ANGELA, HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO DRESS MY BED?
The making of the new SCHRAMM Home Collection
By Stefanie von Wietersheim
Do you have a nice bed – certainly, don’t you? And do you also have nice bed linen inviting you to lounge comfortably on it? Of course! Or rather: Not so sure? Never thought about it? Because what actually makes bed linen beautiful is just as vividly discussed as are boyfriend jeans, smoky eyes makeup and the shape of decent dress shirts. The international market for bed linen has grown to be as colourful and manifold as the people bustling in their beds: Instead of sheets and covers made from white linen – European standard before the mid-20th century – there is leger sportswear today, funky High Street fashion and classy couture for the bed. Lavender jersey covers, crashed floral fabrics, non-iron seersucker models, even island panoramas on polyester pillows. Lurid parrot patterns, unobtrusive blue and white stripes, bold berry colourblocking, champagne satin with embroidered initials – anything is possible. A nice kind of liberty in bed - among others.
It is only up to ourselves how to dress our bed. Since a bed is to be dressed just like the own body. And so the creative director of the Schramm bed manufactory, Angela Schramm, was asked this one question again and again during trade shows in Paris, Milan and Frankfurt: „How would you dress this bed, having such an amazing sense of fashion and style yourself? You see so many trends worldwide and know the best fabric suppliers!“ After having answered countless requests for fashionable advice while taking a late appetizer in a bar, sitting on beds in exhibition centres or discussing this issue with design journalists the passionate stylist had the idea to create her own Home Collection: bed linen, cushions, plaids! Only made by small companies who indeed dispose of proper handcraft expertise. Towels! Who makes the best? Deliciously scented stones and linen sprays! Off to Southern France! Angela Schramm travelled Europe, visited small weaving mills, talked to tailors, embroiderers, fabric dealers, perfumers. And slowly but surely honed her answer to the question: How do I nicely dress a bed? Finally the collection grew ever larger with far-reaching geographic repercussions. A fashion adventure aiming at dressing the bed and the bedroom. Based on the German and Italian bed linen tradition she came upon Mongolia and India, having passed France and Portugal. According to her personal affection for classy fabrics she had fine plaids woven from Mongolian cashmere, bedspreads and scatter cushions embroidered by Indian craftspeople. Lastly, bath robes, slippers and tea joined in.
And the colours? Definitely no parrot gardens in bed. No superficial blingbling. No bold hues. First off - white. Matte or shining. Then ivory. Ecru. Grey. Gentle powder blue. Hushed. Classic. Something to last forever. Like a camel hair coat. A hand-sewn black handbag.
Bed linen of understated elegance lasting a lifetime if treated well has enjoyed a long tradition in Europe, especially in Germany. Linen weaving mills such as Strunkmann & Meister in Bielefeld supplied their products for a long time to European aristocracy and the wealthy middle classes. Good linen used to be as valuable as a precious davenport, a sportive carriage or a triple pearl necklace: something to remain among the proud personal belongings of women and to display the family’s taste. Girls getting married possessed a considerable dowry of bed and table linen, embroidered with the initials of their maiden name, mostly delicate by the use of a red yarn; sometimes you happen to find these gracious old pieces of linen on antique markets. The high European linen culture is displayed in a particularly beautiful way by a pattern book which was published in the beginning of the 20th century; this book was discovered by the Schramm creative team in a second hand bookshop: linen covers with delicate hemstitch seams, top sheets with handmade languettes (tongue-shaped dents), dot and satin stitch embroidery, transverse folds – after hundred years still in a fantastic shape. This tradition is joined today by the fine bed linen made from cotton satin and cotton percale with different seams and embroideries being produced for the Schramm Home Collection by a manufactory in Northern Italy. In times when young girls do not have to spend years of work on their dowry but rather study for their university diplomas elegant bed linen has not only the connotation of elegance, style and luxury but also of pure sensual pleasure.
Since the beginning of December, the Schramm Home Collection has been available in the new Schramm online shop and may of course also be bought directly at Schramm dealers’.