When we go shopping for linens the stress and confusion can overpower the excitement of it all. I know what a dust ruffle, sham, and duvet are, but thread count, ply, matelasse, percale..those terms can persuade me to break out my acting skills. Not knowing the terminology that backs the world of bed linens can be embarrassing at times, but more importantly, it can cause you to purchase something without knowing if it’s what you want or need. SFERRA has come to our rescue and will allow us to hold our heads high while we shop for our new 500 thread count (that’s 500 threads per square inch), Egyptian cotton (A variety of cotton, grown in the Nile region, known for its extra long staples, and is the finest quality in the world) pillow cases.

SFERRA educates us on the “anatomy of a bed” and gives video tips for learning how to care for your linens properly. They tell the importance of changing your bed with the seasons, how we can improve our bedroom comfort, and they even discuss hints for folding a fitted sheet. My friend, Ronda Carmen, creator of www.AllTheBestBlog.com first told me about SFERRA’s thread count tips.    It’s always so difficult to pick out new sheets while getting lost in the labels of linen language.  Thank you Ronda because the SFERRA site’s section on bed anatomy taught me to add a blanket between my sheets and duvet for warmth and color, and we should welcome accents like a cashmere throws (or any soft blanket) to our clean, monochromatic bedding.

Here is what I learned from SFERRA’s Loose Count Video:

Thread count refers to the number of threads per square inch.  The higher the count, the better right?  Well, not exactly!  There are really four more important elements to take into consideration: wieght, fiber, finish and feel.

Weight – Weight preferences can vary from season to season.  I like a light sheet almost year round in Texas but if you live in a cooler climate, you might want to select something heavier in the winter.

Fiber – The finer the fiber, the finer the sheet.  Egyptian cotton is the best!  Look for that label when buying new linens.

Finish – A linen’s texture, color and softness are all developed during the finishing process.  Most luxury linen companies keep their finishing techniques top secret and it is really considered an art form!

Feel – Everyone’s taste is different so put some thought into the feel that you are longing for.  I love sheets that are “angel soft” but I have friends who prefer real linen for it’s crispness!  What do you like?


If you still need more clarification on your bedding vocabulary, check out SFERRA’s bedding glossary.

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