If you’re confused by all of the terminology that is used to describe bed and bath products you’re not alone! In this section we try to demystify the different terminology used and explain the features of each.
What different types of cotton exist?
Everyone has heard of Egyptian cotton and purists would argue that other cottons cant match the softness of the cotton grown on the banks of the Nile. However for a number of reasons too complex to explore here Egyptian cotton is becoming increasingly rare, and in fact in 2016 the number of bales produced is at an all time low. As a consequence of its scarce supply Egyptian cotton has become disproportionately expensive and often other cotton is being passed off as Egyptian cotton (Bloomberg article).
The same or similar cotton plants as those used in Egypt are now used in many locations worldwide to create cotton of equally long fibres and quality. A further process called “combing” is used on this cotton to take out the smallest fibres and leave only the longest and strongest. Only the remaining fibres can produce the finest of threads, and only these fine threads can produce the higher thread count bedding products and the higher GSM towel products.We believe that by using long staple combed fibres in our products you will get an indiscernible quality to Egyptian cotton at a fraction of the price.
What is Pima Cotton?
That’s a simple one – its actually the exact same plant as Egyptian cotton but not grown in Egypt.
What do different thread counts mean?
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 bed linen quality. Good quality bedding starts at 180 threads per inch, luxury bed linen from 300 threads, and the very luxurious 1000 threads per inch. In a sheet with a lower thread count, the individual threads are quite thick, producing 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 bed linen feels much softer and more luxurious.
Bedding of 400 threads per inch creates both a luxurious feel and the hard wearing quality that makes it ideal for everyday use. That’s why we start our range at this level. Once you get above 400 thread count the quality of the fibres needed to weave at this level mean that, in our opinion, the difference between long staple combed cotton and Egyptian cotton are indiscernible.
What about GSM?
This stands for grammes per square metre and broadly it is to towels what thread count is to bedding. The higher the number of threads you can weave into a towel, the greater the weight it will be. In addition the very finest towels have fibres that are so strong that they can be weaved without additional twists to artificially increase their strength. These “zero-twist” towels are amongst the very softest. Not sure which towel to choose? Read our article here.
Can you explain the difference in pillowcase sizes?
You must have hear the terms Housewife and Oxford pillowcases. But what is the difference? A housewife pillowcase is also called standard pillowcase. They have a solid sewn edge, which fits perfectly around your standard pillow. The dimensions of a housewife or standard pillowcase are 50cm. x 75cm. This fits any pillow size 48cm. x 74cm.
Then we have the Oxford pillowcase which takes it name from a type of cloth called Oxford cloth. The Oxford pillowcase was created as a prettier version of the standard housewife pillowcase. It is just like a standard pillowcase, but with a wide stitched flat hem around the edges to create a border. The size of this border can vary in width, but it is likely to be between 5cm. and 10cm. An Oxford pillowcase measures inside 50cm. x75 cm. and outside 60cm. x 85cm. This fits any pillow size 50cm. x75 cm.
There is also a king size pillowcase. Also referred to as super king, extra long or XL or a large pillowcase. This king size pillowcase is just like a standard pillowcase, however it is longer. This is usually 15cm. longer making it more oblong in size. Two king sized pillows will fit across a super king size bed, which measures 183cm. wide. A king size pillowcase measures 50cm. x 90cm. and fits a pillow size 50cm. x 90cm.
Lastly there is a square pillowcase. These are mainly used for decorative purposes. A square pillowcase, like the oxford pillowcase has a wide stitched flat hem around the edge to create a border. The size of this border can vary in width, but it is likely to be between 5cm. and 10cm. It measures inside 65cm. x 65cm. and outside (depending on the size of the flap) 75cm. x 75cm. This fits a pillow size 65cm. x 65cm.
Read more here.