Glossary of Sheets & Linens Terminology

Glossary of Sheets & Linens Terminology

The world of sheets and linens can be very confusing. Here is a glossary of definitions to help you understand the world of sheets and linens:

Bamboo- An easily renewable resource requiring 1/3 the amount of water to grow than cotton and can be grown with little to no use of pesticides or herbicides. Bamboo fabric is often described as feeling like cashmere and typically gets softer after each washing. Bamboo includes a naturally antibacterial, antifungal and odor resistant fiber. The bamboo fabric also provides natural insulating properties providing warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer.

Brushed-Brushing is a finishing process used to raise the surface fibres of a fabric. The fabric undergoes a mechanical brushing process and fine, metal brushes create extra softness on the surface of the fabric.

Denier- The measurement of a fiber’s thickness. A high denier points to a material of higher thickness, a low denier is one of lower thickness.

Egyptian Cotton- The longest staple cotton available and the rarest of all cottons representing less than 1% of all cotton. Truly grown in Egypt on the banks of the Nile, this cotton is the most luxurious of all the levels of cotton. Frequently consumers are tricked into buying fabrics that are labeled as “Egyptian” cotton when in fact they only have a tiny percentage of genuine Egyptian cotton in their makeup. Not only is our Egyptian Cotton 100%, we offer proof: the ELS Egyptian Seal, a sign of a kite, an image of cotton plant inside a small black triangle.

Extra Long Stapel – A term used to describe high end cotton based on the length of the fiber pulled from the cotton plant. A stapel is another word for a fiber. If the fiber is an inch and 3/8 or longer, it is considered extra long. Extra Long Stapel products have strength and uniformity measurements that are considerably higher than those of long stapel cotton or traditional cotton. Essentially, the longer the fiber, the more durable the fabric. Extra Long Staple cottons tend to be more difficult to grow and more difficult to process. Extra Long Staple cottons, while more of an investment, provide both a luxurious textile with durability, softness, and longevity.

Fine Combed-Fine Combing is a finishing process that separates the individual cotton fibres and runs them in the same direction, by passing them between very thin moving surfaces. The combing uses fine combs which pull out the shorter fibres and impurities. The remaining cotton fibres are the longest and straightest ones, and once woven, produce a much smoother and higher quality fabric.

Microfiber- Very finely woven fibers, defined by their thickness, or denier. For a material to be considered microfiber, it must be less than 1 denier in diameter. Microfiber sheets are very thin, but are strong and exceptionally smooth and comfortable.

Pima– An Extra Long Stapel cotton grown primarily in the US, Australia, and Peru. Pima was once called American-Egyptian cotton, but was renamed to honor the Pima Indians in Arizona.

Supima®– The Supima® trademark is a guarantee that a product is made of 100% American Pima cotton. Supima is made of Extra Long Stapel cotton and has unusual qualities of strength, softness and color. Less than 3% of the cotton in the world is considered Supima and is certified to be completely US grown.

TENCEL®-An eco friendly trademarked textile that is more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk, and cooler than linen. Made completely without chemicals, it has been tested and proven to reduce bacteria growth. TENCEL® absorbs moisture 50% more than cotton thus providing an effective allergen fighting environment.

Viscose- A bamboo rayon that has been proven to provide antibacterial protection against both gram positive and gram-negative bacteria. Viscose has also been referred to as “bamboo silk.”



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