Blankets just aren't the same...
November 9, 2009 8:56 PM   Subscribe

What should I do with a wounded duvet?

A few months ago my partner decided to do some housecleaning, and washed our lovely, heavyweight down duvet (I know, I know...). Apparently the fabric of the duvet got caught in the washing machine somehow, and tore open the duvet. I'm so glad I wasn't there to deal with all the soaking down, and especially glad it wasn't our washing machine! So now we've got broken bedding. The duvet was sectioned, and only one section--sadly, one in the middle--was emptied of its down, but it's still useless as it is. Is there anywhere I could go to get it repaired, or is this a very expensive write off? (We're in Edmonton, if it helps). If it's not reparable, is there anything else we could do with it?
posted by Bergamot to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What's the tear like? I have patched (with an iron-on) a ripped duvet before, but if the tear is complicated you'd be better off having a tailor/seamstress/alterations person patch it. You might consider sourcing your own down replacement and take it in with the duvet. Really, unless it's just brutally mangled it should be entirely salvageable and, for an experienced alterer/repairer not a very complicated sewing job, even if it's a very large patch.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:06 PM on November 9, 2009

If you've got enough fabric left for seam allowances, you could add a colorful stripe section, and re-fill it. If you've got a sewing machine, a big table, and an assistant, it should be doable for a novice. Also, I know people who love to do odd sewing jobs like this on craigslist, if you can't find a shop.

If for whatever reason repair isn't an option, I'd add some piping, buttons, and maybe pom-pom trim and call 'em floor cushions, or the worlds most luxurious dog beds.
posted by fontophilic at 9:10 PM on November 9, 2009

A clarification: the down is all missing in the ripped section of the duvet (it's quilted, sort of, into seven long "tubes" that kept the down evenly distributed). So repair will either involve redistributing or refilling (messy) down. fontophilic: I have none of the above, but Craigslist is a good idea; do you have any idea where one would get down with which to do the refill?
posted by Bergamot at 9:33 PM on November 9, 2009

Get a design copyright. It's a now a fertility duvet that keeps the testicles at a lower temperature to increase sperm production.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:37 PM on November 9, 2009 [2 favorites]

Down might be hard to come by unless you've got some ducks handy; you might have to settle for synthetic fill.

Could you just cut the empty section out and sew the two remaining chunks together?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:14 PM on November 9, 2009

Down might be hard to come by unless you've got some ducks handy; you might have to settle for synthetic fill.

I guess one could buy a down pillow, cut it open, and transfer its content to the duvet? This is quickly degenerating into an expensive (and messy) project though.
posted by spaghettification at 11:55 PM on November 9, 2009

The easiest way to go may be to find a shop that repairs outdoor equipment. If they can repair sleeping bags, they can repair your duvet (and will have the down to refill it). If you are having trouble finding a shop, call Mountain Equipment Co-op and ask them where to go.
posted by ssg at 12:13 AM on November 10, 2009

If it's definitely no longer serviceable as a duvet and you're handy, I would be all for making it into a giant floor pillow (like this)
posted by brambory at 1:44 AM on November 10, 2009

I think you can repair this by transferring in feathers from a down pillow or two and closing/patching the seam. Depending on the size of the tear, you may want to patch the hole first and create a new hole for transferring in the feathers. You'll need an open hole or a seam large enough to accommodate two hands and room to work with some feathers.

Stuffing with new feathers doesn't have to be messy -- I've transferred feathers from a down pillow into a larger down pillow to make cushions for my couch. Get a new down pillow from an inexpensive place like ikea or tj maxx, cut open the seam, and dump the feathers and down loosely into a largeish plastic bag such as a small kitchen garbage bag. Feed the bag into the hole, and then use our hands to scoop the feathers out of the bag and into the duvet. You may have to use the bag method again, depending on how many feathers you use. Then sew up the hole by hand using a whipstitch.

If the rest of the feathers are still wet, take the whole thing over to a proper Laundromat with a proper large dryer and feed the dryer a lot of quarters. Down can dry beautifully in a commercial dryer.
posted by mochapickle at 5:24 AM on November 10, 2009

And if you go to IKEA mid-week, you can often find down pillows marked down to nearly nothing in the "AS IS" section.
posted by tilde at 5:39 AM on November 10, 2009

I can't help but note that the question is a sea shanty.

What should I do with a wounded duvet?
What should I do with a wounded duvet?
What should I do with a wounded duvet?
Early in the morning?

posted by eriko at 6:23 AM on November 10, 2009

Patch up the hole and then re-stuff it
Patch up the hole and then re-stuff it
Patch up the hole and then re-stuff it
Early in the morning

If it were me, I would:

--Do whatever was needed to patch the hole, as obtrusively or unobtrusively as desired (contrasting or matching fabric). Remember that the empty part is two layers, and you only want the patch to be on one of the layers, not through both of them. I would do this by hand-sewing, making sure that the stitches were nice and small and tight so that down wouldn't keep sneaking out of the patch.

--along one side of the comforter, neatly slit open all six "tubes" in the comforter

--transfer a handful of down from each full tube to the empty tube

--consider whether the distribution of fill across the comforter was equal, if not repeat previous step as necessary

--patch up the new holes neatly and tightly, and be done with it

End result, slightly lighter-weight comforter, but you said it was heavy to begin with and you'll probably be fine. The advantage to just re-distributing the stuffing that's already there is that down content/quality varies widely, and it'd be a shame to have a stripe of weird poky feathery cheap down in the middle of an otherwise nicer duvet.

Good luck!
posted by Sublimity at 6:57 AM on November 10, 2009

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