While shopping today at John Lewis – the retail equivalent of visiting a much-loved auntie – I noticed that tucked away in a far corner of the bedding department was a whole area devoted to traditional, woollen, blankets. Expensive, heavy and difficult to wash, you might assume that everyone these days slept under a duvet. Well, almost everyone. My wife’s parent’s house is perched on an escarpment on the Devon coast. In any weather it’s beautiful, but when a heavy storm blasts in from the Atlantic, I’m always glad of the 50 year old, heavy blankets on our beds. If the wind is blowing hard enough to make the floorboards vibrate sufficiently to move the dressing table into the centre of our room, a duvet just won’t do.
One of the many likeable things about John Lewis is that they tell you where stuff is made. I grew up in the heavy woollen district of West Yorkshire and it always makes me happy to find a product made in one the the remaining local mills. The handsome label above is from Atkinson’s Of Pudsey, near Leeds. They’ve been in business since 1828. I suspect this label was designed in-house, probably many years ago. It has a delightful economy to it – everything you need to know, and not much more. The coat of arms is a nice touch – for the Atkinson family that golden fleece would be a literal symbol of their success.