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Adam Black

Merry Christmas to you all

Posted by Adam Black, Thursday, December 24, 2009

I would like to wish all our customers and friends a very merry Christmas. Head office is closing at lunchtime (after we've done our secret santa of course), but don't forget that the sale has already started online and our stores are open on Boxing day with our biggest sale yet. Eat, drink and sleep well. Best Wishes Adam

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Charlotte Bushell

Sixty years of Vladimir Kagan

Posted by Charlotte Bushell, Tuesday, December 22, 2009

According to the New York Times: " Vladimir Kagan is one of the most important furniture designers of the 20th century. Furniture designed by him in the forties, fifties and sixties have become icons of Modernity and an obligatory reference to every designer. He is the creative grandfather of a whole new generation of designers. " So let’s look at the man who shaped modern furniture and won the 2009 Award of Distinction from The Furniture Society … Born in Germany in 1927, Kagan travelled to the US in 1938 and attended Columbia University where he studied architecture. In 1947 he joined his father Illi Kagan, a master cabinetmaker, to work in his shop and to learn furniture making. A year later Kagan opened his own shop on East 65 th Street and then moved to the more fashionable 57 th Street. ...

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We have a winner!

Posted by , Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We have now drawn a winner for our online ‘Win a bed competition’ to win a Henley bed in Nickel. Congratulations to Miss Rose from Lancashire , we hope you enjoy your stylish new iron bed.

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The history of ... the lamp

Posted by , Friday, December 18, 2009

Primitive lamps date right back to 70,000 BC and was when cave men would burn animal fat in hollow rocks, along with moss and other similar material so that they could see in their dark caves. The Greeks used terracotta instead, and burned traditional wicks which allowed more control over the flame and burning. The Greeks called these ‘lampas’, meaning torch, which of course is where the word lamp is derived. The 18 th Century saw the creation of a tight metal enclosure and an adjustable metal tube which encumbered the flame and then controlled the oxygen supply to it. Little glass chimneys were added shortly after to protect the flame from being blown out. Ami Argabt – a chemist from Switzerland - first coined the design of these lamps in 1783. In 1792 gas lighting became commercialised and popular when William Murdoch used coal gas for lighting his Cornwall property. Freidrich Winzer then patented coal gas lighting in 1804 and a ‘thermo Lampe’ which used distilled gas, was patented...

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How to clean your duvet

Posted by , Friday, December 18, 2009

Now that winter has its seasonal grasp on us all, it’s time for those well needed snug reinforcements. It’s such a shame that we just can’t go into hibernation until March and simply envelope ourselves in our duvet until we hear the birds sing their introduction to spring. If only. The duvet is synonymous with comfort and warmth, so it’s essential that yours is clean and ready for some serious laying-in time at the weekends. Admittedly the thought of washing your duvet is a little discouraging; “what’s the best way to clean it”, and “how often do I have to” are all common questions from our customers, particularly at this time of the year. (Image by static.guim.co.uk) We appreciate the importance of looking after your duvet, as we believe it will then look after you! Your bed is a haven for bugs and bacteria, so it’s imperative you maintain a hygienic sleeping environment to eliminate those nasty unwelcome guests. Follow our simple but effective tips below and you...

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A brief history of: Rugs

Posted by , Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rugs have been around since the early days of human civilisation. Historically they’ve been a key feature in the homes and palaces of eminent aristocrats across Europe and Asia, as well as practical and traditional furnishings for tribal families throughout Africa. This broad spectrum of society and status highlights the habitual versatility of a rug and even today they complete a home, irrespective of where this home happens to be. As far back as 2000 BC, rugs, as well as clothing, were made from animal hides such as Ox and Boar, and provided primitive families with invaluable warmth and shelter. As cultures evolved and became more skilled, they were then cleverly crafted from woven reeds, taking weeks to make, but resulted in being the family’s most valuable commodity. Evidence attained from ardent researchers has highlighted that pile rugs were in fact widely used in the Middle East and pockets of Asia long before 2000 BC. Rearing sheep was also an accustomed occupation for many nomadic wanderers and this wool was a primary reason why sheep were bred, even ahead of food. The dense wooly covering of the hide was used to protect against the harsh weather and...

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Hatty Mears

Baby it's cold outside

Posted by Hatty Mears, Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It was so cold this morning the temperature gauge in my car was flashing at me. I don't know about you but I certainly find dragging myself out of my lovely Feather & Black bed in the mornings is hard enough already without the chill factor too. Here are our top 5 tips to keep warm at night... Invest in some super snuggly nightwear. Thermals make great night garments. Try our friends Hush for gorgeous brushed cotton pyjamas. Use a Goose down mattress topper to create that duvet snuggly feel underneath you and contain your body heat. Choose a mattress with a winter side using more filling to insulate you during the night. Try our Bronte pocket sprung mattress. Have a hot bath and a nice warm drink to raise your body temperature before you go to bed. This will also relax you and make you feel more sleepy. Zzzzz Go for a higher tog duvet for the winter. An all seasons duvet gives you a winter and summer option with a 4.5 tog and a 10.5 tog duvet that you can fasten together to...

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Hatty Mears

Top 10 distractions when trying to be intimate in bed

Posted by Hatty Mears, Tuesday, December 15, 2009

As much as we may not want to admit it, we’ve all experienced an unwelcome distraction when getting intimate with our loved ones in bed. The bedroom is our place of solace, escape and, ideally, free of resonant interruptions and noises. However, this isn’t always possible, and unless you have the luxury of a sound-proof love nest, you have to tolerate them – or invest in ear plugs of course! (Image from craveononline.com) So, here at Feather & Black we thought we’d compile our Top 10 distractions that could potentially, ruin the moment, but the good news for our customers is that we can help with a few of them. 1) The phone ringing or receiving a text 2) The kids or the baby crying 3) Bed frame rattling 4) A car alarm going off 5) The pet dog or cat 6) Neighbour’s rowing or music 7) Alarm clock 8) Flat-mate walking in 9) An uncomfortable mattress 10) Their spouse walking in(!)...

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Hatty Mears

Christmas Gift Ideas

Posted by Hatty Mears, Friday, December 04, 2009

With three weeks until Christmas, the gift shopping is now well and truly upon us. I’ve noticed the shops are already extremely busy and I’ll certainly be opting to do mine online this year. Beat the crowds by visiting our website where you’ll find some great bits and pieces to give this Christmas. Bed linen is a lovely gift idea. There’s nothing better than sliding into crisp new sheets, especially after a belly full of Christmas dinner and a few too many glasses of bubbles. A cushion or throw is a great gift for under the tree, or perhaps your home deserves a gift this year? Practical presents are well received with Lamps and handy storage items available to buy online. We have some gorgeous colourful children’s linens , toys , cushions, throws . Gift wrapping for me is always the headache after what seems like endless shopping. Unless you’re super creative, it can be a bit of a bore, and somewhat fiddly. I always have visions of how beautiful everything will look and...

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Hatty Mears

House Beautiful Magazine Awards

Posted by Hatty Mears, Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The House Beautiful awards took place last week at the Riverfront Cafe on London's trendy Southbank. This year we were shortlisted for "Best Bedroom Product or Range" for our Salisbury furniture collection but unfortunately lost out to Hulsta at the final stages. Well, we can't really complain we have won gold the last two years running for our Comfort Control Mattress and Olivia Furniture Range . Bring on next year!

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Adam Black

This weekend ... the biggest event of the year

Posted by Adam Black, Tuesday, December 01, 2009

It's the 1st December and Christmas has come early at Feather & Black. This weekend we're giving you a sneaky peek at our January Sale with an i n store and online preview. On Saturday and Sunday only we'll be giving you up to 50% off our bedroom collection where you'll find everything you need to make your home your own. Give yourself an early festive treat. Merry Christmas Adam Black

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Adam Black

Feather & Black has the X Factor

Posted by Adam Black, Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We get an assortment of celebrity customers at Feather & Black……and never know from week to week who will walk through our doors. Duffy is a regular at our Hammersmith clearance store…..she obviously has an eye for a bargain. Ashley Cole was in our Fulham store yesterday with a friend of his, DJ Benga, who ordered a bespoke Sebastian Bed. Ashley Cole liked the Henrietta bed and all in the store are hoping that he returns with Cheryl. Given that Louis Walsh has bought from Fulham previously and Nicholas Cowell (Simon’s younger brother) is a regular….Fulham now have a real X Factor connection…. Will keep the celebrity spotter on…and update again soon.

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Charlotte Bushell

My trip to the Far East

Posted by Charlotte Bushell, Thursday, November 12, 2009

I’ve just returned from a buying trip to China where I saw some great new product which made up for the cold weather in Northern China! I was working on the development of some exciting new kids ranges due to be introduced early next year so keep an eye out for these and other goodies on our website. This is the team at our Salisbury factory.

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Adam Black

A very wet London to Brighton trip

Posted by Adam Black, Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I did the London to Brighton old car rally on Sunday, as I have every year for the last 20. The weather forecasters predicted a typhoon….and they got it spot on. The car, a 1901 Schaudel, with an impeccable track record of successful trips to Brighton, died at Crawley….or should I say drowned. We got the car going again…but now running on only one of her two cylinders…we inched our way past Gatwick. The car died again right outside a railway station, which had a fast train service direct to London…and with the rain still coming in sideways, we bailed out. Am telling anyone who will listen that it was a ‘retreat’ and not a ‘defeat’….but am fairly certain I have never been more wet and tired. I got home, had a hot bath….and slept the sleep of the dead. You cannot beat clean sheets and a goose down duvet…..

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Molly Freshwater

A trip to Portugal and lots of beautiful bedlinen

Posted by Molly Freshwater, Friday, October 30, 2009

Adam Black and I have recently returned from a successful trip to see our factories in Portugal. I try to visit 4 or 5 times a year to check on production, packaging, quality and colour. It was great to have Adam with us this time giving us the opportunity to look at new ideas and qualities, improving the way that we do business. We were Looking at jacquards, prints and embroideries for Feather & Blacks exclusive bed linen collection . Each factory requires a very different skill in design and manufacture. The technology available to us allows us to design and brief new projects prior to our trip. The factories that we work with are then able to produce samples for us to view and discuss together. Nothing beats a meeting in the factory to discuss the samples and outcome. It saves so much time to be able to do this together. Having the Managing Director with us in the factories is invaluable. Adam is able to add a...

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Turning back the clocks

Posted by , Friday, October 23, 2009

It’s that time of year again when the clocks are turned back and we gain an hours sleep. The nights draw in earlier and earlier and we awake to pitch black. With all that darkness and the weather getting colder it gives us the perfect excuse to spend more time snuggled up in bed. Longer lie ins and early nights for us! If your going to spend more time in bed you will want to be sure that you are sleeping in something that is not only beautiful but also the ultimate in comfort. It is so important for a good night sleep to ensure that you are getting the correct support from your mattress. Dependant on your frame, weight, health and personal preference, each person’s perfect amount of support in their mattress will be different. It is highly likely that you will require a different level of support to your partner, requiring different tension levels in your mattress. All this talk of support and tensions can be confusing. Then you add open coil or pocket sprung into the mix along with various different fillings and most people have switched off! There are...

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Adam Black

Taste, travel and furnishings

Posted by Adam Black, Friday, October 23, 2009

I am just back from a flying trip to Portugal where we make some of our bed linen. Portugal is still a ‘centre of excellence’ for jacquard bed linens…and whilst in the factories I saw product being produced for Germany, Spain, France and the US. Its amazing how taste varies from country to country….specifically on the colours of the moment. Louise, my wife, is still working hard at ‘colonising’ our new house….and its very much a marriage of new items being added to some very, very old ones. In a tough economic climate, disposable income is at a premium and so ‘ shabby chic’ comes into fashion again. We are making huge in-roads into the inventory of all the auction houses and sale rooms in West Sussex. The look created though is warm and very easy to live with. Iron beds, rugs covering floorboards, distressed white paint, antique mirrors, fabric…...and a small sense of adventure.

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Hatty Mears

National Poetry Day

Posted by Hatty Mears, Thursday, October 08, 2009

Today is national poetry day. I love this poem by William Blake focusing on the wonders of sleep. Such a secret time, who really knows where we go or what we feel when we're asleep? What better place to enjoy poetry but in the sanctuary of your bedroom... Sleep sleep beauty bright, Sleep! sleep! beauty bright, Dreaming o'er the joys of night; Sleep! sleep! in thy sleep Little sorrows sit and weep. Sweet Babe, in thy face Soft desires I can trace, Secret joys and secret smiles, Little pretty infant wiles. As thy softest limbs I feel, Smiles as of the morning steal O'er thy cheek, and o'er thy breast Where thy little heart does rest. O! the cunning wiles that creep In thy little heart asleep. When thy little heart does wake Then the dreadful lightnings break, From thy cheek and from thy eye, O'er the youthful harvests nigh. Infant wiles and infant smiles Heaven and Earth of peace beguiles William Blake

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Decorating tips for your bedroom

Posted by , Saturday, October 03, 2009

STARTING WITH THE BED Upholstery in the bedroom is making a major comeback, and whilst the options here are endless, the trick is not to go over the top with the pattern. Choosing a neutral coloured headboard , in a plain or subtly patterned fabric, allows you the option of making more of a statement with your bed linen . Adopt some vibrant colours and designs to bring your bed to life – try the new Elsie collection or Madeline design to provide a strong focus. Classic Victorian inspired iron beds are timeless in their appeal and easy to decorate around. The more ornate, antique styled designs, such as the Henley or Pallio are decorative in themselves and require little other adorning. Those with a natural bronzed finish will be complemented by bed linen in beige hues such as mocha and off-white, whilst the nickel finished beds will look fresh with brighter accessories. CHOOSING COLOUR AS AN ACCENT Blue is perhaps one of the more versatile colours when it comes to decorating in the bedroom. Choose your accessories well and you can have a...

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Charlotte Bushell

The History of the Iron Bed

Posted by Charlotte Bushell, Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Originally used by the Chinese, cast iron furniture was made popular in 550 B.C. In the 18th Century there were numerous small foundries in the East and even as far west as Chicago. In this era workmen were renowned for the great pride and care they took in their designs. These workmen could take days making a single foundry. From the 1850’s until World War I, iron beds were hand made and became very popular in the West. The manufacturing process involved hand pouring and polishing intricate detail in the castings, as well as hand applying finishes. Due to the variety of finish the colouring could range from white to a spectrum of colours, and with such a meticulous method used to make each bed frame, there were never duplicate designs. Post World War I, the mass-production methods created for war time affected the iron industry too. Hand-made quality was traded for time and cost-effective quantity. This sadly caused many of the smaller foundries to shut up shop, and in the end left the proud workmen who cared about finely-detailed, meticulously-finished iron beds, defeated. Here at Feather & Black we still maintain that sense of pride for...

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Adam Black

Hi ... and welcome to the Feather and Black blog!

Posted by Adam Black, Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Feather & Black has very Yorkshire origins…and I remember an expression as I was growing up in Ilkley (North Yorkshire), ‘if your mouths moving, you're not learning’ . We thrive on feedback…good and bad…and want our blog to be a conduit for feedback from you, not just a vehicle to let you know what is happening at this end. We look forward to bringing you news from our creative team on the products they are developing and where they have been to garner their inspiration. We will also show you our version of next seasons colour pallete…and how it is driving our bed linen designs, soft furnishings and upholstered collections. Be part of the Feather & Black team and tell us what you think. Happy blogging Adam

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Hatty Mears

Is bed sharing bad for your health?

Posted by Hatty Mears, Thursday, September 10, 2009

A study has shown that sharing a bed can be bad for your health. Some of us seem to have issues with duvet hogging, overheating and feeling our partners movements in the night. Sleeping in a separate room might not necessarily be the answer. Have you considered zip and link mattresses? If you opt for a super king size bed you can use two separate single mattresses that zip together giving you your own space without interference from your bed sharer. Find out more about this is any of our stores. Perhaps you can't get a mattress that is comfortable for you both. A Feather & Black mattress will answer all of your problems. Our mattresses are made to order with a different tension choice on each side so once you've been into store and found the mattress that feels right for you then we'll tailor make your mattress with your own preferred firmness each side. If neither of these sound like they're going to solve your sleeping problems then perhaps single beds are the way forward. Don't be disheartened on the choice though, we still have some lovely design available in a single size....

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