Selecting new bedding for your home can be a challenging process unless you understand the differences in weave and materials. Among the most popular selections you can make, Egyptian cotton sheets utilize long cotton fibers to produce a luxurious bedding fabric. Percale describes the weave of the fabric and can actually be used in Egyptian cotton sheets to create a durable material that will last through several washings.
When we compare percale vs Egyptian cotton sheets, you must first understand where true Egyptian cotton comes from. To be labeled as Egyptian cotton, your sheets must use cotton that is produced in Egypt along the Nile River. This cotton comes in long fibers that are woven into a series of patterns to give your sheets that soft to the touch feel.
Most Egyptian cotton is 200 thread count or higher. This produces a very strong sheet that is also very soft to sleep on. The thread count of Egyptian cotton refers to the number of threads used per square inch. The higher the thread count, the softer your sheets will feel to the touch.
It is important to note that some sheets are sold as Egyptian cotton, but they are not a true product from Egypt. To know if you are buying real Egyptian cotton sheets, you must look for the symbol that denotes it is a product from Egypt. Only then will you be certain that you have purchased real Egyptian cotton sheets for your bed.
Percale, on the other hand, refers to the actual weave pattern rather than the cotton used in the fabric. Percale uses a plain weave that intertwines warp and weft threads in a sort of a checkerboard pattern. The result of this weave is a strong sheet that has a medium weight to it. In most instances, the thread count of percale is 200 or higher. The percale weave is often produced of 100 percent cotton or uses a blend of cotton and polyester.
Interestingly, when you look at percale vs Egyptian cotton sheets, you may be surprised to find that these two terms are often paired together on a sheeting package. Egyptian cotton can be woven in a percale fashion, making for a strong sheet fabric that is also very soft and comfortable. Because Egyptian cotton can be woven as a percale, it allows for a very high-quality sheet that may cost more, but it certainly is worth the investment.
Another feature that should be compared with percale vs Egyptian cotton sheets is the ability to dye the fabric. Egyptian cotton is a solid material to dye and can be produced in a varying array of colors. Percale woven fabrics can also be easily dyed, especially if they are made from 100 percent cotton. If your percale sheets are made from a blend of cotton and polyester, there is often some limitations on dying the fabric. This woven blend doesn’t dye well, and you may see some color variations in the sheets that you purchase.
A percale weave that is dyed a light color will be softer than sheets of the same weave dyed darker. A dark, rich dye will make your sheets stiffer regardless of the thread count. Higher thread counts of percale will also wrinkle easily especially if you are in the 400 thread count range. Percale woven sheets may be washed in warm water but cannot be washed in hot water no matter how careful you are.
This will cause the cotton to shrink, and your sheets will no longer fit your bed. A percale weave is also a good choice for people that are hot when they sleep. This fabric weave is lighter than a sateen, allowing for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Egyptian cotton can also be woven in a satin or twill weave, in addition to the percale weave. These two weaves, provide a unique or shiny finish to your sheets, respectively. Pima is also a popular cotton choice that many confuse with Egyptian cotton. Pima cotton sheets are not the same as Egyptian cotton, even though they feel quite soft and luxurious. Pima cotton is produced in the U.S. and is considered a secondary product to Egyptian cotton that ranks at the top for quality.
As you search for the perfect sheets for your bed, consider the differences and similarities of percale vs Egyptian cotton sheets. Pairing the cotton fabric with this weave can produce a comfortable sheet set that not only looks good on your bed but feels good as you sleep.