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Fit for a king



Fine linens, like fine wine, get better with age. "In addition to its luxurious look and feel, with proper laundering and care, fine bedding has longevity and becomes softer with time," says Mark Van Ess, co-owner of Cranston, Milwaukee. Although more expensive up front, treating yourself to fine linens is an investment that will pay off in the long run.

Who says wood canít be soft? 100 percent Italian wood fiber defines "Legna" from SDH. Wood pulp is harvested from managed forest and has the feel of silk but the easy care of cotton. Machine laundered and biodegradable; available in seven colors. Queen fitted or flat sheet, $351; king fitted or flat sheet, $414; standard pillow case, $83; king pillow case, $99; Cranston.

This striking blue 100 percent cotton "Amelia" quilt set from Sferra has a detailed scroll pattern that has been meticulously stitched and finished. Also available in ivory, tan and coral. Queen set includes quilt and two standard shams, $460; king set includes quilt and two king shams, $515; Cranston, Milwaukee.

"Your bedroom should be your oasis," notes Kate Kazlo, owner of The Home Market in the Third Ward. Made of 100 perecent Tencel, environmentally sustainable fabric, elegant "Madera" bedding from Bella Notte Linens has subtle luster and easy drape. Smooth to the touch, it comes in 20 colors. Queen duvet, $491; standard shams, $79 each. The Home Market, Milwaukee.

Clean, simple lines define "Oasis" bedding from Simply Vera Vera Wang. Comforter sets, $359.99-$389.99; sheet sets, $99.99-$119.99; duvets, $259.99-$289.99; Euro shams, $49.99. Kohlís, various locations.

Linen bedding that becomes softer with every wash. "Crochet Lace" duvet cover and deluxe shams in champagne. Comes in 20 hand-dyed colors and is available in everything from duvet covers to window treatments and decorative pillows. Duvets, $332-$596; Shams, $79-$134. From Bella Notte Linens. The Home Market.

"Itís not just about thread count," notes Ashley Evans, manager of Past Basket in Milwaukee, "itís about the quality of the cotton too." Gorgeous "Alhambra" pattern in Nocturne Azure from Matoukís Bespoke Collection is completely custom-made in Italy and finished in the United States. Choose everything from the base sheet in a 50/50 cotton-poly blend up to a 1,000 thread count cotton. Queen sheet set starts at $500; queen duvet cover starts at $558; queen coverlet starts at $549. Past Basket, Fox Point.

Matoukís spectacular "Arabesque" pattern from its Bespoke Collection is like couture bedding: Everything is made to the clientís specifications. Shown here in Nocturne Coral with Nocturne Chocolate accents. Queen sheet set starts at $500; queen duvet cover starts at $558; queen coverlet starts at $549. Past Basket. M