Bed covers are an integral part of the color scheme and set the style and mood of the bedroom. A comforter is one style of bed cover. It is a fabric cover of three layers, permanently attached together by stitching through the top layer, filler and underside. A comforter covers the top of the bed and drops down each side to cover the mattress and the top two inches of the box spring or bed skirt.
Bed Size, Drop and Pillow Tuck
Comforters usually reach the head of the bed only but may be longer than the bed to allow the pillows to be covered. This is known as the "pillow tuck." The length of comforters down the side of the bed varies, with the standard being to cover the mattress and the top one or two inches of the box spring. A deeper full-size mattress would require a longer and wider comforter than the standard 14-inch deep mattress.
The width of the comforter is measured from two inches below the mattress on one side of the bed, up and across the top surface of the bed and down the opposite side to 2 inches below the mattress. The width of a comforter for a full-size bed with a standard 14-inch deep mattress, plus 2 inches on each side, will be 86 inches. The length of the comforter is the length of the bed, plus the mattress depth, plus 2 inches and another 30 inches if the pillows are to be covered. In this example, the length will be 122 inches. The comforter will be 86 inches wide and 122 inches long.
Yardage, 54-inch Wide Fabric
Divide the width of the comforter by the width of the fabric and round the figure up. The comforter width is 86 inches plus one inch for seam allowances; divide this by 54 -- the fabric width -- to equal 1.6 widths, which is rounded up to two. Two widths of fabric are required for the comforter top. The length is the finished measurement of the comforter -- which in this example is 122 inches -- plus 1 inch for seams to equal 123 inches. Two widths of fabric 123 inches long are required. This equals 246 inches or 6-7/8 yards. This is for the top only; add an equal amount of fabric for the underside.
Shrinkage and Fabric Requirement
If the fabric is not preshrunk, allow at least 10 percent extra when calculating yardage. For example, if the fabric is 100 percent cotton and 45 inches wide, two widths should be required. However, cotton will shrink; therefore, 10 percent, or 24 inches, is added to the total length, requiring three widths. If using 45-inch fabric that may shrink, the yardage required will be 11-1/3 yards for each of the top and bottom layer.
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