Tag Archives: thread count

What Makes Good Cotton Bedding?

Natural cotton bedding has always been softer and smoother than polycotton bedding, which is a fact. With the advancements in man made fibres, is cotton still the fabric of choice? Cotton is fully breathable and only gets better with age. It absorbs more moisture after every wash and softens over time but still retains its robust qualities. Nature has always given us the best answer when to comes to selecting the best materials for the job, cotton is one of things, fibres that are expertly grown, never feels uncomfortable and has been used in the bed linen industry as long as natural linen sheets. Egyptian and Pima cotton bedding are the finest in the world, they use extra long staple fibres which can be spun in super fine yarns that are sumptuous and silky to the touch. Standard cotton bedlinen cannot match long staple cotton for quality and longevity. Luxury Cotton bedding is combed instead of carded, this superior method cleans and purifies the cotton much more effectively leaving you with soft fluffy balls of cotton which can then be manufactured into extremely high thread counts such as 1000 and even 1200 threads per square inch.

What is Thread Count?

One good question that is always asked is how much does thread count really matter? Does it really give you the extra benefits that you pay for? This is a good question and is not necessarily true depending on the quality of the cotton used. Cotton is graded, not all cotton is the same but can be woven to the same thread count. Percale bedding starts at a minimum standard of 200 threads per square inch, this is where the yarns criss-cross over each other 200 times in any given square inch of fabric, the result is a soft smooth fabric. Thread count is a good indicator that good quality yarns have been used as the fine threads can snap during the weaving process if they are of an inferior quality. Super fine yarns are used in the better quality bedding, sometimes they are twisted to give them strength and durability, this is not a cheat of the cotton, it is just the same as a single ply fabric as the yarns are just as tightly packed but they can breathe more effectively.

There is more to it than just one factor when deciding the good from the bad, branded cotton bedding from companies like Sheridan, Belledorm, Peter Reed and Nimbus give you certain guarantees that the fabric they use has been organically grown and the manufacturing process only uses ecologically sound farming, dyeing and bleaching processes. Some processes like Mercerisation, can help the quality of the fabric, this can cause the linen to have a slight sateen look, this is sometimes preferable as the bedding shimmers in the bedroom giving that lustrous boudoir appeal. Pure sateen is a process that is used during the weaving process, the result is a softer and fluffier fabric that can look amazing on white bedding.

Sheridan Sheets and Duvet Covers

Percale fabrics meet a minimum requirement of weaving whereas a sateen fabric is normally any fabric that has been woven with over 300 threads per square inch. Certain striped or check cotton sheets such as a satin stripe duvet cover will have an extremely high thread count. 550 Count is considered to be extremely opulent and gives a soft and comfortable feel while you sleep. So just to recap, look out for the type of cotton, brand, finish and style to ensure you get what you pay for and benefit from a good night’s sleep. This is not to say that you should only choose Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton for your preferred choice of bedding, cotton has been found dating back over 7000 years ago, originally found in Mexico the exact source has never truly been known. The original cotton that is now found in Egypt was imported from modern day Pakistan, 5000 years ago the Pharaohs’ of Egypt slept on linen grown on the lush banks of the Nile Delta. They knew the importance of this natural and organic material even then. Cotton was introduced to us in the UK nearly 500 years ago and is now the choice of everyone who knows the benefit of sleep, how it helps you to function in today’s modern hustle and bustle. Just like recharging a battery, if you do it properly you will get the maximum amount of energy every time, ignore the instructions or advice given and you will receive poor performance just as you will in life.

Is Egyptian Cotton Bed Linen Desirable?

Egyptian Cotton Duvet Covers
Egyptian Cotton Duvet Covers

Egyptian cotton sheets are the most desirable bedding items you can buy, luxury cotton bed linen manufactured from Egyptian cotton are exquisitely woven. Cotton from Egypt has unique characteristics attributed to its extra long staple fibres.

These long fibres are essential in the production of fine quality, stronger yarns which can be woven into any number of high thread counts. The resulting bedding is finished with a super crisp or silky satin feel to the sheets and duvet covers.

We are sure you will agree that not all cotton bed linens are equal, some other cotton producing countries may disagree that Egyptian cotton is the best in the world. Although they may use the same cotton plants as the Egyptians have done for thousands of years, the conditions found on the lush banks of the Nile River are unique. Egyptian cotton is now a recognised household brand, bedding from Egypt is widely acknowledged as being a sign of quality, only Pima cotton which is grown in the Americas can compete in terms of quality and comfort.

Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian Cotton

The key ingredient in making luxury bedding is of course the quality of the cotton they use, the next step is the manufacturing and picking process. The latest technology used to manufacture high thread count bedding is essential. Modern mills in Egypt use air jet looms, the fabric is woven at incredibly high speeds and the accuracy involved is paramount, weaving linen that has a percale standard.

This benchmark ensures that you receive luxury bed linen that has a minimum weave of 200 threads per square inch. Thread count refers to the number of threads going across (weft) and vertically (warp) within 1 square inch of woven cloth. Manufacturers can now weave up to 1000 and more recently 1200 threads per square using two ply technology, these ultra fine yarns are twisted together to form one very strong and robust yarn that can stand up to the vigorous weaving procedures involved in creating these technical marvels. The ideal optimum for both quality and price is the 400 Thread Count Egyptian cotton bedding; this combines all the qualities you expect from a superior quality bed linen but at a cost that is more reasonable.

Sheridan Egyptian Cotton Bedding
Sheridan Egyptian Cotton Bedding

The hospitality and hotel markets once only used low thread count cotton as they needed to wash the bedding frequently and before sanforisation and mercerisation the linen would often shrink and skew when they washed high thread count sheets. 200 thread count cotton yarns are much thicker than say a 400 thread count yarn, they absorb more water and shrink quicker if dried out too fast. Commercial laundry techniques once used very high temperatures to ensure that the cotton stayed white as their customer would only expect clean crisp cotton sheets. High thread count sheets are now used extensively in luxury hotels, using environmentally sound washing and drying techniques to ensure that the bedding is not ruined with every wash.

Cotton sheets and duvet covers are also essential when it comes to getting good night’s sleep. The cool crisp cotton absorbs the sweat the body produces during the night. This helps the body maintain a constant temperature while you sleep, uninterrupted sleep is very important and key to a healthy lifestyle. Investing in the right bed linen will help you attain a level of comfort, Egyptian cotton has achieved a high grade of excellence that you can trust and rely on time after time. Choosing the right bedding for you is key, determine what you want from your luxury bed linen and speak to your bedding specialist for expert advice. Do not just be fooled into buying for buying sake as not all products are exactly as good as they say they are.

Luxury Bed Linen

Bed Linen
Luxury Bed Linen

What is the definition of Luxury bed linen? Lots of emphasis is placed on thread count and the choice of fabric used such as cotton or polycotton, but are these factors really good enough to say that they reflect true luxury?

Design and use of colour is very important in today’s home furnishings and bed linen market, more and more houses and apartments offer open plan living areas that have white washed walls to showcase a minimalist look. The use of clever interior design and home products are used to reflect the home owners taste and aspirations and the bedroom is one of those rooms that can be changed frequently and in line with modern designs and colourways.

Does luxury bed linen have to be expensive or can you purchase quality at a more affordable price? In recent years expensive fabrics such as Pima Cotton and Egyptian Cotton have been the preserve of the very rich as the bed linen they bought had to be superior in both comfort and style, high thread count fabrics hinted at higher levels of quality as the technology used in the weaving process was new and not many companies could offer such a finely woven material. As demand increased, prices fell and the perception that thread count was the be all and end all was diminished as everyone can now afford high thread count luxury bed linen.

Luxury Cotton Bed Linen
Luxury Cotton Bed Linen

So what is the new luxury bed linen? Could it be that silk is better than cotton or linen is better than polycotton? Well this all depends on the end user, some users prefer a non iron finish as cotton tends to crease more and is much harder to keep pristine, some users prefer a soft, silky texture which is why Egyptian cotton has always been the preferred fabric of choice but more and more users want to experience the unique texture of silk but is this luxury bed linen or just another gimmick?

Whatever you are looking for, quality, style, fashion and luxury is all in the eye of the beholder, one man’s luxury bed sheet is another man’s potato sack, no two people are alike so it is fair to say that all bed linen is deemed luxury as we do not have to sleep on the floor but on nice quality fabrics that have been engineered to suit our comfort requirements. Choose from thread count, fabric, finish and feel as they will all result in you choosing the right product for you. Price is important too but not as important as your sleep, as we spend over a third of our lives in bed, how much is too little or too much, only you can say.