So you've made the decision to treat yourself to some new bed linen but are getting so confused by claims of quality and luxury? Read on and let us try to decipher some of the mystery!
It starts with pure natural cotton!
The first evidence of cotton use dates back to around 6000 bc in India and Pakistan where the first cultivation was believed to have been in the Indus Delta. Since then, not much has really changed! Cotton fibre is formed on cotton plants as a protective seed case. The fibres are harvested and then categorised by length or staple length to give it's technical term. When it comes to staple length the longer the better! The cotton fibres are joined into lengths and the lengths spun into thread before being woven into cloth. As you can imagine, the shorter the staple length the more joins there will be and this makes the finished thread weaker and less smooth compared to fabrics woven using the longer staple length threads. Long staple threads produces a smoother, softer and more supple fabric and therefore a more luxurious finished product.
Now count the threads ... one, two, three
So we now have our high quality long staple thread but unfortunately this alone does not define 'quality' bedlinen. The quality is also influenced by fabric's thread count. Put simply, the number of threads there are running from top to bottom and left to right per square inch of fabric is the thread count. Some manufacturers will quote inaccurate figures for this having counted the number of fibres twisted into each thread instead of the number of threads themselves. So quoting a 600 thread count might actually only be 300 two-ply threads.
But what about Egyptian?
Ah yes, Egyptian cotton, the holy grail of bed linen fabric right? Well, sort of! Real Egyptian Cotton is made using extremely long fibres produced by a specific cotton plant only found growing along the River Nile in Egypt. This extremely rare and highly prized cotton is understandably only available with an incredibly high price tag. Sadly, some manufacturers have cottoned onto this (pardon the pun) and now produce 'Egyptian Cotton' made with shorter fibres and therefore producing a much lower quality fabric which is easily surpassed by the quality of non-Egyptian Cotton product.
Did you know that, according to The Huffington Post we spend 26 years of our life sleeping and a further 7 years trying to get to sleep which adds up to a staggering 33 years of our lives in bed?!! Really! So, you need to make sure you're comfortable. So, for quality bed linen look for one with long staple pure cotton fibres and be careful not to be drawn by thread count. Remember, if it's too good to be true, with claims of being pure Egyptian Cotton with a 1000 thread count at the price of a polycotton, then it probably is too good to be true and please step away! Bed linen from The Finest Linen Company is made using only the highest quality Indian cotton long staple fibres and our thread count is a count of the actual threads woven into our stunningly luxurious quality fabric! So why not get in touch to find out more about our range of real quality bedlinen!