Tag Archives: Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Ironing cotton sheets

Cotton Sheets

Cotton sheets are made from a natural material that has been used for making good quality bedlinen for centuries.

Choosing the right quality of cotton is essential to receive the best ironing results, cheap cotton sheets are covered with a silicone finish that washes away after a few washes leaving a rough and uncomfortable fabric that is hard to care for and feels itchy to touch and not smooth for sleeping on.

Like most things in life cotton is graded in lots of different qualities, like buying a car you can get a basic model and a luxury model of the same thing.

Well, cotton is just the same, cheap cotton sheets use the basic or rougher cotton portion which is sometimes full of impurities and much more of the actual plant than the soft fluffy cotton bud.

Yes, you can guess that the superior quality cotton sheets are made from the pure long staple fibres of the plant which you normally associate with luxury brands of Egyptian cotton.

Made in the UK Luxury Cotton Sheets

Most top quality brands of bedlinen use the superior quality of cotton while your lesser well known plain packaged cotton sheets will use the cheaper stuff.

Beware, you will get what you pay for but how can we help you with keeping them pristine no matter what your budget is?

The manufacturer will have their set of guidelines for you to adhere to, these are found on the sewn in wash care label tab, normally found on the underside of the sheet.

Made up of words and symbols it is good practice to get to know what these mean before loading your new cotton sheets in to the washing machine.

Washing cotton sheets

Use the correct setting, today’s modern washing machine and washing powders allow you to wash cotton at much lower temperatures and still keep the sheets looking optically white.

Eco friendly powders do not use bleaches or harmful caustic sodas so they are as kind to the environment and not abrasive to the delicate cotton fibres used to make your fitted sheets.

For more on Eco Friendly washing powders the Ecologist has a detailed article How green is your washing powder? to help you make the right choice.

Using high temperatures can cause deep dye cotton sheets to lose some of their colour, be mindful when washing deep or dark colours at temperatures over 40 degrees as you may lose some of the original colours which leave the sheets looking faded.

Drying cotton sheets

When drying your cotton sheets, the best practice is to line dry them. This will leave them smelling fresh and also the vast majority of the creases will fall out of the fabric leaving you with virtually little or no ironing to do.

This is a bonus because large fitted or flat sheets can be very hard to iron. One thing to remember when using a tumble drier is that wet or damp cotton does not go well together, too much heat or over drying will cause the cotton fibres to contract causing excessive creasing.

You will then find yourself rewashing the sheets or spending hours steam ironing them to get them looking somewhere near as good as the day you took them out of the packet.

The trick here is to remove them from the tumble drier whilst still slightly damp and this will help you iron them easier.

Ironing cotton sheets

Now to the task of ironing, you are going to need a good quality iron and just as important a good quality, study and large ironing board.

Keep the iron topped up with water as the steam function is essential to remove stubborn creases. If you have line dried the sheets you may want to just go over them to make the cotton look pristine.

If you have tumbled dried them as above you can just quickly iron the sheets but without too much effort, however if the sheets are very creased then consider rewashing them as cotton does get softer and more complaint with every wash and remember it is the drying process that causes the creasing.

If all else fails the steam function of your iron will remove most of the more troublesome creases.

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 Sheets

Egyptian cotton sheets

We all love a little bit of luxury and when it comes to bedding and we spend a small fortune on Egyptian cotton sheets.

Known for its superior quality, everyone who knows a thing or two about bedding would prefer to have sheets made from Egyptian cotton on their bed.

You can read many posts on the importance of a good night’s sleep (here are 11 reasons to start with) and how your bed and pillows can make a big difference but just remember the feeling you get when you slip into bed, when you have just washed and ironed the sheets and duvet covers.

There is no other feeling like it, the cool crisp cotton is a delight and the texture of the bedding makes you feel like royalty.

What makes a good luxury Egyptian cotton sheet?

Well, making sure that the cotton is grown entirely within Egypt and that the fabric is not a blend of Egyptian cotton and a fabric from another country like China, for example.

Some companies like Belledorm have the seal on the packaging, this is a government approved label that gives the customer a guarantee that the entire product is sourced, manufactured and packaged in Egypt.

This is important as only the genuine cotton grown on the lush banks of the Nile Delta area in upper Egypt give you the lush cotton needed to produce the world’s finest luxury bed linen.

By the way, this article by Consumer is a great guide to some of the pitfalls around buying Egyptian cotton.

Egyptian Cotton Goverment Seal of Approval

You may have heard about long staple fibres, vitally important if you want to produce high thread count yarns as the extra length helps the yarns to bind together more efficiently creating a stronger and more resilient yarn that can be then woven much finer than standard cotton.

The cotton is then woven using state of the art looms in some of the most advanced weaving factories in Alexandria, Egypt.

They produce fabrics starting at 200 Threads per square inch, this is where the fabric criss-crosses itself in a grid pattern 200 times in any given square inch of fabric, this is called the warp and the weft.

Percale

This is a minimum weave standard for bed linen made with Egyptian cotton, this thread count is called ‘Percale’. Percale was a term invented in Lancashire in the days of King Cotton to denote superior fabric to the general polycotton fabric that were used at the time.  Here’s the Wikipedia entry about Percale for more detail.

They generally had a 150 thread count and lower, some hospital fabric used 120 thread count, this was a heavy fabric that could be washed at extremely high temperatures in order to kill bacteria and germs.

Higher thread counts

Modern luxury bedding uses much higher thread counts, 400 thread count is now the main staple fabric for anyone wanting to sample the delights of superior Egyptian cotton sheets. A soft and cool fabric that is woven uses the finest cotton and has slight sateen finish which makes the bedding look awesome when laid out on the bed.

1000 Thread Count Egyptian cotton sheets.

1000 thread count sheets are now becoming more popular than ever, more customers are now switched on to the benefits of getting the best bedding you can afford.

Cost has dropped quite a lot of this type of bedding as the demand rises but you get a good deal of cotton for your money.

To achieve this technical marvel only the best cotton can be used as the weaving process is very fast and vigorous.

Cheap or inferior quality yarns that can snap or break easily would not stand up to the modern looms that weave the fabric faster than the eye can see, they would break too easily and the whole process would not be cost effective due to time down allowing for the looms to set up again every time the cotton yarns snap.

Some Cotton sheets use two ply technologies to ensure that the yarn is strong enough to withstand the extreme demands of this type of weaving process.

This is not an inferior standard of bedding, just a much stronger and more resilient fabric that ensures the bedding lasts much longer than a single ply yarn would last even in normal use and domestic laundries.

You can find our 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton here.

Leading Egyptian cotton brands

At Bedlinen Direct we only use the best manufacturers for our range of Egyptian cotton sheets such as Peter Reed, Belledorm and Sheridan to name just a few of the best known brands in the UK.

They give us our really wide range of Egyptian cotton sheets.

Buying from companies like these ensures they give you the best quality bedding, as they have a reputation to uphold and they want their loyal customers to come back to them in the years to come.

You don’t buy bedding that often so it is important to know that you are getting a good return on your money.

Cheap cotton sheets are just what they are, cheap, they do not last as long as you would like so you will replace them much sooner and therefore costing you the same in the long run as you would pay for luxury Egyptian cotton sheets.

So you will have not benefited from the initial outlay and you will have suffered by sleeping on low quality and sometimes uncomfortable sheets.

Egyptian cotton versus other bed linen

Belledorm 400 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets

In our opinion any bedding, duvet covers or fitted sheets made from pure 100% Egyptian cotton is far superior to other makes of luxury bed linen.

Choose wisely and you will reap the benefits, if you can only afford a percale sheet make sure it is manufactured from a reputable brand such as the companies we have mentioned above.

Not all cotton is the same, like buying a car, you can get different trim models depending on the amount of money you want to spend.

Well cotton is just the same, Egyptian cotton is graded depending on the quality of the crop and how lush the cotton buds are before they are sent to market.

The cotton is graded and the cost of the raw depends on a lot of important factors, like crop quality, cotton bud size and area of the country the crop was sourced from.

The cost from average to excellent can vary immensely so when you see Egyptian cotton sheets that are at a bargain price, just have a good think before you buy. Take the above information into account and ask yourself how can these cotton sheets be so cheap?