If you’re confused by all of the terminology that is used to describe bed and bath products you’re not alone. In this section we try to demystify the different terminology used and explain the features of each.
What different types of cotton exist?
Everyone has heard of Egyptian Cotton and purists would argue that other cottons cant match the softness of the cotton grown on the banks of the Nile. However for a number of reasons too complex to explore here Egyptian Cotton is becoming increasingly rare, and in fact in 2016 the number of bales produced is at an all time low (USDA article). As a consequence of its scarce supply Egyptian Cotton has become disproportionately expensive and often other cotton is being passed off as Egyptian Cotton (Bloomberg article).
The same or similar cotton plants as those used in Egypt are now used in many locations worldwide, to create cotton of equally long fibres and quality. A further process called “combing” is used on this cotton to take out the smallest fibres and leave only the longest and strongest. Only the remaining fibres can produce the finest of threads, and only these fine threads can produce the higher thread count bedding products and the higher GSM towel products.
We believe that by using long staple combed fibres in our products you will get an indiscernible quality to Egyptian Cotton at a fraction of the price.
What do different thread counts mean?
Thread count refers to the number of threads going across (weft) and vertically (warp) within 1 square inch of woven cloth. This is a useful general guide to the fineness and quality of a woven fabric, and a good indicator of bed linen quality. Good quality bedding starts at 180 threads per inch, luxury bed linen from 300 threads, and the very luxurious 1000 threads per inch. In a sheet with a lower thread count, the individual threads are quite thick, producing bedding that can have a relatively courser feel. In higher thread counts there are more threads per square inch, they are correspondingly finer and the bed linen feels much softer and more luxurious.
Bedding of 400 threads per inch combines both a luxurious feel and the hard wearing quality that makes it ideal for everyday use. That’s why we start our range at this level. Once you get above 400 thread count the quality of the fibres needed to weave at this level mean that, in our opinion, the difference between long staple combed cotton and Egyptian Cotton are indiscernible.
What about GSM?
This stands for grammes per square metre and broadly it is to towels what thread count is to bedding. The higher the number of threads you can weave into a towel, the greater the weight it will be. In addition the very finest towels have fibres that are so strong that they can be weaved without additional twists to artificially increase their strength. These “zero-twist” towels are amongst the very softest.
What is Pima Cotton?
That’s a simple one – its actually the exact same plant as Egyptian Cotton but not grown in Egypt.
Where do we get our products from?
Our main supplier was established in 1834, is headquartered in the UK, and has unrivalled sourcing and technical expertise in the textiles sector.