When shopping for bed linens, it’s easy to get wrapped up in finding the best bargain without giving much thought into the quality and longevity of the linen itself. Labels on linen packaging can often be overwhelming, with many brands boasting various terms as a way to market their product. Unfortunately, this leads to many of us buying a product that we think is high quality when in fact it isn’t. Rather than purchase on a whim, you may want to consider how your linens feel while trying to get a good night’s rest.
Inexpensive or low quality linens might be the very reason why you’re currently not getting the satisfying Zzz’s you need. Many synthetic fibres, even if mixed into cotton, don’t allow proper ventilation; causing you to feel hot while sleeping, waking you up in an uncomfortable sweat. Natural fibres on the other hand are the most breathable and wick away perspiration, keeping you cool and dry for a better sleep. Thread count also plays a factor and it may not be what you think.
So how do you know what makes great linen? We asked the experts at David’s Fine Linens to educate us.
Did you know that this is the most widely used fibre for fabric due to its strength, durability and breathability? The key word when it comes to cotton is ‘staple’ which refers to the length of the fibre. The longer the fibre, the more durable, luxurious, and long lasting the fabric will be.
YES! Pure Egyptian cotton is the best quality cotton around. 100% Egyptian cotton is actually grown in Egypt on the banks of the Nile. Be wary of brands that label their packaging as Egyptian cotton sheets, when it’s not. These only have less than 5% of Egyptian cotton in them. The end result is furring and piling over time leading to holes and tearing in the fabric – not something you want to get in bed with. Real Egyptian cotton will stay true to its quality and should last at least ten years. Make sure you purchase your linens at a reputable retailer and not at bargain basement prices.
Aside from cotton, there are other great quality textiles for bedding including bamboo, mircomodal, silk, wool, Merino wool, cashmere and Pima cotton.
Quality & Process
The quality of the cotton is essential, but how the textile is made is just as important. Italian mills are the leading experts when it comes to Egyptian cotton textiles. They have mastered the complicated process of getting the cotton from a staple to a sheet. This is why David’s Fine Linens only sells linens that are spun, woven, dyed and fabricated in Italy.
This is the measurement of how many threads crosswise and lengthwise exist in a square inch of fabric. The more threads per square inch, the higher the thread count. A good quality cotton is between 400-500 thread count. While this is important, the quality and type of the fibre is more meaningful. A higher thread count will only make a difference if the cotton being weaved is high quality. When shopping for a finer textile, look for a thread count that is a single ply. Quality cotton will not weave much above 600 thread count, so those labels you see on sheets claiming to have 1,000 or more thread counts are simply misleading. A higher thread count also results in heat getting trapped due to tightly woven threads, which makes you hot. A lower thread count is what you really want because it allows more airflow, keeping you cooler.
Wash & Care
Part of enjoying your bed linens for a long time is making sure you take care of them properly. Be sure to read the la- bels before you toss your sheets in the wash. Caring for your bedding is important to ensure you get the best quality the linen has to offer. For Egyptian cotton sheets and other high-quality fabrics, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, don’t use laundry detergents that contain bleach. Bleach is harsh and causes damage. Instead, use a detergent that brightens whites and removes stains without using bleach. Also, ease down on the amount of deter- gent you use. Less than recommended is best. Secondly, avoid fabric softeners altogether. They contain harsh chemicals that damage fine fibres. If using a softener, only use a specially formulated one, which can be found in many eco-friendly brands. Dryer sheets should also be avoided as they too contain fabric-destroying chemicals. Instead, try felted wool balls as an alternative. Thirdly, wash your sheets separately and not with anything else, especially not tow- els, as many tend to do. Lastly, be sure to wash your sheets on gentle cycle to prevent damage to the sheet’s fibres and use cold water to avoid shrinking. When drying your sheets, ensure the machine is always on tumble dry or low heat.
David’s Fine Linens is located in Woodbridge and Toronto. Authenticity, truth and high quality European linens are all they offer to their customers – DavidsFineLinens.com
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