Comfort is what we all look for when selecting bedding. But, most of us don’t know how to select the perfect bed linens to meet our preferences. Knowing the bedding weaves can help determine the comfort and the look of the sheets, comforters or duvets.
Aside from thread count, which often mistakenly determines our selection in bedding, there are other factors that contribute to comfort and to the price of bed linens. One of the factors to consider is the weave of the fabric. While most consumers prefer 100% cotten bedding, the weave is crucial to comfort for many.
Today we most often have the options of weaves such as:
- Sateen (often referred to as satin)
Preferences vary among consumers. However, once a consumer decides his or her preference, it is often the starting point and one of the top criteria when selecting bedding.
As described by Cotton Incorporated:
Percale: a closely woven. Plain weave, spun fabric made from both carded and combed cotton. Percale sheeting is the finest available. The high tread count gives the fabric a silk-like feel.
Flannel: a soft, medium weight plain or twill weave fabric, usually made of cotton with a napped finish on one or both sides. The raised surface provides a fluffy appearance and supper soft, cozy feel. Great for warmth during the cold winter months.
Jersey: a plain stitch knitted cloth. The fabric is knitted in circular, flatbed or warp knitted methods. Very elastic with good draping qualities.
Sateen: a weave construction that has more yarn surface on the face of the cloth than other basic weaves giving a softer hand and more lustrous look.
Percale has been one of the top selling weaves for years. For a while, particularly while waterbeds reigned supreme, sateen sheets were favorites. For many flannel sheets have been a long time favorite, trumping the other weaves for comfort and softness.
The choice in bedding weaves if purely an individual preference. However, it is important that when shopping the consumer be aware of the different weaves and how they feel.
Speaking of comfort, bedding often feels rough or “hard” when new. This is due to an additive called sizing that is applied to many fabrics during the manufacture of the product. It allows the product to hold its shape while being packed and shipped. It also allows for a clean crisp display. It is not particularly gentle to the skin. For that reason, it is suggested that bedding be washed once, twice or maybe three times before use to get the natual feel and comfort.
Never judge the feel of a sheet right out of the package. Over time and after a few washings the true feel and texture will be displayed with any bedding.