Seven soft materials that will keep you warm in winter

Sira Huwiler-Flamm

When it gets cold outside, we need a home where we feel comfortable. You can create a cozy atmosphere thanks to a conscious choice of home textiles – these are the current trends.

Several pillows and a loosely knitted blanket are lying on a bed.
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In this article

First trend: velvet – glamorous and sophisticated

When you hear the word velvet, does it conjure up images of bulky theater curtains and dusty upholstered furniture? The old-fashioned image of this plush fabric is a thing of the past: “No other material is as much in vogue for home textiles as velvet,” says Ralf Studer, head of the color and interior design course at the Swiss Textile College in Zurich.

As well as being used for couches and chairs, velvet is now also being chosen for soft cushion covers. “Unusual trendy colors such as purple, mustard yellow and turquoise, as well as classics such as bottle green and dark blue, offer the ideal scope for this eye-catching material,” explains the expert. Items made of velvet, particularly pillowcases, are not only available in one plain color, but also with large flowery patterns or geometric prints.

Second trend: knitwear – a coarse, natural look

Loose knits, a soft, pleasant feel and natural material – a cuddly blanket made of wool is a classic that is always effective, soft, and won’t fail to warm you up. Soft throws in warm shades such as rosé, mustard or beige will keep you nice and cozy. What’s more, avid seamstresses can knit or crochet a blanket themselves – right in keeping with the DIY trend. Loosely knitted blankets and pillows with especially thick wool can be especially modern and exclusive eye-catching features. The downside is that it’s easy to get your jewelry stuck on such pretty custom-made elements, and the beautiful textiles will soon lose their shape.

A woman is sitting on a wooden patio in the sun with her eyes closed and a knitted blanket around her shoulders.

A soft knitted blanket will keep you nice and warm, even in winter.

Third trend: the tweed look – curtains to create an intimate mood

We don’t have to nestle up directly in material for it to create a feel-good atmosphere: “Even curtains can make a room seem more comfortable and warmer,” says expert Ralf Studer. “While glossy and transparent fabrics appear rather cold, coarse textiles with structure envelop the room in warmth.”

Nowadays it’s possible to make curtains from cotton or heavy, natural fabrics in a tweed style. Sandy colors will look warmer and cozier on the curtain rail than a cool light blue, for example. Another advantage of curtains is that they keep the warmth in the room during cold winters – and help you to save on heating costs.

Fourth trend: down – a warm duvet

In as early as around 200 AD, i.e. over 1,800 years ago, people were already using pillows and blankets filled with feathers to keep themselves nice and warm in freezing cold weather. “Down covers are still a must-have for many people on cold winter nights,” says Studer. The classic is now increasingly available with designations and labels that ensure animal welfare has been taken into account during production. Duvets filled with synthetic fiber don’t keep you quite as warm but have the advantage that they can be washed. What material does the expert recommend for bed linen? “Cotton, soft flannel, flannel and jersey warm you up in the cold season. Linen, satin and microfiber tend to have a cooling effect.”

Fifth trend: long pile – comfort from rugs

Rugs haven’t been a fixture in most living rooms for years. “This is no longer true – they are enjoying a revival,” says Studer. Long-pile rugs made of soft materials in sandy shades are most popular, especially in winter: not only do they absorb ambient noise and keep cold feet warm, they also make rooms visually cozier. When it comes to colors and shapes, rugs designs are increasingly inspired by nature: instead of having eye-catching patterns and rectangular shapes, modern models are often monochrome and circular, oval or with rounded corners.

Sixth trend: fur and fake fur – sustainability is becoming increasingly important

Whether on an armchair or a rocking chair, or thrown casually over the back of the couch – virtually no other material provides as much warmth and coziness as real shearling. But as the expert points out, “Animal welfare and sustainable production are becoming more and more important to consumers today. Awareness about making conscious product choices has grown.”

As a result, more and more fur products bear organic labels. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also opt for a coat produced in Switzerland. Environmentally friendly lamb, cow and wild animal skins can be purchased directly from many farms. “Alternatively, there are of course synthetic furs available on the market, which are also soft and warm and fill the room with a cozy chalet atmosphere.”

A soft synthetic fur is draped over a rocking chair standing in a room in front of a fireplace.

Real and synthetic fur are also classics in winter, creating a cozy atmosphere.

Seventh trend: wood – even hard materials can make things comfortable

Tablecloths and crocheted place mats, as in grandma’s day, currently play a rather minor role as home textiles. Instead, bright tables made of real and old wood are very much in vogue. “Wood, whether on the floor as parquet or in the form of solid furniture, creates a particularly cozy atmosphere,” explains the furnishing expert. On festive occasions such as Christmas or New Year’s Eve, however, most Swiss people don’t want to be without a tablecloth: “Classics such as strong cotton and linen remain popular – brocade and other shiny and fancy fabrics add a touch of variety to the festive table.”

Conclusion: create added comfort with a few tricks

During the cold season, the furniture stores have plenty of materials in stock that will help create a cozy atmosphere. Interior design expert Ralf Studer recommends incorporating furnishing elements made of wood and a variety of indirect light sources in addition to home textiles: “In modern homes and office buildings, we are surrounded by smooth surfaces and cold LED light every day. Soft, tactile materials, candlelight and warm colors ensure variety and comfort.”

When it’s cold, wet and miserable outside, it is all the more important to create a cozy atmosphere in your own home. “That’s when more is more,” says Studer. “Lots of cushions, blankets, furs and bedspreads make the TV corner and the bed in the bedroom real places of well-being.”

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