Glossary

Cashmere - Cashmere is a very fine, soft wool made from the soft under coats of goats from the Kashmir area of the Himalayas. The soft, warm under coat has to be separated from the tough top coat of the goats' fur, contributing to the cost and scarcity of cashmere. 

Cotton - a natural fiber from the mallow family, cotton has been used to make cloth since at least 3,000 B.C. Cotton fibers can be spun into thread or yarn and used to create woven or knitted fabrics. Cotton is commonly used for bedding because it is hygienic, moisture-absorbing, breathable, strong, and resistant to wear and washing.

Egyptian Cotton - Egyptian Cotton is cotton that is grown in Egypt. Egyptian Cotton is prized for its long staple (fiber), that creates and maintains a smoother surface than other cotton varieties when woven and laundered. Egyptian Cotton comprises approximately 5% of the cotton produced in the world.

Linen - Linen is made from the cellulose fibers inside the flax plant. Linen fabric is noted for its strength, durability and coolness. Linen is highly absorbent and prevents bacterial growth. Bedding made from linen fabric will become softer with each washing.

Percale - Percale is a plain weave, meaning that the threads are woven in a standard one over, one under construction. This makes for a very durable fabric, generally with a matte finish.

Sateen - Sateen fabric is made using a satin weave of spun yarns. The exact structure can vary, but generally the warp yarns are floated over the weft yarns, for example three over and one under. (The number of yarns floated over can vary, and sateens can also be woven as weft over warp.) The weave structure produces a fabric that is very smooth, soft and shinier than a plain weave fabric. The weave structure is also more susceptible to wear than some others.

Thread Count - Thread Count is the number of threads per inch in a woven fabric. So, a 200 thread count sheet has 100 vertical threads and 100 horizontal threads woven together. In order to create super-high thread counts, manufacturers twist the threads together, so an 800 thread count sheet is 100 vertical threads and 100 horizontal threads that each have 4 strands twisted together. This makes for a heavier, less breathable sheet, rather than a softer, higher quality sheet.