Tag Archives: egyptian cotton bedding

How to wash and Iron Cotton Sheets

A good question, how do you wash and iron cotton sheets?

Today’s modern and usually hectic lifestyles make it impossible for some of us to stand there hours on end making the sheets and duvet covers look as good as the day you unwrapped them from the packaging, but, we have to wash the sheets at least every week for hygiene reasons so this is unfortunately a necessary evil.

The end result is truly one of life’s little luxuries as you will no doubt agree that there is nothing finer than getting to freshly washed and ironed cotton sheets.

So how can we reduce the time and stress involved in this labour intensive process and still keep our bedding looking clean and fresh all year round?

Cotton Duvet Sets

Cotton sheets and duvet covers are known for being much harder to look after than bed linen made from a mix of material such as polyester and cotton.

Cotton is excellent at absorbing moisture which is vital in creating the ideal sleeping environment as they wick away the heat and moisture from the body but the down side is that if you try to dry them out to much they will crease.

To combat this effect most manufacturers now include an easy-care finish which is part of the dying process which helps eliminate the creasing factor but of you still dry them to a crisp in the tumble drier no amount of easy care will stop them looking like you have just picked them up of the floor.

Washing and drying pure cotton

Don’t be put off buying pure cotton sheets or Egyptian cotton duvet covers as there are a few tricks you can use that will help you make the most out of your washing and drying time.

1: Pre stain treatments

Pre stain treatments are normally very good if your sheets and duvet covers have been soiled in a particular place and not all over.

Accidents in bed do happen such as when you have a drink like tea or coffee, or for the more adventurous, a glass of wine. Cotton sheets are not dyed in the same way as polycotton sheets and the white or colour can be washed away over time if you use a stain treatment that is too harsh.

Cotton is naturally grey so you can expect to see a optical greying of the fabric if this is done too often or if you use an incorrect treatment, also check for colour fastness first. Pre washing is normally better in this instance especially if the stain is over a wider area.

2: Eco setting

Most modern fabrics produced today can be washed on a Eco setting that uses less energy and water during the cycle, if your machine does not have this setting revert back to the wash care label to see what the maximum temperature the manufacturer suggests.

This would normally be no more than 40 degrees and if the sheets are not heavily soiled you can get away from the more environmentally sound setting of 30 Degrees Celsius.

A pre wash is not always required so you save the environment and your electric bill, just go for the eco wash as this is normally more than sufficient.

3: Fabric conditioners or softeners

Fabric conditioners or softeners are not always needed as cotton sheets are soft in the first place, they are only needed if the area you live in has hard water or water than needs to be filtered before use.

Most washing powders have some form of additive in them to make the water more effective so doubling up on this is just a waste of money and more chemicals being flushed down the drains and into our water courses which as we now know is not good for the environment.

Try to wash the bedding once a month without fabric conditioners if you can so it helps the absorbency rate of the cotton stay as good as new.

4: Tumble or line drying?

This is where things can get tricky.

Let’s say you have used the best water and the very best washing powder and the sheets are soft and sumptuous as they leave the washing machine.

How do we dry the sheets without them creasing like mad and driving you insane? For the best results you cannot beat drying the bedding on the washing line, the natural weight of the cotton will remove the vast majority of the creases and the slow dry out period of the wind and sun will stop the cotton from completely drying out.

If you have no choice like living in an apartment or in the depths of winter and you need to use the tumble drier the trick here is to use the lowest setting you can and dry them over time without the use of excessive heat.

Remove them from the tumble drier whilst they are slightly damp, not wet and heavy but still damp and moist. You can them hang them over a door or even dress the bed and within 10 to 15 minutes they will be dry and ready for you to use and they will look and feel great.

5: Ironing

5: If you want out of the packet looks every time then you will need to iron the sheets and duvet covers, to achieve the best results and make things easier it is best to iron the bedding while they are still slightly damp.

Trying to iron out creases on dry cotton is not the easiest of tasks and generally will require a commercial ironing press. Wetting the fabric as you iron can help but this is still not going to be as good as pressing them while they are still damp.

Ironing is a skill and it can take you several attempts to find the best way and position, if you have ever tried pressing fitted sheets with the elasticated corners you will know what we mean.

Dry cleaning can be expensive and can sometime damage fragile nature of very high thread count cotton sheets so if you want pristine results hire someone to iron them for you or get out your ironing board and start learning as soon as you can.

Another trick here is not to have your iron too hot and do not leave it in one place for very long, use quick and long strokes up and down the ironing board to get rid of the creases more effectively.

Luxury Egyptian Cotton Bedlinen

Belledorm Egyptian Cotton Bedding

Believe it or not, not all Egyptian cotton bedlinen is the same.

Cotton is graded and just like everything else, you can buy standard cotton and then you can buy superior levels of Egyptian cotton which have fewer slubs or faults per square inch than cheaper bedding made with inferior cotton.

It is well reported that Egypt grows some of the finest cotton in the world.

The growing conditions on the banks of Nile are ideal for producing a soft and sumptuous cotton bud and the fibres are longer in length than normal cotton fibres and this allows them to be spun into high thread count cotton sheets that will last a long time due to the strength and robustness of the yarns.

Quality factors in Egyptian cotton

There many other factors to look out for when purchasing the best grade of cotton. Quality Egyptian cotton sheets and duvet covers are mercerised and sanforised, these two special treatments are essential in ensuring the fabric looks as good as new in years to come.

The treatments help reduce shrinkage and skewing and also ensure that no pilling occurs. Also before i forget, another important aspect of quality is the way the cotton is cleaned before spinning, I don’t mean washing or ironing in this case.

When the raw cotton is processed it is full of impurities like the natural aspects of the plant, this needs to be removed to ensure a superior grade of cotton. If they are not removed fully, as you sometimes get with cheap cotton bedding products, the fabric has slubs or defects in them which can degrade to the overall quality.

Purifying cotton

Two methods are used to purify the cotton, the cheapest and widely used method is carding and the expensive way is brushing.

The best way we can describe this is to use this method, if you take your hair for example and if you use a credit card to straighten your hair it will only remove and flatten the top part of your hair whereas if you use a metal comb you will get right through and remove more impurities and also untangle and straighten the entire length and make it feel softer and less compact (which is ideal for processing into the final cotton yarns).

Best brands of Egyptian cotton bed linen

Peter Reed Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Taking the above into account, how do you know you are getting the real deal at the right price?

Well, two companies we deal with that are known to only use genuine Egyptian cottonare Belledorm and Peter Reed.

These two companies represent superb value for money although they offer two very different levels of price and overall craftsmanship.

Our most popular range of Egyptian cotton bedding is from Belledorm, their range is produced entirely within Egypt and even comes with their official government stamp of approval which ensures that the customer only receives a cotton sheet that is grown, manufactured and packaged in an approval factory in Alexandria, Egypt.

Good value for money is what you will receive if you pick their excellent 400 thread Count Egyptian cotton bedding range.

The finishing and colour is very good and the attention to detail is exceptional given the cost to buy high thread count bedding. Now if money was no object and you want the very best quality without compromise, then you can select the finest Egyptian cotton bedding there is.

Peter Reed

In our opinion Peter Reed Bed Linen epitomises all that was once King Cotton in the old Lancashire cotton days. Only the finest grade of Egyptian cotton is used here, selected from the best crops and harvested the old way to ensure that no mechanical actions damage the highly prized cotton buds.

Not only do you get superior levels of cotton but the attention to detail you receive from Peter Reed is like no other, the way they finish the oxford pillowcase to the traditional style selvages that add that all important luxury feel and quality to their exceptional range of Egyptian cotton sheets.

Have a look at their range here.

Genuine Egyptian cotton

When you buy bedding from a major brand you do expect to get what you pay for. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t, as the legislation regarding content and packaging does allow for a little bit of creative license.

They say that Egypt doesn’t grow enough cotton to manufacturer all of the products that have the Egyptian cotton brand on them and they can be mixed with inferior grades of cotton and still get away with being labelled as genuine.

This is not fair as we pay a premium for a better quality Egyptian cotton and it really should be what it says on the packaging and not just a brand name to get us to part with more of our hard earned money.

The examples we have given here use the real genuine 100% pure cotton grown and cultivated in Egypt so you can be rest assured that you are getting what you paid for.

The Perfect Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Egyptian Cotton Sheets

How do we choose perfect white Egyptian cotton sheets?

Looking online is much more convenient, as trawling through the high street shops is not as good as it sounds.

Many online retailers have more knowledge about their products whereas many department stores staff are not as highly trained in all the different sheets and duvet covers they sell.

How can you make an informed decision if you do not know the difference between one product and another?

If you are not sure what you are buying you are not going to purchase your new Egyptian cotton sheets with any confidence. It is a difficult process and one filled with many factors and questions that need to be answered in full and not just breezed over in the shop.

Once you have had a good look around, some of the more obvious questions spring to mind like:

  • What is thread count?
  • What is cotton sateen?
  • What is ply?
  • What is the country of origin?

Egyptian but not Egyptian

You will find that the vast majority of Egyptian cotton sheets and duvet covers are not even made in Egypt but are manufactured in places like China, India and Pakistan.

So how can they be Egyptian cotton you may ask, well this is another good question and it is all to do with the content of the cotton yarn.

Although the best bedding made from Egyptian cotton will be the ones that are entirely produced and packaged in Egypt and you can tell this by looking for the official government stamp of approval which is embossed on the packaging and wash care labels.

This useful article covers some other pitfalls while you can find our range of genuine Egyptian cotton sheets here.

What makes Egyptian cotton different?

Egyptian Cotton Goverment Seal of Approval

Cotton sheets and Egyptian cotton duvet covers produced in Egypt are super soft to the touch, the best grade of cotton is normally spun to the highest thread counts.

This is where the fabric is woven for example to 400 threads per any given square inch, standards sheets are normally woven to 200 threads per square inch although they are still nice and soft and a pleasure to sleep on the 400 count cotton sheets and above are twice as good and will last a lot longer.

This is down to the strength of the raw cotton, Egyptian cotton has extra long staple fibres as the condition found on the upper reaches of the Nile are the best in the world for producing high quality cotton crops.

The extra long staple lengths can be spun much finer than other grades of cotton producing a high quality, super strength and highly robust fabric.

Another well known fact about cotton is that is very absorbent and washes well. Cotton from Egypt is superior as it gets softer with every wash, so the more you use it the better it becomes, this long lasting comfort is well worth the extra as it will give you years of lasting use and quality.

Pay more, save more

Egyptian cotton satin stripe bedding

So can expensive sheets really be good value for money?

Well the answer is yes but you do have to look at it in the long term. If your luxury bedding will last 2- 3 times longer than the cheaper bedding and it only costs twice as much then in the long run you will have more use out of it but you will have also benefitted from the better quality and more luxurious fabric to sleep on.

Many of the top hotels use the best quality sheets, not only to give their customers a better stay and sleep but also because the sheets last longer and give better return on their investment. Pay now and benefit later, this is advice that definitely will benefit you when it comes to buying the perfect Egyptian cotton sheets.

So should you buy from a reputable well known bedding brand or can you buy from just anybody out there on the internet? Buying from a brand leader such as Peter Reed, Sheridan or Belledorm does guarantee you a few certain things.

Genuine 100% Egyptian cotton and no other lesser quality cottons blended in with the fabric to get the costs down. Cheap sheets made from Egyptian cotton are sometimes mixed with other cottons that have a lesser value so be warned if you buy cheap than you will get what you have paid for.

Sheridan Bedding

Branded bedding is all based on reputation and one that is vital for the longevity and respect that a major bedding manufacturer has to live up to.

It is also good to point out that cotton is naturally organic and requires little or no amount of chemicals to produce premium quality cotton sheets and the bigger companies all have Eco friendly and environmental policies in place so you can be assured that you do your bit for the environment and the welfare of the people who make the bedding by buying a respected brand product.

We stock all three brands at the following links:

And they are all covered by our Best Price Promise guarantee so you simply can’t buy better!