Have you ever went to buy new sheets and wondered what the thread count means? What is sateen versus percale? And what makes cotton Egyptian? Don’t worry- we were there once too. Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you out!
Thread count is the number of threads in 1 square inch of fabric. Thread count is a more a measure of preference rather than a measure of quality. The quality of the cotton and the finishing process undergoes affects the quality of sheeting much more than thread count. The higher the count sheets, especially sateens, means the more heat it retains. It will also have a thicker appearance and feel. Low thread count such as percales have a crisp, light and cool feel. There are many options within the range of weave and thread count to suit individual preferences.
Egyptian cotton is made with an extra long staple fiber grown in Egypt along Nile River that is hand picked so there is less stress on the fibres. Egypt’s humid weather and rich soil supply the ideal conditions for cotton to grow. Egyptian cotton is also the longest staple length of any cotton which can range from 1.4 to 2.25 inches (that is about twice as long). This allows it to be spun into soft, lustrous and durable yarns.
Sateen versus Percale Sheets
Sateen is cotton sheets that are made using a satin weave technique which is characterized by multiple weft yarns over one warp yarns. 4 over 1 is the most common ratio. The multiple floating yarns create a soft and shiny surface. The hand of the fabric is silky and smooth, but retains the most heat (definitely not for you hot sleepers!). Sheeting made with this construction is great for colder climates, winter months and air conditioned spaces.
Percale is cotton sheets woven in a plain weave. This is a 1 yarn over 1 yarn construction so it is very durable and retains less heat. Perfect for the warmer climates and summer months.
Other types of Sheeting and Stitching
- Jacquard – these fabrics are created using a special attachment on the loom to apply a design or pattern into the material.
SFERRA’s Viana Collection
- Matelasse – french word meaning cushioned or padded. The fabric is usually woven on a Jacquard loom. It is meant to appear padded, though there is no padding inside. Matelesses are commonly used as coverlets and shams.
Legacy Linen’s Firenze
- Hemstitch – decorative, open stitch along the border or hem of the sheets.
Downtown’s Paula Sheet Set (Our most popular sheet sets!)
- Satin Stitch – a series of flat stitches used to cover a section a fabric to create a patterned design and add color.
Legacy’s Henley & SFERRA’s Grande Hotel
- Top Stitch – a simply stitch on the face of the sheet
Tradition Linen’s Taylor