Crisp, smooth, and oh, so soft on the skin, percale weave sheets, made from high quality cotton, are the benchmark for sleep comfort. What makes the percale weave the perfect choice for bed sheets, quite simply, is its simplicity.
With a simple one over, one under pattern, percale is the most common of weaves, yielding a smooth, tight, uniform texture on both sides of the sheeting fabric. This tight weave leaves little room for fibers to move or migrate, minimizing pilling, and a crisp, smooth surface, with beautiful draping properties.
When properly cared for high quality 100% cotton percale sheets improve with time – softening, and relaxing with each washing, resulting in bed sheets with a silky hand that’s gentle on your skin – and lovely to sleep on.
“Percale” originates from the Persian word “pargalah” which translates to “rag” – most likely referring to the rustic fabrics produced from roughly spun cotton on ancient looms. Fast forward to the 21st century where high quality cotton percale is the number one choice of weave types for comfortable, long lasting bedding.
Perhaps the most important thing to look for when purchasing percale weave sheets is fiber content – followed by thread count.
Read your labels carefully. The world’s finest cotton percale weave sheets are made from the highest quality, single-ply yarn. Be wary of sheets claiming Egyptian origins. With its increasing scarcity, they’re most likely made from the lowest grade cotton (meaning short, or broken fibers), blended with poly-fiber, e.g. plastic fillers – which makes for a clammy night’s sleep.
Instead look for American-grown SupimaⓇ cotton, which surpasses Egyptian varieties as the world’s finest cotton. Grown in the arid southwest regions of the United States, trademarked Supima is a superior version of its forebear, Pima cotton, and renowned for it long, strong, and silky staple fibers. Look for Supima cotton by name on the label.
Combing high quality cotton further improves its quality and durability. Combed Supima cotton percale weave sheets are considered some of the world’s finest, most luxurious bedding around the globe. (See “What Makes Combed Cotton So Special”)
Now, back to thread count. In order for a weave to be called percale, the fabric must be a minimum of 180 thread count, e.g. every square inch contains an equal number of warp and weft threads. (See: “Busting the Myth of High Thread Counts”)
However, with high quality, cotton percale weave bed sheets, thread count becomes less important. Instead, look for 100% combed cotton sheets with a believable thread count – between 200 and 500. Anything higher than 600 is implausible – and most likely a marketing ploy by an unscrupulous manufacturer trying to disguise multi-ply thread as high thread count.
When you’re ready to make an investment in a comfortable and satisfying night’s sleep, slip between a set of 100% Supima cotton percale weave sheets, and rest easy.