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Why Your Next Set Of Sheets Should Be Percale Sheets

Updated on May 23, 2010

If you’ve ever been shopping for new bed sheets for yourself, you’ve likely seen percale sheets advertised.  Or maybe your grandmother swore by them, saying she’d never use anything other than percale sheets on her bed.  But what are they?  Why are percale sheets held in such high esteem by some people? 

Percale Sheets

First off, let’s take a look at what percale sheets actually are before we get into why some people love them so much. Percale is simply a word that describes a way that fabric is woven together. How is it woven? Percale sheets are woven where each yarn or thread crosses over another yarn or thread. This is different from other fabrics, such as sateen, where each thread crosses over 4 others. The percale method of weaving will produce a fabric that is tighter, stronger and lasts much longer than other types of fabric.


Percale sheets can be made from more than one kind of fabric. Percale does not equate with 100 percent pure cotton, although percale sheets can be made from that. Percale is simply a way of weaving the fabric, so they can be made from a wide variety of different fabrics, including but not limited to the afore mentioned 100 percent cotton, cotton and polyester blends, cotton and linen blends and any other variations a manufacturer might wish to come up with. Even Egyptian cotton can be used to make percale sheets.

So now that we know what percale sheets are, why is it important, or more bluntly, why do you care?  Well, if you enjoy throwing your money away on inferior sheets that don’t last very long and pill up soon after you wash them, then read no further.  But if you want to see why percale sheets could be one of the best investments you make in bedding, then by all means, keep reading.

Percale Color Options

Percale sheets in many ways are the definition of crisp sheets.  That does not mean uncomfortable, but it does mean long lasting.  The way they are woven produces a stronger, tighter weave that will last much longer than inferior weaves.  They will weather the storms your washer and dryer throws at them with far greater endurance than other types of sheets.  They resist pilling much better than less densely woven fabrics resulting in smoother sheets.  Buying percale sheets of course won’t mean that you’ll never have to buy another set of sheets again.  Everything wears out over time, that’s just common sense.  But by buying percale sheets, they will last longer and stay looking and sleeping nicer than other kinds of sheets.

Now, a word about thread count.  It is not the be-all-end-all of sheets.  Thread count is important, but how they are woven is more important.  You can go to Cotton Incorporated’s homepage (which speaks quite highly of percale sheets I might add) and find all you need to know about thread count, but the gist of it is this – higher thread count is important, but the way in which the threads are woven is the determining factor of how the sheets feel.  And the feel of the sheets, as anyone who has bought cheap sheets and regretted it, really is the most important thing.

Shopping online is a great way to get things that may not be available locally or a great way to get really good deals.  The problem with that is you are unable to feel the sheets before you plunk down your hard earned cash for them.  It is highly recommended to shop at an online retailer with a generous return policy.  If the sheets are not up to your standards or don’t match what you thought you would be getting, be sure you can return them so you are not stuck trying to sleep on something you hate.  Every night will be a reminder of a bad shopping experience, and that is not the best way to float off into dreamland.

Percale sheets are an affordable little luxury.  But the really great thing about them is that they are in many ways a very good deal because the will last much longer and be in much better condition than lower quality bedding.  So put your mind at ease and the next time you go shopping for sheets, be sure to take a good hard look at percale sheets.

Video of a travel option for percale sheets

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