Good Down Belongs in Good Ticking

Ticking is the outermost layer of a duvet, the fabric which encases the down or feather filling. Cotton is the best material for ticking as it can be woven in such a way as to keep down and feathers from escaping while simultaneously promoting ventilation and preventing dust from getting in. Quality duvets generally use 100% cotton ticking.

The quality of ticking effects a duvet's insulating power, durability and softness. As such it is important to understand what ticking is, the different ways it can be woven, and how we measure its quality as you determine the best duvet for your bed. Read on to learn more about how ticking is made and how it impacts your sleep experience.

Cotton wraps

Ne Value

The quality of cotton is indicated by its cotton count or Number English (Ne) value. An Ne value of 1 means that in one pound of yarn weight, there are 840 yards of yarn length. The finest fabrics are strong and tight, which is indicated by a higher Ne value. Ne 30 is the minimum quality of ticking for down duvets. At Downduvet.co.uk, we only offer duvets with ticking of Ne 40 or higher. Most ticking used in fine duvets will be Ne 60 or Ne 80. Recently, there has been an increase in Ne values at the upper end of the market, with duvets being made with values of up to Ne 155. Up to a point, a higher Ne value means a more comfortable duvet which will fold more easily across your body.

Tickings

We have made German-English 'conversion' table with Ne values.


English German Ne Value
Mako cambric Einschütte 40
Down batiste Daunenbatist 60
Fine down batiste Feinbatist 80
Noble down batiste Edelbatist 100
Nano down batiste Nanobatist 115
Premium batiste Feiner Mako-Batist 145
Superior batiste Feinster Mako-Batist 155

Varieties of Ticking

There are several methods of weaving cotton into ticking. These can affect a duvet's overall weight, feel, warmth and ventilation.

Cambric Ticking

Cambric tickings are woven from thread Ne 40 in the traditional linen binding method as seen below. The woof alternates over and under the warp thread and the second woof goes in the opposite direction to the first. For generations the Cambric ticking was the standard ticking for a German down duvet.




Batiste Ticking

Our batiste tickings are woven from thread of Ne 60 to Ne 160, also in the traditional linen binding method as seen above. Because of the nature of the weave, cambrics and batistes look and feel the same from both sides.




Satin Woven Ticking

Satin woven ticking is distinct from cambric and batiste ticking in that the woof goes alternately over several threads and under one warp thread. Satin woven ticking is very supple and soft and stands out because of its smooth gloss. From one side, the woof is visible and from the other, the warp is visible.

Ticking Manufacturers

German and Austrian manufacturers have long been known to produce the highest quality ticking. These companies, many of them with long histories in the industry, consistently outshine competitors in other countries with the superior quality and feel of their ticking. Sanders, Weidmann (German) and Hefel (Austrian) are among the most prestigious manufacturers of ticking.

An antique invoice from Sanders

For over 300 years the city of Bramsche in Germany has been synonymous with densely woven fabrics known as 'Bramscher Tuch'. Since 1885, the head office of Sanders has been located there. Sanders Brothers.

Box Stitching or Baffle Box?

Some duvets have a square pattern, where the upper and lower part of the ticking is directly stitched together. This technique, called “box stitching” or “direct step”, is generally used for lighter duvets. Watch the video below to see how this process works.

 

 

Warmer duvets have a box pattern, where the upper side is not directly stitched to the lower. In this case, a band is placed between the upper and lower sides, keeping the down inside the box. The bands are between 2 and 10cm in height, depending on the thickness of the duvet. This ‘baffle box’ method of stitching was developed to ensure that cold air cannot seep in around the stitches. For this reason it is mostly used for winter duvets.

The thickest baffle box winter duvets have partitions up to 10cm in height. These are called ‘Hochsteg’ (high baffle) and will keep you warm even in the most biting cold.


Down Duvet Buyer's Guide

Choose your duvet in 4 simple steps

  1. Duvet size: Which duvet size do I need?
  2. Tog: Choose the right tog
  3. Fill power: What is Fill Power?
  4. Duvet fabric: Good down belongs in a good fabric

Compare all down duvets by duvet price, size, season, brand, fill power, fabric and down.

Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask us!
020 3129 5731 (working days 9am – 4pm, GMT)