Monday, July 13, 2009

The Dictionary of Bedding Terms

Bed Skirt - A decorative bedding accessory that usually matches the comforter or duvet. Also called a dust ruffle it goes in between your box spring and bed frame and hangs around the bottom of a bed.

Blend – Refers to a fabric made of a combination of fibers, such as cotton/polyester, or cotton/linen. Blends give the fabric features of each of the fibers used.

Combing – A finishing process, combing removes short fibers and debris from the yarns. The finest fabrics are combed.

Cotton – Universally used for home “soft goods” such as bedding, cotton comes in different degrees of quality. The best cotton is Egyptian, followed by Pima and Supima.

Damask – A glossy, patterned fabric with intricate patterns, damask is similar to brocade but is flatter and reversible.

Down – An excellent insulator, the fluffy tufts come from ducks and geese. Used in bedding and outerwear.

Down Alternative - This type of bedding is filled with synthetic materials as opposed to goose or duck feathers and is just as soft and breathable as a real down comforter.

Down Proof - Any fabric with at least a 230-thread count is considered down-proof, and will not leak or bleed feathers and down from the inside.

Dupioni Silk - Produced when two or more silkworms spin their cocoons closely together.

Duvet – Any bed comforter; can be slipped into a duvet cover.

Egyptian Cotton – The best-quality cotton, because it has the longest cotton fibers, is grown in Egypt. Egyptian cotton is used to make high-quality bedding. The next best cottons are Supima and Pima.

Fill Power - The ability of down to regain its shape when pressure is released. The higher the fill power, the greater will be the insulating value of the down.

Flannel – A brushed fabric, created by a process that raises the nap, making the fabric warm and soft.

Hotel Bedding – Hotel-style refers to the luxury bedding and linens used in upscale hotels. The sheets are usually of high-thread-count, designed to exceed the look and feel of everyday household sheets.

Jacquard – A decorative weaving technique that weaves designs such as flowers directly into the fabric; can be gorgeously detailed.

Percale – Percale refers to the weave of a fabric; it must have a minimum thread count of 180. Many people wrongly use the term to mean a polyester/cotton blend, but percale does not imply any particular content.

Pillow Sham – A decorative pillow cover

Pima, Supima – An excellent variety of cotton grown in the Southwest US. SuPima is a certification mark used when the product such as bedding is made entirely from Pima cotton grown by Supima Association members.

Ply, Plied – Yarns that are twisted together after spinning to create a new yarn. Plied yarns don't increase the durability or strength of the fabric, so they should be counted as only one yarn.

Sateen – A process that gives the fabric a shiny finish. Not related to quality.

Thread Count – The number of threads (both length and width) in one square inch of fabric. A count of 200 for bedding is considered good, and anything over 250 is high. Although a high thread count is desirable, the quality of the cotton and the finishing process can often be more important than thread count.

Welt – Another name for cording could be on a comforter or pillow sham, term “self-welt" means that the cording is made from the same fabric as the main body of the item.

Wool – Refers to the fibers from the fleece of lambs, sheep, goats, and other animals. Sheep’s wool is most common. Lamb's wool comes from sheep less than 8 months old. Merino wool is from a specific breed and is the softest and finest.


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