What is a Coverlet

By Nitin Hariyani

What is a Coverlet?

There are many terms used today when we start to discuss bedroom linens. For instance, when we ask What is a Coverlet, the correct answer is :-

A coverlet is a bedding accessory like bedspread that is lightweight, deeply woven and decorative. Generally, a coverlet is used to decorate and cover the bed. Coverlet is like a layer, between a top sheet and duvet.

what is a coverlet

They are usually highly decorated and are used over other bedspreads for decoration. The coverlet is to add an attractive touch to the bedroom. A coverlet is made of cotton or other fabric but colorful wool is used to make designs on it. This does not really tell us anything since there are many types of decorative accents for the bedroom. So, we are going to explain further by comparing them to quilts, which is also a bed covering.

What is a Coverlet

Today, the term coverlet, bedspread, and quilt are often used interchangeably. However, their names like their beginnings were distinctive from each other. The name came from what the item was used for in the bedroom. Over time, the names became muddled as each type of covering basically served the same purpose. 

The woven coverlets were made in the U.S. Pre-Civil War era (1820-1860) as bed coverings. Some significant changes ware made in woven coverlets in the 19th-century, the overshot weave coverlets and double-cloth coverlets were introduced. When using the term coverlet, most often it refers to the top covering of your bed.

 In some ways, it is probably the most important accessory in the room, because you have many different types to choose from. Although similar in intention, quilts and coverlets are different in both their function and their size. Is your covering being used for warmth or decoration? How will the appearance of the topping play with the other accessories and elements in the room? Both of these topics are important when you are trying to decide between a coverlet, spread or quilt.

What is a Coverlet Used For

  • What is a coverlet used for? Coverlets are thinner than quilts. We can use it to decorate beds, sofas, chairs, and other soft furnishings. It can also be used in the warmer, but not hot, months to add a bit of warmth to the bed when sleeping.
  • What is a coverlet size versus that of a quilt? There is no standard size for coverlets. Most quilts are larger, depending on the size of the bed they fit. Since the function of a quilt is mainly for warmth, it also has to cover one to two people. Since quilts are mostly handmade, they can be made to fit any size bed from a twin to a king depending on the maker's preference.
  • What is a coverlet made of? Coverlets are usually made from light chenille fabrics and can sometimes be made from suede-like cotton. As it covers the bed so the coverlets are longer than the quilt. It is to cover the bed but not necessarily touch the floor surrounding it.

How to Use a Coverlet

  • As mentioned earlier, there are a variety of uses for a coverlet. It can serve the purpose of a bedspread, particularly in the warmer months. It can also provide a decorative touch, such as adding an accent or pop to a bedroom, to help to bring out the subtler shades in other decorative pieces, or as a themed piece. Many chenille coverlets were used in the last century. If you are looking for a retro look to your bedroom a chenille coverlet would be perfect.

How to Choose a Coverlet

  • If you are looking for a modern look for your bedroom, why not try a coverlet? Since it only covers the top of the bed skirt, you could ad a flat tailored bed skirt for a more finished look but doesn’t look or feel heavy.
  • Coverlets are also very versatile. The use of a coverlet is handy in a lot of different ways since they can be folded up and draped across the end of the bed as an accent piece. They can also be used in other parts of the home, such as a light covering for the couch or sofa while watching TV or to add just a touch of warmth when needed.

Bedspread & Why Use a Bedspread?

  • A bedspread is also a bed covering as the name implies. The main difference between a bedspread and a coverlet is that a bedspread is designed long enough to cover the entire bed and hangs low enough to cover and hide the box springs. It can be of any weight so that a bedspread for spring or summer can be made of lightweight material, while those for the winter months are more often made of heavier fabric.
  • Bedspreads usually have a more elegant look, so they work well in a traditional style bedroom. Because of this use, you will probably encounter bedspreads with prints and sometimes designs. A bedspread is more traditional, and some are even shabby chic in appearance.
  • Many experts recommend the use of a bed skirt to hide the box springs even though most bedspreads are long enough to reach the floor. When the bedspread is turned down, you will see the box springs and under the bed, so a bed skirt gives the room a more finished look.
  • When choosing a bedspread, you have to be mindful of the use of prints on prints. In today’s linen market, it may be ‘in’ to mix colors, patterns, and textures, but if overdone it can look too busy and heavy. Plus, too many colors in one place can add to sensory overload for some people.

Quilt & Why Use a Quilt

  • A quilt is a type of bedspread that is made by combining three layers of different types of fabric. Its main use is to add warmth to the bed. Today, quilt making, or “quilting”, is more of a hobby for people rather than a necessity. Back in the 1700 and 1800s, it was a chore that had to be done to keep the family warm during the night and during winter months.
  • Today, the hobbyist can by pre-printed kits, but when quilting was dominant, old clothes and scraps were used. This allowed women to use everything, save money and socialize with others during quilting bees.
  • There are quilting clubs and societies whose goal is to preserve the skill and modes of quilting for the present and for generations to come. Some of these quality clubs may specialize in one or two different types of quilts which may harken back to the ancestors. For instance, Amish quilts are highly decorated and prized, often being handed down through the generations as keepsakes.

Conclusion For What is a Coverlet 

In this article, we have focused on what is a coverlet, and the difference between coverlets, bedspreads, and quilts. We have defined what a coverlet is used for, what it is made of and how it can be used for decoration purposes verses quilts. We have also described quilts, a little bit of their history and their function. The differences between the two are subtle, but they are different.

Your bedroom is probably one of the most important rooms in your home. Many experts believe that it is the second most important space, coming in behind the kitchen by a small measure. So, it is important that you choose the type of coverings and linens with care. The style of your room will play a big role in which covering you choose, as well as your color sense and budget.

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