Italian Cotton Sheets

Thread Count. QUALITY COTTON SHEETS.

THREAD COUNT. What makes the best cotton sheet?

Thread Count matters. Although thread count is not the only thing that indicates QUALITY.

What is Thread Count?

Thread Count is the number of threads per 10cm2. So the higher the thread count, the finer the quality of the sheet. It takes long fibres of cotton to make strong but thin threads, and it takes these silky thin threads to make high thread count fabrics.

Higher-thread-count sheets are made with finer (thinner) yarns. The more yarns that fit into a square inch, the smoother, denser, and more durable the fabric. Fine yarn is also more expensive to produce, thus resulting in pricier sheets (and why densely woven sateen is more expensive than percale).

Cheap sheets are made with thicker yarns, resulting in lower thread counts and a rougher feel.

However, it doesn’t matter what the thread count of the sheet is, if the thread itself is of poor quality.

‘It is the thread that counts, not the thread count”

And the best cotton, long staple cotton, which has longer threads of cotton fibre which therefore helps the alternating warp and weft yarns stay smooth and flat, is either certified Egyptian Cotton or Supima Cotton. And that gives you smooth, luxurious sheeting.

When you see counts above 300 for percale or 600 for sateen, that sometimes means the manufacturers are using ply—the number of single threads twisted together in yarn—to artificially inflate the thread count, namely counting two-ply yarns as two yarns instead of one. That means a 500-thread-count sheet made with two-ply yarns might be advertised as 1,000 thread count.

However, Thread Count is a good benchmark of a good quality cotton sheet.

As a general guide, Good Quality Cotton sheets start at about a 250 thread count, while European sheets can go much higher. Combine the thread count with a good long staple cotton, and this should help you choose your beautiful quality cotton sheets.

Egyptian Cotton Sheet Sets

Cotton Sheets – EGYPTIAN COTTON

What makes the best cotton sheet? Firstly it is The Cotton.

One of the best cottons in the world is Egyptian cotton (see our earlier article on Egyptian cotton).

However, 90% of the world’s cotton crop is American Upland variety. This cotton is grown in most cotton producing countries, but it has a shorter fibre length than Egyptian cotton. It is this cotton however which makes up a large percentage of fabric being labeled and sold to you as “Egyptian Cotton.”

So if you want the best cotton sheet, you need to buy yourself genuine EGYPTIAN COTTON sheets.

      Target and Walmart are pulling bedding off their shelves after a falsely labeled Egyptian cotton products        controversy involving manufacturer Welspun India – The Guardian Sat 19 Nov 2016.

There are a couple of things that can help you tell if you have a REAL Egyptian cotton sheet.

The first is PRICE. A low priced ‘Egyptian Cotton’, ‘Made with Egyptian Cotton’, ‘Made in Egypt’ sheet usually means a low quality cotton sheet. As one supplier noted, if an Egyptian cotton Sheet set is priced at under NZ$400 then it’s a reasonable indicator that the cotton is NOT genuine Egyptian cotton.

The other thing to look for is CERTIFICATION. A genuine Egyptian cotton sheet will be labelled with Certified Genuine 100% Egyptian Cotton.

Genuine Egyptian cotton is a long staple variety so it has extra-long and fine silky fibres. Egyptian cotton is grown in Egypt along the Nile. Growers in the US have developed Egyptian cotton varieties known as PIMA cotton. Egyptian cotton and Pima cotton are preferable for sheets, both for their silky softness and durability.

After the cotton is grown and harvested, it goes through a process called Ginning, and it is carded to remove weaker and broken fibres. If the cotton is then ‘combed’, this further refines the cotton leaving linger fibres that produce a finer yarn.

But as well as the long staple cotton, there is also the THREAD COUNT which makes your cotton sheet a beautiful sheet.

‘It is the thread that counts, not the thread count”.

 

Egyptian Cotton Sheet Sets

What Makes Good Quality Cotton Sheets? – The Cotton

What makes good QUALITY Cotton Sheets?

It is always hard to know what makes a good cotton sheet and how to choose.

 

There are so many sheets made from so many different fabrics from so many countries, so many brands and the prices vary so much. How to tell what to look for when choosing a quality cotton bed sheet? It is worth spending a bit more money on really good quality sheets (in my opinion, it is always better to buy less but to buy quality!). On average, we spend a third of our life between the sheets. Why would you not want the BEST you can afford!

Finest-Egyptian-Cotton-Sheets-Seneca

One of our suppliers, Seneca, has put together a great summary of what makes a good quality cotton sheet, so over the next few articles, I will take you through what to look for.

Quality Cotton Sheets.

Quality Cotton Sheets must be made from 100% cotton.

No other fabric will give you the cool, soft feel of good quality cotton bed sheets. This is because cotton wicks away moisture, so you feel comfortable, not clammy. The softness you can achieve with a high quality cotton bed sheet is an addictive luxury your skin will remember. Polyester will NOT give you this. It may wear like iron and you don’t need to iron it, but your skin will know the difference!

Experts generally classify cottons (which are used for bedding) into four main types with many categories in each type. These classifications are based on appearance and STAPLE length ( extra-long, long, medium and short).

And what you need to know is that the longer the staple, the finer the fabric. Length really does matter with cotton!

Next time I will go through the main difference between the beautiful cotton produced in Egypt and the cotton that is produced from American Upland cotton which makes up 90% of the world’s cotton crop.

Always buy the best quality cotton sheets you can afford!

Clearing The Linen Cupboard for a Fresh Start to the Year

Clearing your linen cupboard and refreshing your linen is a great way to start the new year. Clearing life of any clutter is always good! Take an hour or so to review and sort your linen into a couple of piles:

  • OLD and WORN-OUT Linens, towels and sheets. THROW them out! If they look tattered and have the odd hole, if they are stained or marked and you cannot remove the marks, throw them out.  Do not keep them and do not donate them to charity as nobody actually wants to receive or use old, stained and worn out items.  And do not take them to the bach thinking you could use them there either. There is no pleasure on holiday using old and worn out towels and sheets!  About the only use for these old linens is to maybe donate them to an animal shelter if you really can’t bear to throw them in the bin!

 

(via charhadas.com)

  • EXTRA linens or linens that don’t match. If your shelves and cupboards are groaning with towels and sheets and tablecloths that you don’t actually use, these can all be donated to your local charity shop. Our company supports a charity called Guardian Angels, and there is always a need for good QUALITY bedding, especially for blankets and quilts in the winter. Other charities will also appreciate your donations of these.

 

  • CLEAN your bedding. Make a note on your calendar to CLEAN your bedding. You only need to clean pillows and comforters two or three times a year. TIP: It is easy to remember to do so when the seasons change. (I will be posting a BLOG shortly on HOW to CLEAN your bedding).

 

  • FOLD and STACK your beautiful fresh linens in the cupboard. TIP: Stack your sheets in SETS along with their matching pillowcases. It is so much easier to get the set out when you next make your bed rather than rummaging through piles of flat sheets, then fitted sheets, then search for matching pillowcase pairs!

(via divinedistractions.blogspot.com)

Cotton Matelasse Bedspreads

Matelasse Bedspreads and Quilts

Matelasse Bedspreads and Quilts

Spring is the time to put your winter duvet into storage and put on a medium weight bedspread, and we think the Matelasse bedspreads are perfect!

Matelasse is a term used to describe a particular style of bedspread or quilt.

Cotton Matelasse Bedspreads

The matelasse bedspreads above are in the basket weave design.

You can use this pattern in any bedroom. It is so versatile, as it will go with any kind of design style, and can also be used as a blanket or use it to finish the end of your bed.

Traditionally, Matelasse: ‘is a weaving or stitching technique yielding a pattern that APPEARS quilted or padded. Matelassé may be achieved by hand, on a jacquard loom, or a quilting machine. It is meant to mimic the style of hand-stitched quilts made in MarseillesFrance.’ They have a textured sculptured look that appears to be padded, but actually there is no padding within the fabric.  As you can imagine, there are numerous possibilities when it comes to creating intricate patterns and designs with this technique!

We have a number of different Matelasse styles in bedspreads and quilts. We think they are great for the spring through to autumn months as they are a perfect weight on top of a sheet.

Matelasse bedspreads are usually made out of 100 percent cotton. And Egyptian cotton is considered superior to most cottons since it has such a long fibre. This in turns makes the fabric woven from the fibre very soft.

The all-cotton fabric lends itself to some amazing designs that are raised to create a soft texture that makes you want to touch it. And mostly, you will find a Matelasse bedspread has been designed to be reversible.

And as most Matelasse bedspreads are made out of 100 percent cotton, they are machine washable. This makes it a great choice for your next bedspread purchase. And the more you wash your bedspread, the softer it will become (though always read the label for the care of your bedspread).

Matelasse bedspreads are true luxury!

Notes: From Wikipedia and Lovetoknow

 

 

 

 

Spring Clean Your Bedroom! Fresh BED LINEN.

It’s SPRING time! Time to spring clean your bedroom and bed linen. We have just moved house and I have had to decide what to keep or not to keep and what all the rooms in the house need or don’t need. Of particular interest (of course!) is my bedroom.

While initially fretting that everything I love and treasure won’t fit in, (we have moved to a smaller house) I am now secretly pleased that the move has been an opportunity to SPRING CLEAN and CLEAR THE CLUTTER. It is so easy to keep stuff just in case you might need it one day. But there is little storage in a smaller house, so it means really thinking about what to keep. And to take a fresh look at the bed linen!

So, two sets of REALLY good SHEETS. I cannot understand why we generally baulk at spending a bit extra on good sheets when we spend so much time between them (the sheets). It is such a pleasure to sleep on really smooth Egyptian cotton sheets. Or divine Italian Cotton Sheets. You really DO notice the difference!!

 

And a couple of REALLY good PILLOWS. The HUNGARIAN GOOSE DOWN pillows are such bliss to lay your head on. You can get one which has a firmer inside and is surrounded by the HGD so that it doesn’t lose it’s shape as you sleep on it. Or you can just sink into a pillow until the morning.

And of course a REALLY good DUVET inner. The HUNGARIAN GOOSE DOWN is the best for a DIVINE warm and blissful sleep. If you get the Duvets which snap together, you have the advantage of a SUMMER weight as well as WINTER weight duvet.  Though if you live somewhere it is hot in the summer nights, you might just be happy with a winter duvet and a sheet and cover for the summer.

THEN there is how to dress the bed to make it LOOK attractive and inviting and a haven for your night time. But at least start with good bed linen. It really does make a difference.

Flannelette Sheets Sets

Flannelette Sheets – Warm Soft Smooth Luxurious

Flannelette sheets seem so old fashioned!

Many of us have memories of them as children, and not necessarily fond memories. The sheets seemed to pill, so you would get tiny balls at the end of the bed or in the middle where the sheets rubbed.

But now we have the most beautiful flannelette sheets! Sheets which are warm, soft, smooth and so luxurious!

The Bellini Lux Flannelette Sheets we have sourced from our suppliers are made from the best quality flannelette in the world. These beautiful smooth warm sheets are made in Portugal, which is the leading flannelette manufacturing country.

Flannel is made from cotton that is brushed on both sides to raise the fibres, creating a soft luxurious feel. It’s medium weight adds extra warmth making them much cosier than cotton sheets, so no matter where you move in the bed there will never be a cold spot.

And the superior construction and yarn size means that these flannelette sheets are non-pilling, and keep their shape, and will last longer that any other flannelette sheets. They will last you for years.

These particular sheets have a luxurious soft handle, and they are made from 100% pure brushed cotton.  They are a thick and cosy 185gm, ensuring you have a world class flannelette quality sheeting.

So you no longer need to settle for a poor quality flannelette sheet which pills and which may last you a year at best. If you haven’t slept in a good flannelette sheet, give these a try. You will be warm and snug for winter.

“I reluctantly got out of bed from between my flannelette sheets this morning (feeling like it wasn’t right I had to be up so early!)”.

“Best night’s sleep snuggled up in my flannelette!”.

You too will love these divine flannelette sheets!

Why pay more for a Good Linen Sheet?

Why pay more for a good linen sheet? I recently had a conversation with a friend about why some of the sheets we have in our online store are more expensive than other linen sheets.

Obviously it comes down to the old saying, you pay for what you get. Though sometimes it is hard to know exactly what it is you are getting.

So here’s some information on Linen which will shed some light on the difference between a really good linen sheet and a poor quality linen. Which will explain why some of the linen sheets and the linen duvet covers and other linen bedding we have costs more. And why it is worth paying the extra.

The Vida Stonewashed Linen which we sell is superior to other less expensive linens on the market because of the linen fibre. This linen is grown in Belgium which is regarded as the best quality in the world, closely followed by linen grown in France. Vida Stonewashed linen is then sent to Portugal, the home of luxury textiles, to be woven and finishedThe Vida linen is dyed in one process, and stonewashed in another process to give the depth of colour and full bodied handle. Only the finest yarns have been used which have gone through an anti-pilling process and are pre-shrunk. These Linen Sheets and Duvet Covers are long lasting and they are the ultimate in comfort.

General Information:

Linen is made from the fibres of the flax plant. Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fibre is very absorbent and sheets made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather.

There are two varieties: shorter tow fibres used for coarser fabrics and longer line fibres used for finer fabrics. The expensive sheets usually use the longer line fibres.

Linen is relatively easy to take care of, since it resists dirt and stains, has no lint or pilling tendency, and can be dry-cleaned, machine-washed or steamed. It can withstand high temperatures, and has only moderate initial shrinkage.

Linen should not be dried too much by tumble drying, and it is much easier to iron when damp. Linen wrinkles very easily. Nevertheless, the tendency to wrinkle is often considered part of linen’s particular “charm”, and many linen sheets are designed to be air-dried and used without the necessity of ironing, such as the VIDA range.

A characteristic often associated with linen yarn is the presence of “slubs”, or small knots which occur randomly along its length. Slubs are traditionally considered to be defects, and are associated with low quality linen, although they do not compromise the integrity of the fabric.  However, the very finest linen has very consistent diameter threads, with no slubs at all. And this linen is so much nicer to sleep on!

So a very good linen is smooth, cool to sleep on, and, it only gets better with age.

White Hydrangea Cushions to remind your self of summer

White Hydrangea cushions. It’s the time of year when Hydrangeas are almost past their best. I have a passion for Hydrangeas, especially white ones. They always remind me of summer and lazy days. Although they do flourish best in a moist and slightly shady condition. But while Hydrangeas start blooming in early spring, some hydrangeas bloom best in summer and others bloom clusters of flowers in the fall season.

Hortensia photo

White hortensia outside a french cottage.

First discovered in Japan, the name hydrangea comes from the Greek “hydor,” meaning water, and “angos,” meaning jar or vessel. This roughly translates to “water barrel,” referring to the hydrangea’s need for plenty of water and its cup-shaped flower.

The Latin name for the plant is Hydgangea, and the common name is Hortensia. Known as Hortensias or Four Seasons, these are the pink, white or blue hydrangeas that you buy for Easter or Mother’s Day.

(Naturally, hydrangeas are white.  With its ability to hold aluminum, the flowers can quickly turn blue based on the acidity of the soil).

We have a beautiful cushion with the iconic white hydrangea on it. So pile these white hydrangea cushions on your indoor furniture, or outdoors on a summer’s day, for yourself or as a (longlasting) gift! Hortenisa love@ www.linenboutique.co.nz

Wonder Wash for laundering your bedlinen – A handy tip.

White Vinegar is my wonder wash. It is the unsung hero of my laundry. It is one of those little handy hints that make a difference. And I love anything that makes my bedlinen look and feel gorgeous!

I read about white vinegar a few years ago as I always love looking for natural products and try to use them where possible. Some have been failures! But White Vinegar I have used for years and it works. I put it in the washing machine where the fabric softener goes. It softens clothes and bedlinen (especially if you have been using some of the regular wash powders) and acts as a cleanser.

Below are some points that I came across in a book “Tips from your Nana” by Robyn Patterson which I thought are worth sharing. So here they are, unedited:

  • Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to your rinse cycle in place of fabric softener to soften, brighten and reduce lint on clothes. Excellent for sensitive skin.
  • Soak whites and smelly or stained clothes in a bucket of warm water with 1 cup white vinegar before washing. Especially great for sweat stains, smelly socks, grease, and whites that are greying or yellow. (this is why I use the white vinegar on sheets – to keep them white and fresh).
  • Clean your washing machine now and then to remove grease and buildup by running it through an empty wash cycle with 1 cup white vinegar.

And as the book says, NO, your clothes and linen does not come out smelling like vinegar! And even is there are traces of the vinegar smell, it disappears as the laundry dries.

Try it. It is inexpensive and lasts a long time especially if you get the biggest bottle of white vinegar you can find.

Perfect to help keep your beautiful bedlinen fresh and clean.