Quilts/Razai, Dohars, Chadar, Sofa Throw, Bedcovers


Your common questions regarding Bedcover, Quilts, Sofa-Throws, Dohars, and Chadars are answered here.

Quilts :

What is the meaning of quilt?

A quilt is the type of bed-covering that becomes essential during severe winters. To create a Quilt, we take two thin bedsheets and insert a layer of loose cotton (also called cotton-wool or 'Rui' in Hindi) between them. Quilt makers ensure that cotton wool is spread evenly between the two bedsheet layers and then hand-stitch or machine stitch all the three layers together. Stitching is done throughout the length and breadth of fabric with a gap of a few inches or centimeters. These stitches help to keep cotton wool in place and not coalesce in one corner, making it cumbersome to handle and unusable. Finally, the two bedsheets are sewn together on all four sides or edges.

The two bedsheets used in quilt creation are usually very thin and soft; polyester-based fabric or pure cotton mulmul fabric is usually used. Quilts made of mulmul-cotton fabric are slightly more expensive than their polyester counterparts. Still, cotton has several health benefits and is highly recommended for people with skin allergies. TOAIArt creates only pure cotton quilts, please click here. to see a sample.

Quilts are referred to as 'Razai' in Hindi or 'Lihaaf' in Urdu.

When or how should quilts be used?

Quilts provide more warmth than other bed coverings such as blankets, chadars, dohars, or comforters. This is because the layer of cotton wool placed between two bedsheet layers has air trapped in it which acts as an insulator and prevents outside cold air from touching the body hence keeping the body sufficiently warm even during cold seasons.

Quilts are more useful during severe winters.

What is the difference between a quilt and a bedcover?

Please find the following major differences between quilts and bedcovers, in brief:

1. Quilts are bed-covering most used during winters as they have a thick layer of cotton-wool filling between them. Bedcovers have a comparatively thinner layer of cotton-sheet filling between them; hence they serve best during slightly mild winters.

2. Quilts are bedcovering, spread over the usual bedsheet. They are usually folded during the day and placed on one side of the bed. However, bedcovers serve a dual purpose. During the day, they use bedsheets, as most of them come with complementing pillow covers. During the night, if the weather is sufficiently cold, it can be used as a covering over the body hence serving dual purpose.

3. As bedcovers are often used as bedsheets, they are much more attractively designed; on the other hand, Quilts have simpler designs, usually created in rustic or vintage patterns.

What is the difference between a quilt and a comforter?

Some primary differences between quilts and comforters:

1. Comforters are warmer than quilts; hence can be used in much cooler climates.

2. Both comforters and quilts have three layers with cotton or down-filling inserted between the top and bottom layers. Quilts have cotton-wool filling in, but comforters have down-feather or synthetic filling in between; this makes the comforters lighter, softer, and much fluffier than the quilt.

3. Quilt stitching is very intricate; stitches are close together; this helps in keeping the cotton wool in place; however, comforters have very little stitching on them. This is because comforter fillings are synthetic or made from down feathers, and they remain fluffy and spread -out.

4. Quilts usually add a specific style to your bedroom. They come in styles such as vintage, patched, rustic, etc. However, comforters are usually plain or pastel-colored. The outer fabric in quilts is usually thin mulmul cotton, but comforters are made of the polyester outer fabric.

5. Quilts can be folded into smaller boxes or bags; they occupy less storage space; however, comforters occupy much more space.

To understand more about comforters and quilts, please click this link.

What is hand quilting?

If you have ever noticed a quilt, it has hand stitches or machine stitches running all over it, from one side to the opposite side. These stitches are very close together because they need to prevent cotton wool from coalescing.

Traditionally, women from villages or grandmothers spent sufficient time and effort hand-stitching the quilts. This process was called 'hand quilting.'

However, in modern times this activity is often performed by machines, making quilts much cheaper and readily available in supermarkets.

How to wash a quilt?

The best way to wash a quilt is by getting it dry-cleaned, especially if it is made of pure and soft cotton with organic cotton-wool filling. This will increase the life of your quilt and will keep it good as new for a long time. You can also attempt hand washing at home in cold water and with mild detergent.

If necessary, single-bed quilts can be machine washed or hand washed also. Ensure that the washing machine settings are set to wash gentle clothes in the shortest and most delicate cycles, in cold water and with mild detergent. Please read product related instructions before deciding on the type of wash.

Some homemakers use the option of wrapping their quilts in quilt covers so they can be easily washed and dried in washing machines. However, you will still need to get your quilts washed or dry-cleaned once in a while. Some homemakers do not prefer this as the beauty of quilt and bed-décor gets subdued.

Bedcovers :

What is a bedcover?

Bedcovers can simply be described as thick beddings. They are created by stitching two bedsheets together and often inserting cotton-wool or synthetic-wool sheets in between. Bedcovers can also be made without cotton fillings by stitching two or more bedsheet-type fabrics together.

Explaining differences between a bedcover and a quilt, in detail:

Suppose the bedcover has a cotton or synthetic filling. In that case, quilting and stitching all across the bedcover are usually done by machine, which is necessary to prevent cotton from coalescing. Now bedcovers sound like quilts, but this is not so. First, thin cotton sheets are used as filling in bedcovers; however, loose cotton wool, in sufficient quantity, is used as fillings in quilts. This makes the quilts much thicker and warmer, primarily used in winters. Still, bedcovers can be used throughout the year, even during monsoons, mild winters, or summers.

The second difference is the stitching. As quilts are filled with loose cotton wool in sufficient quantity, they become thick and have an uneven texture. Stitching them is not very easy; makers use a large needle and thick thread to create stitches that may not have specific patterns. However, as bedcovers are thin, they can be easily quilted in different ways using machines. Their stitching looks much more refined and represents different patterns. Machine stitching or machine quilting also makes bedcovers more robust; this is important because bedcovers are meant for rough usage; they can be used as a bedsheet, and people can sleep over them, or during winters, they can be used as blankets.

Most important is the difference in usage. Bedcovers are an innovative and creative way of redecorating your bedroom rather than the traditional way of changing bedsheets. They can serve two-fold purposes. They can be used as bedsheets or blankets. There are primarily two ways in which you can drape a bedcover. Please check our link. to see both ways. Whereas Quilts are only used to cover up during winters. They are folded and kept on one side of the bed during the day.

What are Indian bedcovers or Jaipuri bedcovers, or Rajasthani bedcovers?

Jaipuri, Indian or Rajasthan bedcovers are handmade by artisans in Rajasthan. These bedcovers usually have traditional, ethnic block print, screen print, or Shibori (Tie-&-Die) patterns representing the region's art. They also have slight irregulates that add to the charm of the handcrafted products.

Most genuine manufacturers of these handmade products still use traditional fabrics such as cotton and silk for creating bedcovers. Most bedcovers are quilted or stitched using a machine to increase their durability; however, in the lands of Rajasthan, there is another unique variety of bedcovers that is not machine stitched. It is called 'Kantha' stitched bedcovers.

What is Kantha stitched bedcover?

In this unique style of creating bedcovers, there is no cotton filling between the bedsheets. Instead, two layers of cotton bedsheets are stitched together using overall patterns of Kantha stitches. Handmade Kantha stitches give a quilted and rustic look and bind the fabric sheets very strongly together.

Like other bedcovers, these also have a dual purpose. You can drape them on your beds as bedsheets, use them as light covers during mild winters, or prevent air-conditioning chills. Please refer to our website links for more information.

Please note that the Kantha stitched bedcovers do not have cotton-wool filling, so they should not be used as covers during severe winters. However, on the plus side, they are easy to wash, maintain and store. They are much lighter, occupy less storage space, and can be easily dry cleaned, hand washed, or even machine washed on delicate cycle settings.

How to wash bedcovers?

Bedcovers have cotton filling similar to quilts, although much less in quantity. Hence dry wash should be preferred for long-term durability. However, they can also be hand washed with a mild detergent in cold water.

You can machine wash your bedcovers occasionally, but ensure that you keep washing cycles to a minimum, use mild detergent and cold or lukewarm water. Please read product specific washing instructions before making a decision.

Dohars :

What is a Dohar? How is it different from Chadar?

A dohar can best be described as a light and soft 'chadar' in Hindi or a cover-sheet in English. To understand more about ‘Chadar’ please click here.

A chadar, oodne wali chadar, is a thick one-piece fabric, usually woven from stocky threads and having dimensions equivalent to single-bed or double-bedsheets. Contrary to Chadar, a dhohar is crafted by stitching two pieces of soft bedsheet fabrics together along the edges and without any filling.

Both dohar and Chadar provide the same warmth and can be used during mild winters or monsoons.

As dohar and Chadar have similar utility, their primary difference lies only in look and feel. Dohars come in several styles and colors. Traditionally they have been a craft of Rajasthan. Hence they have been decorated with block prints and screen prints with complementing border designs. Contrary to this, Chadar is woven with thick threads, and their design patterns are very limited.

Lastly, as dohars are made of soft, light fabrics, it is easy to maintain them and clean them by using washing machines or hand washes.

What is Rajasthani Dohar or Jaipuri Dohar?

Dohars are the most popular pieces of traditional home-décor items in Rajasthan; hence they are often referred to as Rajasthani or Jaipuri dohars. These are usually made from soft mulmul cotton with traditional block designs or screen designs printed on them. As they are hand block printed or hand screen printed, it takes a certain amount of time and effort to create them. They also reflect the art, patterns, and colors of Rajasthan.

Sofa Throw :

What is a sofa throw?

A sofa throw is an interesting piece of fabric. It can come in infinite combinations of colors, textures, materials, and prints. It can be best described as a small blanket or coverlet in English or 'shawl' in Hindi. It is warmer during light winters, monsoons, or windy days, whenever you want to relax on your sofa, watch television, or sip coffee.

Sofa throws provide utility and add style to your living room. As they are usually kept on sofas or recliners in the living room. They represent your style and overall room décor and should be carefully selected.

We at TOAI invite you to look into our collection of interesting sofa-throw patterns. From the heartlands of India, we have brought for Kantha stitched patched. throws. These throws are unique because they are created from unique fabric pieces collected from homemakers rather than printed by machines.

How to wash and maintain sofa throws?

Sofa throws come in various variations and materials, ranging from simple cotton to intricately embroidered fabrics. Hence you should carefully read the care and maintenance instructions for each product.

With this, we come to the end of our FAQ section. I hope you found it useful and all your important questions got answered. Please contact us directly if you have specific questions regarding our products. You can find our Contact details in the 'Contact Us' section or write to us at CustomerCare@toai.in. .