Sunday, March 24, 2013

Big W - Peter Morrissey quilt sets

Went to Big W to check out the latest Peter Morrissey bed linen range.

I saw 4 styles:

Sorrento - black & white small dots with check border
Hamilton - white with navy border
Safari - black & grey animal print 
Hayman - large blocks of light & dark navy

There is also another set which is part of the same collection, but wasnt in the bunch I saw. Its called Noosa & it is white.

Cant comment on this as I didnt see it.

The ranges I looked at are separate to the plain coloured Peter Morrissey for Big W sets. I didnt examine the plain coloured sets.

Of the four sets I examined, all are 250 TC pure cotton ("excluding trims").
They are available in Queen ($79) & King ($84). 
As far as I saw they are only quilt sets (not sheet sets).
Each quilt set includes the doona cover, 2 pillowcases & 2 euro pillowcases.  

Here's the weird bit - after hearing on cyber space that these had all sold out, I called a store to ask whether they had any. The SA knew nothing & so I spoke to his manager - I asked the manager whether the sheet sets also had two of the normal sized pillowcases (ie: some duplication) given that the quilt sets had two normal sized pillowcases. He assured me they did. The weird thing is today I didnt see any sign of sheet sets to match this quilt cover. I think the guy must have been smoking something....

Firstly the glossy pictures of the range looked amazing. The quality of the actual sheets was totally OK & up to my standard. Note though that I didnt remove them from their packets so you may have a different outcome here. However, when you look close up at the work done to get the prints, I noticed it was all embroidery (ie: not a print woven into the fabric) & I wasnt pleased with the finish of that embroidery.

Problem: Embroidery at the high street level is the cheapest way you can make prints. They just program the machines with the pattern & away it goes. Its a process with minimal human supervision. 

I dont like high street embroidery for three (3) reasons: 

Firstly, the embroidery results in a messy look because the machines dont fully cover the fabric in the satin stitch when they are making a pattern - they roughly cover it - enough to form the pattern but you can then see the fabric colour underneath. Basically, if the manufacturers went the other way & made the embroidery dense, the item will be more costly to make. So they make it un-dense! 

This is HAMILTON: Notice how the satin stitch which borders the navy bands is made up of a whole  lot of zig zag done "tightly".  When its done this tight, its called satin stitch.  Now notice how the satin stitch isnt properly filled? ie You can see the fabric colour underneath & the stitch isnt dense....
Here is the Hamilton bed.

Here is the Sorrento bed.

and the Sorrento packaging

This is SORRENTO: Notice how you can see the white cotton fabric through the stitches which form the black squares? ie: the satin stitch isnt dense.

Secondly, there is also the issue of running out of thread sporadically, so you see the loose threads on the garment each time they finish the spool. Since its high street, no one will spare the time or the money to push the lose threads into the wrong side of the fabric. Result: a messy garment. Safari was a worst one in terms of this issue, because it had the largest areas of print done via embroidery (so you are more likely to run out of thread mid-pattern).

See how all the threads are showing?  

More loose threads...

& more loose threads...

Thirdly, because the embroidery is done with large & loose stitches, it tends to pull easily. Lord knows how many times I have snagged cushion & linen embroidery with a finger nail let alone a coat hanger, handbag etc.

Here is the Safari packaging....

Finally I looked at Hayman.
Hayman is a French (dark) navy & bright navy combo, sewn together with a white strip in between.

The white strip felt like cotton gauze with a type of fagotting on it. The fagotting had a large open pattern - it is possible that it could lead to pulling. 

Hayman had no embroidery so I preferred it on this basis.

Hayman is the most masculine of the four sets I examined.

So we have now covered the mechanics of the quilt sets.
The only thing left is the price & hence value comparison. 

Since I am a Target sheets fan, I cant resist a direct comparison with Target.....

The sets are marginally cheaper than Target.
The sets include "bonus euro cushions" so the value factor increases more (Target sets only ever include the basic pillow cases - euros are sold separately).

But Target has alot more variety in its prints & specifically, it has a very very extensive range of prints that are not embroidered. 

The interesting thing with the Morrissey sets is that even though we are going into winter, they all exude a Hamptons/nautical feel.  My preference is to find a Target set with this same feel which has no embroidery. Frankly, I am not sure whether to risk the Hayman set (my fave of the four). 

Dont get me wrong - I think they are terrific value for money.
But for the various reasons stated, I would probably not invest in these (although I did like Hayman).

Would love to hear your thoughts.


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