With even relatively well-off households feeling the cost-of-living squeeze, a Camden firm is encouraging people not to replace old duvets, but to have them restored.

The Austrian Bedding Co, in Belsize Road, Kilburn, was founded in 1995 as the only duvet specialist shop in the UK, and is now a well-established trade with costumers from around UK and Europe.

The shop offers a unique cleaning and recovering service for down-filled duvets and pillows, at half the price of buying a replacement.

Isolde Lawlor, founder and owner of the company, said: “We have the only down cleaning machine in the country, and we are the only people who can give this cleaning service for down filled duvets and pillows.

“I think particularly now when everything is going up in price, this service is of great interest.”

Ham & High: Isolde Lawlor, founder of The Austrian Bedding CoIsolde Lawlor, founder of The Austrian Bedding Co (Image: © Kate Cooper Photography 2020)

The down is removed by suction into the cleaning machine, where dust and disintegrated down is discarded, then it is washed, dried, filled into a new cover and topped up if required.

She said: “They shouldn’t just be thrown in a washing machine, using ordinary washing powder, and dry cleaning is even worse.”

Isolde moved to the UK from Austria in 1986 and said she has always used a duvet.

"Continental people in Austria, Germany and Switzerland have used them for the last 300 years," she said.

“I thought that would be a good business to go into and particularly the duvet cleaning, recovery and topping up service which nobody else can do here.

“Duvets are comparatively new here. It’s only since the 1970s that Britain introduced duvets so people initially didn’t need the cleaning service, but of course now they do and people are pleasantly surprised and very pleased with our service and recommend us.

“So now we get a lot of people wanting this service because it is much cheaper that replacing a duvet.”

In Austria, Germany and Switzerland it is recommended to clean duvets every five-to-six years. Duvets can be recovered until up to 20 years from purchase.

The shop also sells “top-quality” new goose-down-filled duvets and pillows, as well as silk-filled and wool duvets.