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Cotton : Types, Quality & Care

Cotton is a smoother, softer and more comfortable choice. It's "breathable" so cotton sheets never feel sticky against your skin. Cotton sheets release soil easily, so they wash clean. Cotton sheets are perfect for any season providing year-round comfort. The fibre provides cool comfort in the summer and holds a layer of warm air in the cold weather. They also have the highest wear resistance of all the principal textile fibres; in fact, they become softer with repeated washings and use. It is also now generally accepted that cotton is kinder to the skin of eczema sufferers or people with sensitive skin, unlike the fibres in wool, nylon and other man-made fabrics, which tend to irritate the skin. Cotton bedding will look whiter and crisper than synthetics, and are more comfortable next to the skin.

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 (TC) , generally softer and more durable the sheet. Also, if it doesn't say 100%, don't assume 100% Cotton.

Thread Ply

Thread Ply is the number of single fibers twisted together before fabric is woven. This means that the higher the ply, the thicker the fabric however there is more chance of the fabric pilling (to little balls) is greater. 600 TC fabric is the maximum for a single ply. Therefore when softness is desired, a high TC and low ply is preferred but at a higher cost. On the other hand for heavier sheets a high TC with a high ply is suitabe but proper care must be done to prevent pilling. If one prefers a lighter sheet, select 300 to 600 TC range with a single ply.

Damask Cotton

Damask is, by definition, the weaving of a design into a cloth as compared to printing a design onto a cloth. Therefore, a damask design is a permanent part of the cloth. The subtlety and elegance of the design is what makes a damask fabric so special. There are a number of weaving and dyeing techniques used in the production of a damask design, each of which yields a slightly different effect. For example, to achieve the subtle colors of a damask, you can piece dye the cloth, or yarn dye the weft (fill) yarns, or yarn dye and then piece dye.

Easy Care Instructions

Machine wash in cold water, delicate cycle with mild detergent. No bleach. Tumble dry on low heat. Remove immediately at end of cycle. Press with warm iron if needed.

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