Matelasse vs. Quilt- what are the real differences

sis2twoJuly 10, 2013

I have been looking online at Matelasse coverlets and quilts in white and wondering what the differences are in reality. Is one heavier than the other or more practical depending on season? I will be purchasing new bedding in King and I'm trying to determine whether I want a comforter, quilt, or matelasse coverlet. Lots of choices! Thank you.

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Holly- Kay

Matelasse is wonderful as a coverlet but quite heavy. I had one on my bed for any years but after the meno years I just couldn't tolerate the warmth. I think of a comforter as having an outer cover with a type of fill inside. A quilt is made with blocks of least that is what I refer to as a quilt. HTH.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 10:22PM
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Matelasse is a one piece fabric that has been woven or stitched to create a pattern that looks quilted or padded. It's supposed to look like the old hand stitched quilts made in France. The better made ones are heavy. I purchased my latest one from Heritage Weavers in Maine - they used to be the old Bates Mill. There are cheaper ones that are lighter but they really clog my dryer vent with lint when I wash and dry them.

A quilt is usually 3 layers - a top layer which may be one piece or pieced together from smaller pieces; a middle layer of batting that provides padding or insulation and a bottom layer.

Quilting is the process of stitching through all 3 layers. Many times the stitching is quite detailed and can also provide a decorative element to the finished quilt. Some quilts are merely held together by ties.

In the winter I use my alternative down comforter but in the summer I bring out my Matelasse bedspreads. Depending on how warm or cool the room is we either use it as a top blanket or fold it to the foot of the bed.

Some quilts can also be quite heavy. I bought one for my son and he complains that it suffocates him so he folds his at night too.

It's really your preference.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Thank you holly-kay and maire cate. I have always assumed matelasse is mostly used in warmer weather, whereas quilts can be used year round. We too use a down alternative comforter in the winter and a lightweight one in the summer but I'm looking into other options. I love duvet covers, but what a hassle to use! They look gorgeous in the Pottery Barn catalog, but using them is a different story.

I want my bed to look pretty and inviting but very functional. It used to be that I would fold down my pretty coverlet to keep it looking nice and used either a comforter or blanket along with my sheet to cover up with. Now I want something pretty and functional. Would like to hear what you all do.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Holly- Kay

I have a pretty hydrangea print Martha Stewart coverlet. It is absolutely a wonderful weight and I use it all year round. I also have an all white with a tone on tone design, that is also a MS. Macy's usually has fairly nice bedding., decent quality and inexpensive. I will be hopefully redoing my bedroom in the next year and would love to use matelassé again but I just can't tolerate the heaviness of it.

I don't use a blanket at all, even in the winter. The only thing I change is wearing heavier nightwear in the winter.

Here is a pic. It is really better suited to a spring or summer décor but I use it all year because of it's perfect weight..

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:20PM
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Oh, the dreaded bedding question! I have given up on duvets inserted into duvet covers. We have a silk duvet & on top an ivory textured coverlet I got at TJ's. Since it's a light color & our kitty sleeps with us, it gets laundered at home fairly frequently, but has held up wonderfully. I don't wash the silk duvet (comforter) nearly as often.

This keeps us comfortable most the year...we have A/C & if it gets too cold in the winter, I have a quilt I put on my side at night.

At the head of the bed, I have two K shams in ivory & a large European pillow I got on a great sale at PB that is yellow, green & pinkish/coral floral, which I love. It's simple & easy.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 1:08AM
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My idea of going to bed is to pull the covers back and climb in - I detest dealing with decorative pillows or covers that have to be removed at night and then replaced in the morning. My bedroom isn't on display so I'm not concerned with decorative touches that add more work for me.

I think that's the reason I like my matelasse bedspread. When the bed is made it covers the pillows and looks finished - decorative shams aren't needed to cover the pillows. Even our down comforter is oversize and when the bed is made it covers our pillows and the drop is long enough to cover the mattress.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Holly- Kay

I use my coverlet as a blanket and I enjoy seeing my nicely made bed. It takes all of half a minute to put the pillows back on the bed so I don't find that extra work to be much to deal with. I am so in the habit of doing it that I don't even think about it.

My matelassé was not a bedspread, it was also a coverlet and I had matching shams for it as well. I just prefer the look of dressed pillows on my bed.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 2:58PM
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I have a Columbine Cody matelasse bedspread and I don't think it's that heavy. It's a study cotton weave with a basket of flowers design. Something similar to this:

Columbine Cody Matelasse

IMO, it's a nice weight to use on cool spring and fall evenings, but a bit warm for summer and not warm enough for winter.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 10:13PM
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Holly- Kay

That is a pretty one. Mine had scalloped edges also. I guess my internal thermostat is really messed up because I used mine as my covering in the winter and often had to kick it off or lay on top of it.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 10:54PM
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