Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Swaddling at night

Princess and the Pea/Edmund Dulac
A former boyfriend told me I should have been born on a planet with no gravity.  I bruise easily, feel every grain of sand in my shoe, and can tell fabric content percentages by feel alone. I dream of comfort in bed.  As a wedding present for a wedding that didn't happen (to another former boyfriend) my mother and aunts made me a comforter and 2 pillows.

They brought over lots of down from Poland.  We picked through it separating away the fluffy, lofty "puch" away from the poky quills.  We worked in my mother's front room and were covered in white evening after evening.  My mom bought a thickly woven blue ticking cloth to sew into cases so that no down would escape. We took the measurement of the top of my queen sized bed and divided into evenly spaced intervals.  They sewed vertical  channels into the cloth, each about 9 inches wide. Each channel was stuffed with as much down as entire American comforters hold. I don't recall exactly, but maybe something like 26 ounces.  

The resulting "koldra" was entirely heavy and comforting to sleep under. I bought flannel duvet covers to put it into. Delicious to be pressed into my soft mattress.  I kept my heat low at night and enjoyed the sensation of a only a cold nose.  Sometimes I awoke to seeing my breath in the morning light.  I regulated my temperature by tucking my feet in and out again.  My brother built a special shelf high up in my long walk in closet for summer storage.  It took two to roll it up, wrap up with a blanket, and heft it up to rest until the following winter. 

Another kind of down covering is a "pierzyna."  Basically a large, loose, fluffy pillow/bag o' down. When I visited my mother's home village in the mountains, the summer nights got very cool. On colder nights, you fluffed it to one thickness and slept a wee child under an enormous puffball.  On milder nights, you fluffed the majority of the down to the bottom and slept under a thin layer.  My mother's youngest brother would throw my little brothers into the air and let them land softly and sink in, way in.

link to Zbigniew Wozniak's site shows lady airing pierzyna outside:


Le-Chat said...

I grew up under a "pierzyna". Mom brought it from Switzerland. I loved the thick fluffy weight around me. I felt sorry for the Dutch kids under regular blankets, lol. When it finally had to be replaced I was kind of disappointed at how thin the new -made in Holland- comforter was.

tess said...

Lovely sensation of being enveloped.
I wonder if there is a store in the old part of town where you could have one made?
There used to be in ours. I think the store that sold the ticking is long gone too.
I suppose with the advent of central heating not such a demand.
Thank you for visiting.