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A Buyers Guide to Egyptian Cotton Bedding

Why is Egyptian Cotton Bedlinen so desirable?

Pure cotton bedlinen (and towels) produced from Egyptian cotton have long been associated with wonderful quality and superior handle and drape. Egyptian Cotton's winning characteristics are due to it's extra long staple. Quite simply, the long fibres make it possible to produce finer, yet stronger yarn which can be woven into any number of thread counts, and which can be finished with a super crisp or silky satin feel to the bedlinen.

See our full range of Egyptian Cotton bedding and bedlinen

Are Other Cottons Equal?

Purists might argue about this, but there are many areas outside Egypt where high quality, long staple cotton is grown. The same or similar cotton plants as those used in Egypt are now used in many locations worldwide, to create raw cotton of equally long staple and quality. Most of the world’s cotton is grown in the U.S., Uzbekistan, the People’s Republic of China and India. Other leading cotton-growing countries include Brazil, Pakistan and Turkey.

What is Percale bedding?

Percale is a term which refers to the woven quality of bedding. Any bedlinen constructed of 180 threads per inch or higher is called Percale whether it is woven from cotton or polycotton. Percale bedding is tighter woven and smoother than lower thread counts and is usually regarded as the benchmark starting point for quality bedlinen.

Thread Count : From 180 to 1000 Thread Count bedlinen

Thread count refers to the number of threads going across (weft) and vertically (warp) within 1 square inch of woven cloth. This is a useful general guide to the fineness and quality of a woven fabric, and a good indicator of bedlinen quality. Good quality bedding starts at 180 threads per inch, and luxury bedlinen from 300 threads up to the very luxurious 1000 threads per inch.

See our 1000 thread count bedding here

In a sheet with a 180 thread count, the individual threads are quite thick, producing lower thread count bedding that can have a relatively courser feel. In higher thread counts there are more threads per square inch, they are correspondingly finer and the bedlinen feels much softer and more luxurious. Typically these higher thread count fabrics are made from top quality cotton in order to achieve the even weave, long lasting strength and luxurious results required.

Bedding of 400 threads per inch is an ideal thread count which combines both a lxurious feel and the hard wearing quality that makes it ideal for everyday use.

See our 400 thread count bedding here

Bedding strength

We all look for different qualities in our bedlinen, from crispness to satin softness, and have different requirements in terms of durability. Many hotels for instance, use lower count bed linen made from thick yarn which is typically very strong and durable, and able to withstand many punishing trips to the laundry. In higher count bedding, over 550 threads per inch, strength is usually achieved by using two or even 3 ply yarn. You would treat high thread count bedlinen more gently than a commercial laundry.

Thread thickness

The thread thickness is expressed as a number. A thick thread will typically have a value of 30. A fine thread up to 80. Low thread counts made of fine yarn with few threads per inch will feel thin and should be avoided. Conversely higher thread counts made with fine yarns and with many threads per inch have a wonderfuly luxurious feel and beautiful quality.

Why is higher thread count bedlinen better?

To achieve higher thread count bedlinen the threads have to be finer and more supple, giving a smoother, luxurious feel to the bedding. Top quality cotton has to be used, and nothing can beat the silky soft handle and drape of beautiful bedlinen.

There are always exceptions to any rule however. Whilst thread count is a very useful guide to quality, some bed linen defies this hierarchy. Much Italian bedlinen of just 300 threads per inch is of the most sublime quality with unparalleled feel. It is rightly renowned throughout the world.

Other factors in determining quality

As a natural product, the quality of the cotton used to make the thread is paramount in creating high quality woven bedding. This can be affected by growing conditions (weather, soil, temperature) and of course, the plant type. The care with which the cotton is prepared before being made into thread, the thread making process and the quality of production all go to determine the quality of the bedding that you sleep on.

Choosing your perfect bedlinen

When searching for the perfect night's sleep, consider whether your personal preference is for hotel style crisp white Egyptian cotton bedlinen, or perhaps a softer, more lustrous finish such as the 800 thread count bedlinen. Comfort is all important in creating a positive sleeping environment, and pure cotton bedlinen is a vital part of this.


Consider whether you need bedding with a strong construction, able to withstand frequent laundering, or do your priorities lie with luxurious high quality finishes?

We offer a wide range of thread counts and finishes in our Egyptian Cotton bedlinen, suitable for luxury villas, small hotels, country houses and every type of home.

You are welcome to call us for advice on any of our bedlinen ranges, or visit our shop in Washington at the foot of the South Downs where we can show you our bedlinen collection.

Contact: 01903 746079

Unit 11 Water Lane Trading Estate
West Sussex
RH20 3EA


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