With the considerable experience we have as providers of top quality bed linen to five star hotels, we do get asked a variety of questions about our bed linen, pillows, duvets and towels. To help you with your purchase we have provided answers to the following questions:-
Cotton is grown all over the world. High quality cotton yarn is spun up of long staple fibres. This is vital in producing good quality yarn and from this you can produce good quality cotton. Egyptian cotton is made from long staple fibres as is cotton from other countries. The Egyptian cotton producers have spent many years and large amounts of money promoting the "Egyptian Cotton" Brand. This is why it has become synonymous with high quality.
Interestingly, the top five cotton producing countries in the world are China, USA, India, Pakistan and Brazil in that order. China produces approx 25.5 Million Bales per year (6,000tonnes); Egypt in comparison produces just 1 Million Bales. These figures considered it is impossible for there to be so much authentic Egyptian cotton on sale as there is. The actual truth is that most of the cotton based products, for example bed linen, coming out of Egypt are made from imported cotton from India and Pakistan.
Yes and no is the answer to this. To produce superb quality bed linen you do HAVE to use long staple cotton but the quality of the cotton is just one factor. The cotton has to be woven well and then most importantly finished properly.
Badly finished cotton can have a bad "whiteness" and can look yellow in certain light. It can also suffer from large shrinkage after washing, sometimes up to 10-12%, and can also be very hard to iron if the cloth is not mercerized properly. One of the most obvious things that people notice about poor quality linen is a "Furry" surface and "Pilling" after washing. This is all due to the fact the cloth hasn't been singed properly.
Thread-count shows the number of threads in a square inch of cloth. Thread-counts when related to bed linen can range from 120 to over 1,000. For example a standard men's work shirt would be made using cotton with a thread-count of around 220.
It's impossible to answer this definitively as it can vary from person to person. The other problem is you can have 5 pieces of cloth all marked 200 Thread-count which feel completely different depending on the size of the yarn used to weave them, the quality of the yarn, the finish etc etc.
The best way to answer this is to assume good yarn is used and the cloth is singed, mercerized and finished to a good whiteness, the bed linen is then hemmed nicely and cut with generous sizing. If this is true a 200 Thread-count is totally acceptable and can and is used in 5 star hotels around the world.
If you then go up to a 300 or 400 Thread-count you get a softer hand-feel and if the correct construction is used a lovely "drape" to the cloth. The maximum thread-count worth considering would be a 600T, this is extremely dense cloth because so many threads are packed into a small space. 600 Thread-count would become very difficult to wash and dry and iron, it would also be very warm to sleep under as it is just not letting air through. Any higher than 600T and the fabric is just so thick you shouldn't be using it for bed linen. Above 600T and the cloth becomes impossible to launder and dry, the bed linen is impossible to iron and the cloth is so thick it is uncomfortable to sleep under.
PIMA cotton is a brand name for long staple American cotton. Created by the American textile export department to compete with Egyptian cotton, again the truth is not all bed linen labeled as PIMA or SUPIMA uses long staple PIMA cotton.
Typically well finished cotton will shrink around 3-4% after the first wash and then never again. We build shrinkage in to the measurements of our sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases so that once washed they will be the size required to fit perfectly.
Yes we recommend that you do. The cloth has come straight from the finishing process and so will have a slight smell of finishing. One wash will remove this. The first wash will also allow the bed linen to shrink to the correct sizes.
Polyester is an oil based product and when woven into yarn it has a far greater degree of elasticity than cotton yarn. This helps to prevent creasing after washing. The polyester yarn helps hold the bed linen in shape and doesn't shrink. The problem is, it can be quite uncomfortable to sleep under and hot in the summer. The truth is, if a high quality cotton yarn is used and the finish is done properly, 100% Cotton bed linen shouldn't crease that badly and any creases should fall out after a few hours use.
Tog ratings are really only used in the UK. The fabric of a typical man's suit has a thermal resistance of around 0.1 m2K/W. This measurement was simplified for general use and people called it "one tog".
The tog was invented by workers at the Shirley Institute, Manchester, in the 1940s. The name comes from the informal word "togs" for clothing. Tog values are used to measure the potential warmth of many products, not just duvets. Note that the tog rating does not necessarily relate directly to the thickness of the duvet. Different materials have different thermal resistance characteristics and different thicknesses will be required to achieve the same tog rating.
Most hotels would use a 10.5TOG duvet and this Tog Rating can be achieved by using various fillings. If pure Goose down is used the duvet is lighter as you require less filling to achieve the rating. If down & feather then more filling would be required and if just feathers then the duvet becomes very heavy indeed.
The highest grade filling available is Eiderdown, this is taken from the nest of the Eider Duck (Mainly found in Iceland). It is extremely difficult to harvest but has incredible heat retention. To achieve a 10.5TOG Rating you hardly require any filling if using Eiderdown. Due to the fact it is very rare, Eiderdown has become prohibitively expensive. Some eiderdown duvets are over £5,000.00.
The more common filling found in the U.K. is 100% Goose Down whether it be Siberian, Hungarian, or Icelandic. The truth about Goose Down is, regardless of where it comes from it is all the same. The down clusters from the plumage of the goose have a higher level of insulation and are much softer and smaller than feathers. This allows the duvet to remain light but still achieve a high Tog Rating.
Fill power is a measure of the loft or "fluffiness" of a down product that is loosely related to the insulating value of the down. The higher the fill power the more insulating air pockets the down has and the better insulating ability. Fill power ranges from about 175 cm³/g (300 in³/oz) for feathers to around 900 cm�/g for the highest quality down. Higher fill powers are associated with a larger percentage of down clusters and a larger average down cluster size.
Whilst all duvet and pillow products have a wash label which says you can wash and dry the products, our recommendation is that you approach drying with great care. Whatever anybody tells you, laundering duvets and pillows is not straightforward. Washing them is the easy bit - it is the drying that is more difficult. This is complicated by the fact that there is no strict advice to follow - each manufacturer has slightly different ideas about temperatures and drying cycles.
What is a fact is that if a pillow or duvet has been through a spin cycle or is subjected to hot tumble drying, there will be a problem with the filling, both natural and synthetic. In our experience, if a duvet is going to be laundered, it needs to be removed constantly from the drying cycle and shaken vigorously. This action will help to separate the fibres or feathers as they lose moisture and help them to fluff up. How often this should be done, and for what duration, is both a guess and a minefield. Our recommendation is to take the advice of a specialist cleaner but if you are going to attempt it yourself, to be ultra-cautious and definitely shake the items several times during drying.
A Box Construction describes the make up of a natural filled duvet. With box construction the duvet is hemmed into equally sized squares, each square is then filled with the down or feathers. This spreads the warmth across the entire duvet. Gone are the days when you wake up and all the filling is at the bottom of the duvet.
No, the birds are bred for food primarily. The down and feathers used are a by-product of the food industry. Similar to Wool and Leather.
There is still on-going study into this but it is believed that the dust mites actually cause any allergies attributed to sleeping under natural filled products. People who say they have an allergy to natural filled bedding have probably once slept in a bed with very low quality pillows and duvets, without a decent outer shell.
The presence of dust mites and the problems associated with them can be completely eradicated by using a high thread-count dust mite proof (sometimes referred to as NOMITE) outer shell and also using high grade, heat treated filling.
If you think you have an allergy to natural filled products it might we worth trying one of our pillows and/or duvets and seeing if it goes away!
Absolutely yes. You have to wash a towel once to make it absorbent. The first wash will also remove all the lint and excess finish. Avoid using fabric softener on the first wash.
Avoid using softener on the first wash and for all subsequent washes use less washing powder than you would for clothes. The surface of the towels creates more lather than clothes or sheets and if they lather too much you may get detergent residue on the towels after the wash. Tumble dry on a low heat once washed.