Choosing Luxury Bedding
By Zafer Aktas
Choosing luxury bedding is not a simply task. Customers must understand the factors which contribute to its value and quality like the types of cotton, types of weave (sateen, damask,chenille), thread count, ply and embroidery. Some of these factors will be summarized below. To get the most for your money, these factors must be considered and questioned.
What are the Types of Cotton?
Consumers should always be looking for the best quality cotton products made from an extra-long staple cotton ( ELS cotton). The long fibers of ELS cotton make a stronger and more softer yarn, and, in turn, weave into a much stronger and softer fabric. Most high thread count sheets are made from ELS cotton because a long fiber is needed to make a very thin, yet strong, yarn. Among the ELS cottons is Pima, Supima and Egyptian cotton . Pima cotton is a generic label given to any ELS cotton grown in any country from a particular type of long-staple cotton. Supima cotton is Pima cotton grown in the U.S. Egyptian cotton is a fine, lustrous, long staple cotton grown in Egypt. Long staple cottons are more expensive than the commonly available cottons, because they are synonymous with quality and have a higher thread count. The quality and feel of a sheet depends on the fibre the fabric is made from and the number of threads woven per inch. The higher the thread count, the softer and more durable the sheet. Also, if it doesn't say 100%, don't assume 100% Cotton.
What is Mercerized Sateen?
Sateen is usually a cotton fabric that has a satin-like feel. It's often found in bed sheets and other textiles throughout the world. Sateen is usually 100% woven cotton, although it is occasionally formed from rayon. Like percale, sateen method in which the sheet was woven. The weave is what gives the sateen sheet its soft, satin-like feel. The material is lustrious and smooth to the touch. Only carded or combed yarns are used. Combed cotton is screened from impurities. The best quality sateen is mercerized to give it a higher sheen. Mercerized cotton has been treated with sodium hydroxide to shrink it and increase its luster and affinity for dye. It is also makes it more mildew resistant and stronger. Some sateen sheets are only calendared to produce the sheen. This is when the fabric is pressed between two rolling pins to give it a glossier appearance. This is lower-grade sateen. The sheen will eventually fade away with a few washings. This is not considered genuine sateen. Genuine sateen can be bleached, dyed, or printered.
What do You Need to know about Thread Count?
Thread count (TC) refers to the number of fibers woven together in one-square-inch of fabric. It can range from 80 to 1200. The higher the thread count, which requires finer threads, the desirable smoother and softer the fabric. However finer threads mean the threads a slightly more delicate, so one must use proper care when washing. An other important criteria is ply. Ply refers to the number of single fibers twisted together before it is woven into a fabric. By twisting two fibers together, the thread count can be doubled. Some 1000TC sets of sheets are actually 330TC 3-ply or 250TC 4-ply. The higher the ply, the heavier and thicker the sheet and the greater chance of the fabric pilling (little balls). The highest thread count that can be woven into a single ply is 500TC. All 1000TC sheets are at least 2-ply. In summary, if softness is desired, a high thread count and low ply is required but at a higher cost. If one prefers a heavier sheets, a high thread count with a high ply (3-4) is required. They will also keep one warmer. If one chooses a higher thread count, proper care must be done to prevent pilling. Anything above 300TC is usually soft enough for most people. If one prefers a lighter sheet, select 250 to 500TC range with a single ply.
About the Author
Zafer Aktas is the webmaster of http://www.luxurybedsets.com
speciallizing in luxury bedding.
See the Geat deals on Bedding Sets.
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