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«Kollektiv Vier» turns a fitted bed sheet into an artist’s canvas

Pia Seidel
Zurich, on 12.07.2022
Translation: Katherine Martin

Until now, the field of textile design hasn’t paid much heed to bed sheets. Today, «Kollektiv Vier» is giving them the attention they deserve.

At the moment, our product range has 4,652 different sheets for me to choose from. But only three of them stand out from the crowd. The rest are plain and tend to be white. Though, a canvas like this could be filled so much more creatively. Especially since it takes up so much space in the bedroom. Swiss label Kollektiv Vier has picked up on this too, and to my delight, has given the drab sheets a redesign.

The current collection consists of three sheets, with motifs designed to «tell summer tales». «Albo», for example, «tempts you to relax under a tree», as it says in the description. All too willing to give in to this temptation, I request a sample.

Each of the three sheets is made of a cotton and linen blend, printed and sewn in Spain and comes with a fabric bag made in Switzerland. Inside every bag, there’s a bedtime story created by designers Mirjam Huwiler, Eva Zuberbühler and Johanna Widmer.

This little bag alone reveals multiple colours will be coming to the fore.
This little bag alone reveals multiple colours will be coming to the fore.
A bedtime story (on the back) is included to stir the imagination.
A bedtime story (on the back) is included to stir the imagination.

As soon as I’m putting on the sheet, I’m struck by one detail: only the corners are elasticated. This, and the fact that each one has a different colour, makes it easy to identify which side goes where. Gone are the days of attempting to stretch the short side of the sheet over the long side of the bed. This saves effort – and my nerves. The fact that the elastic doesn’t completely go over the edge of the mattress doesn’t make any difference to the end result.

The highlighted corners help me to make up the bed in a flash.
The highlighted corners help me to make up the bed in a flash.
The fitted sheet can be stretched easily, despite not being elasticated on every side.
The fitted sheet can be stretched easily, despite not being elasticated on every side.

The linen content (25 percent) makes this design piece slightly stiffer than your typical cotton sheet. On the bright side, it allows for better absorption and removal of moisture. There’s nothing unusual about the feeling of the printed sheet against the skin. Seeing it in the room, however, is a different story.

«Everyone knows simple ideas to be the best ones»: a splash of colour transforms the mood of the room.
«Everyone knows simple ideas to be the best ones»: a splash of colour transforms the mood of the room.

Having the bed unmade while I’m airing out the sheets has always irritated me. Today, it looks more appealing and catches the eye in a positive way. The pattern lends the arrangement more depth and a graphic character. I’m looking forward to mixing and matching it with other bedding sets.

Creating a nonchalant look at home

It’s the second time that this trio of designers has put a new spin on the familiar. Last time, it was their mission to beautify the bathroom with shower curtains resembling works of art. Now, they’ve moved on to the bedroom.

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    Diese Duschvorhänge sind auch ein Gedicht

But why have they turned their attentions to the bedroom now of all times? My guess is that our beds have become more important to us since the pandemic. Partly because we were spending more time in them, and partly because the bed has been serving as a popular social media motif ever since. Blogger Matilda Djerf, for example, regularly posts her bedroom and not fashion accessories to her Insta feed. Either way, I’m thankful that bland bed sheets are passé – and that the canvas under my covers is finally being put to use.

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«There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I believe in the latter.»
– Albert Einstein


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