What is a matelassé?

A matelassé is a type of neutral, lightweight coverlet that employs intricate stitchwork to produce a luxurious, padded-looking effect. These oft-overlooked bedding basics are fashioned after antique French quilts that utilized intricate matelassé stitching. Like vintage French quilts, matelassés patterns can vary wildly. They can showcase simple linear patterns such as a basic diamond grid, or very elaborate ones, such as scrolling vines or florals that require three or four separate threads to create. Matelassés are generally produced in very neutral colors, as they are typically used to bring polish to a bed. There are no steadfast rules about how to use a matelassé. You can use one in substitution for a bedspread, or you can simply fold one at the foot of the bed. Because matelassés are made of a single-ply fabric that is thinner than a standard coverlet, they are often teamed with thicker blankets underneath for warmth.

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Photo by Marco Ricca and Bennett Leifer Interiors


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December 30, 2019

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