Matelasse: Behind the Design + Styling Tips

Written by
Parachute Team
Nicole LaMotte for Parachute

Matelasse bedspreads date back to 1700s France, but we’re introducing a modern take on the traditional weaving technique. Chic and versatile, our matelasse collection features a minimalist channel stitch (rows of parallel lines) and can be used as a decorative bed cover or layered for extra warmth. Discover how our Creative team brought this old world look up to date – and how you can style it at home.

First things first for our newbies: What is matelasse?

Amy Hoban, Creative Director:Matelasse is a French word that refers to a cushioned textile. It’s a single layer of fabric with a raised pattern meant to mimic old provençal quilts.

What is its history and how is ours different? Walk us through the design process.

Amy: Matelasse typically skews romantic with floral and paisley designs. We wanted to update this classic layering piece by introducing channel stitching – which is very linear and modern. We began designing matelasse from a scrap of fabric we loved and worked tirelessly to ensure our coverlet didn’t have a “bad” side that shows the stitching behind an embroidery.

Why did you introduce coverlets? What value do they add?

Amy: We saw an opportunity to add another layering option following the success of our quilts. We wanted to dive deeper into the bed cover category and give people what they want! Matelasse is a lighter alternative to our quilt because it doesn’t have batting in between the layers of fabric.

Ariel Kaye, Founder and CEO: Matelasse stands out to me because it adds texture. It’s an understated pattern and it’s totally functional – both which enhance a room.

The palette for the matelasse collection is a little different from our existing colors. What’s the mood and intention behind that?

Amy: It is! We wanted the collection to complement our existing colors – mixing and matching is one of our core design tenets! We created half-off colors – muted versions of our core line – so customers could integrate a matelasse layer easily.

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How would you style matelasse in your own home?

Amy: In the summertime, I suggest a top sheet and a Matelasse Coverlet. I’m originally from the East Coast – where it can get hot and humid – but I still like to have some type of cover on my bed. In the winter, I’ll use the coverlet at the foot of my bed and pull it up over my duvet when it gets chilly.

What’s your favorite Bedding fabric and color to pair with the Matelasse Coverlets?

Amy: I look at a lot of color every day, so I prefer white on white on my bed! Right now I am loving white linen with white matelasse. At the shoot, I was really taken with the pairing of storm blue matelasse with light grey percale. It’s a classic Parachute look, with a little twist.

Describe the vibe of this shoot. What notes did you provide the team ahead of time?

Hilary Sherman, Art Director: The shoot was lively and collaborative. We work with such a seasoned team that I (luckily) don’t need to do much prep beyond the logistics. That being said, shooting new products is always a challenge. I start by putting together an inspiration board and then we discuss how to style them. For matelasse, we talked a lot about if it should go under or on top of the duvet. We settled on shooting the matelasse both ways to show its versatility.

We don’t want you to spill all your tricks, but what’s one tip on achieving a productive and fun shoot?

Hillary: I believe a good playlist and a variety of snacks are essential to keeping people productive and in good spirits. We took walks around the block throughout the day to refresh and clear our minds.

Describe matelasse in three words.

Ariel: Classic, chic and cozy.

Amy: Subtle, versatile and comfortable.

Hillary: Sophisticated, easy and classic.