of the development in duvets over the years. Without duvets we couldn’t have a duvet day for those that like a day off work and stay in bed! We hope that you have enjoyed our look at the history of the duvet.

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