Years ago when you wanted New Bed Linen all it came down to was the colour, but now with such a vast range of different fibers, textures & quality, it can be overwhelming.
Firstly you have to think of the Fabric, the weave, the thread count... its so confusing! That is why we are going to go through the most common types of bedding - Linen, Cotton Percale & Cotton Sateen.
What is Linen?
Linen is made from the flax plant, its a Natural Plant fiber that is proclaimed to be the strongest of it's kind in the whole world. Extra Durable, breathable & moisture adsorbing - Linen has earn the love and respect throughout the centuries and all around the world.
Linen Fibers are rather thick and produce stiffer yarns, this is why linen has a crisp hand ( the way the fabric feel to touch) Due to its wrinkly texture, Linen creates a casual, lived in look and works well in many relaxed, luxury interiors.
What is Cotton Percale & What is Cotton Sateen?
To start with both Percale & Sateen are made from cotton. They are different types of weave and textures. Cotton itself is also a natural fiber, from the cotton plant, which is more widely grown and thus a little bit cheaper, however Organic cotton or Egyptian cotton are both incredibly high quality and can easily compete with pure linen.
What makes cotton so lovable is that the fibers are so versatile and can be spun into thick or fine yarns. This is why cotton exists in so many different forms, from smooth percale, to silky sateen to soft flannel.
The Most common misconception with cotton bedding.. is that the higher the thread count = the higher the quality.
Thread count defines the number of woven individual strands of thread per square inch of fabric. This number can vary a lot depending on the yarning technique use, the size of each yarn.
For a standard cotton sheet of high quality fiber, the most you will get per square inch is 400-600 max
Any sheets that have over 600TC are normally just a double layer of fibers or extremely fine fibers - this results in a weaker, less quality product.
When choosing any bedding the number one factor I can recommend is.. look at the country of Origin, not only the manufacturing country but the Origin of the plant before it became a fabric. other things to look for are, the length & weight of the fibre & the weaving & yarning techniques used.
Ask if you are not sure..