Percale: The Secret Of a Good Night’s Sleep

Posted by Swedish Linens on

 So before we get into ‘why’ we love percale so much - let’s go through the ‘what’... 


What is Percale?

Percale is a tightly woven bedding fabric which is typically, but not necessarily, made of 100% cotton (or like in our sheets- 100% organic cotton).  The name percale means ‘regular’, referring to the plain weave, where the threads cross over and under each other one at a time.

The quality of sheets is often measured by thread count. In other words, the more threads you can count in a square inch - the softer the fabric feels. Percale sheets must have at least an 180 thread count to qualify as percale.

However, thread count can be misleading. Fabrics with higher thread count than 400-500 tend to be so tightly woven that they become stiff, heavy and does not breathe well. A thread count of 200-400 is therefore preferred and is what we use in all of our bedding fabrics.

Cotton quality is also a factor. A rule of thumb - the longer the fibers are - the higher the quality.

Another important part of the equation is how the fibers are spun into a yarn. In our percale sheets, the cotton is combed so that only the fine longer fibers are left, resulting in a fine texture and finish, ensuring a long lasting soft fabric.


mustard yellow sheets


The Why

Having a good night’s sleep is essential if you want your kids to be happy & healthy. A bad night can result in a day full of yelling and fighting. We’ve all been there. So how can nice sheets help, you may wonder? Apart from creating a cozy sleeping environment for your child, percale has quite a few benefits:

For starters, percale sheets collect much less dust than other types of bedding fabrics. Studies also show that tightly woven fabrics prevent dust mites from penetrating into your sheets. And while none of us would like to share a bed with dust mites, this is especially good news for children who suffer from dust or mite allergies.

So reducing allergies - check. But there are more to percale sheets than just that. Percale cotton sheets can breathe! Well, to be precise, they provide a breathable surface that helps to wick away moisture keeping your kids cool, dry & sound asleep.

In general, when it's warm, keeping cool is a good idea. So while percale sheets are good for any time of the year, they are awesome in the hot season. Percale sheets keep cool, always, which makes them perfect for use in the hot summer nights, as well as in those winter nights when the heating is on. Add the fact that these bed sheets are odor resistant, and it's the perfect bedding for a sweaty night.

Lastly, good quality means durability. Not only our percale sheets are long-lasting while maintaining their shape and fit- they actually get better over time. Each wash makes percale sheets softer. The longer you have them, the softer they become. To put numbers into this, percale sheets last three times longer than other sheets. You can pass them down to your children, knowing that these hand-me-downs are even better than new.


Break the Percale

When you first receive your brand new percale bed sheets, you might be surprised to find they are crisp but not as soft as you imagined them to be. That's the magic of percale - they will get softer and softer, the longer you have them and the more you wash them. Enjoy!

 laundry hanging outside


Care for your Percale

Treat them well, and they will treat you well in return.

We recommend washing on regular cycle 40℃ with similar colors. Tumble dry on low heat. Iron on medium if wrinkles bother your dreams. Sleep tight.

A tip for the busy parent - if you want a wrinkle-free look but don't have the time to iron: remove the sheets from the dryer while they are still warm and just a little moist and put on the bed. Voila!

But isn’t Sateen Better?

The way we see it, there are two types of people- those who prefer sateen and those who prefer percale.

While sateen is smooth and shiny, percale has a hotel-like crisp feel and is completely matte. Due to its even structure, percale is more breathable and more durable, which is especially important in kids bedding because of the frequent washing. And, as mentioned earlier, percale sheets also collect much less dust than sateen sheets.

So as far as we are concerned, the answer to this question is crisp clear!

But whatever you choose, opt for organic cotton, and make sure it is Oeko-tex & GOTS certified. Swede dreams!

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