Coincidence? I’m not so sure.
For those of you who don’t know what a duvet is (and I didn’t know until I bought one a few years ago), it is a two-piece bed comforter comprised of an inside lining, varying in thickness depending on how much warmth you want, and an outer fabric “envelope” that covers it. You stuff the lining inside the fabric covering, snap the opening of the cover, and you’re good to go. Think of stuffing a pillow inside a pillow case.
I bought this duvet at IKEA because I saw a fabric cover that I really, really liked. I thought, “This is kind of cool. I can stuff the lining inside the cover and then just wash the lining whenever I need to, and if I want a thicker covering for my bed, I can just buy the lining. Genius!” Or something like that.
Honestly, I don’t know WHAT I was thinking. Looking back, I should have known. But sometimes, you don’t know until you know. You know?
So I bought this two-piece duvet thing, took it home and put it together. That’s when I began to get some inkling as to what I was in for. I think I was still blinded by how good it looked on my bed, though.
As it so happens, I have three cats who shed. As soon as I put the new duvet on the bed, they assumed I had purchased them a brand new thing to lie all over, which they proceeded to do with great enthusiasm.
If that’s not exciting enough, they also throw up hairballs from time to time because this is what cats do. Geoffrey, my seventeen-pound (i.e., fat) orange tabby, is very sweet, but he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer and has not yet figured out that eating Raoul’s (yes, I have a cat named Raoul) special diet food upsets his tummy and makes him throw up. (Unless he does it on purpose to get back at me for some unknown shortcoming on my part, in which case he’s a lot smarter than I give him credit for.)
Naturally, it didn’t take long for someone to “baptise” my new duvet. They seem to prefer doing this at around 2:30 a.m. while I’m sleeping. Nothing is better than waking up in the wee hours to the sound of a cat gagging and blowing chunks on your bed.
The end result is that between the cat fur and the hairballs, I have to wash the duvet a lot. In order to do this, I have to take it apart, wash the covering and lining separately, then stuff the lining back inside the cover.
Stuffing a queen-sized duvet lining inside its cover is a monumental pain in the butt. You have to somehow make the lining flat inside the cover and smooth out any wrinkles or folds. Every time I had to do this, I had to psych myself up because it was so labor intensive and required a lot of patience which I would usually lose at some point in the process.
I tried numerous techniques, attempting to find something – anything – that would make this task quicker and, more importantly, easier without going hoarse spewing out long chains of vocabulary of which my parents would definitely not approve.
I tried everything I could think of, including safety pins to keep one part of the lining from moving out of place as I tried to pull another part into its corner. I even scoured the Internet for the Magic Duvet Technique.
Because the Internet has all the answers, right? Wrong.
Nothing worked, and I always ended up climbing inside the cover to flatten the lining in a vain attempt to get it positioned correctly. Eventually, I would give up, declare it “good enough” and throw it on the bed with a promise to myself that I would never, EVER purchase another duvet ever again. Ever.
A couple of weeks ago, the cats had apparently done a three-way paw bump after they agreed to see how many times they could throw up on my bedding in one week. I ended up having to strip down my bed several times. Since it was the middle of the week and I had neither the time nor the energy to deal with the duvet, I stuffed it in a laundry basket to save for the weekend and then had to figure out what to use to cover the bed that would keep me warm.
I dug out a full-sized fleece blanket which just covered the top of the bed, and I covered that with an old, queen-sized, cotton throw. That got me through the week.
Saturday came and it was time to pull apart and wash the duvet. Again. I washed the lining first, folded it neatly and placed it on top of my dresser. Then I washed the cover. I carried it into the bedroom and stared at the lining, trying to decide whether to do this now or wait until later after I had done something fun and was in a better mood.
First, however, I had to strip the bed, including the fleece blanket and the cotton blanket on top. Suddenly, I realized that what I had done with the fleece blanket and the cotton blanket could also be done with the duvet!
I didn’t have to stuff the lining into the cover. I could just put the lining on top of the sheets and put the cover on top of that. Since the lining is smaller than the cover, you would never see it when the bed was made.
Genius! The clouds cleared away, revealing a beautiful, bright blue sky, and I’m pretty sure I heard an angelic choir singing somewhere in the distance.
So if you have a duvet and it’s driving you to the brink of insanity, take heart! You do not have to stuff the lining inside the cover. Oh, no! Just put the cover on top of the lining, and voilà! No one will be the wiser and you will save yourself years of duvet-assembling frustration.
Sure, it took me several years to solve my Duvet Problem. Then again, Albert Einstein, who proposed his Special Theory of Relativity for which he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1921, didn’t come up with it overnight, either. Moreover, he may have been wrong! You can go here to watch Michio Kaku explain it, or you can do a search of your own.
My Special Theory of Duvet, however, is correct. The proof is the way my bed looks: Fantastic!
Take that, Einstein!