We’ve all heard of Egyptian cotton when we go shopping for linen. Sounds exotic and plush…. Well, it is exactly that, a pure and rich cotton that is used to make some the world’s finest linens. But what sets it apart from the rest of the cotton from other parts of the world. Let’s take a look at the difference.
What is Egyptian Cotton?
Cotton grown in Egypt is some of the best in the world for many good reasons. The climate for one plays a huge role and also the farming practices are more traditional, preserving the integrity of the fiber. Let’s take a look at the key characteristics of Egyptian Cotton to help you pick the right sheets.
Egyptian cotton has a much longer fiber than cotton from other parts of the world and its use results in the production of much finer threads and yarns.
It also happens to be much stronger than cotton fibers from elsewhere in the world making the fabrics made from Egyptian cotton much stronger and durable to wear over time.
Egyptian cotton is mainly handpicked. The use of mechanical pickers destroys the dexterity of cotton fibers, whereas handpicking does not damage the fiber at all. The result is fabric and textile of the finest quality.
Because of its absorbing quality, Egyptian cotton takes dyes much more efficiently and the colors are more resilient.
It is also luxuriantly soft, no other kinds of cotton can compare with Egyptian cotton.
1000 Thread Count Egyptian Cotton Sheets
The Thread Spreads Egyptian Sheet set is 100% true 1000 thread count linen.
This set includes a fitted sheet, a loose sheet and two pillowcases, all for a king size mattress. (Other sizes also available)
It’s beautifully finished with a 4 inch hem with a vintage pattern from a 1920’s archive. The sateen weave linen is crisp and solid giving a smooth and plush feeling.
The sizes of the sheets are as follows, one 108 x 102 inch flat sheet, One 78 x 80 x 12 inch fitted sheet, and two 20 x 40 pillowcases. The elasticized fitted sheet will fit a mattress up to 16 inches in thickness.
The set is fairly expensive, but consider the fact that it is the highest thread count available and comes in a fantastic range of bold earthy colors. Exceptional quality!
Mayfair 800 Thread Count King Sized Sheets
This set of Egyptian cotton sheets from Mayfair Linen is a great buy, really good quality at a very fair price.
A thread count of 800 and the best quality Egyptian yarn is used to make these stunningly beautiful sheets. The sizes of the sheets in the set are as follows, a 102 x 108 inch flat Sheet, a 78 x 80 x 15 inch fitted Sheet, and 2, 20 x 40 pillowcases.
The fitted sheet has a 15 inch depth, making it ideal for thick mattresses.
Half the price of the first set but with an 800 thread count that is 5 star hotel quality.
King Size 600 Thread Count Sheets
A much more affordable option that still carries excellent quality is this set from SGI Bedding. A much lower thread count, yet great quality Egyptian cotton yarn makes this our choice for a less pricey set.
The sheets in the set have the following dimensions, standard King Measurement: one Fitted Sheet King: 78 x 80″, one Flat sheet: 102 x 108″ and two King Pillowcases: 20 x 40″. (Other sizes also available)
The fitted sheet in this set has been elasticized throughout with a unique blend of Egyptian yarns and elastic fiber.
Available in a beautiful range of colors and coming in below 50 dollars for the set, it’s a real steal.
Why It’s Important to Get 100% Egyptian Cotton
This video explains why it’s so important that the label says 100%. Very often, in cheaper brands, a mixture of cottons are used to keep the price low. Unfortunately you will notice the difference!
The very first option on our list is 100% Egyptian Cotton.
Thread Counts & What This Means Relative to a Piece of Fabric
Thread count is a given number of threads per square inch of fabric. A higher thread count from 600 to 1000 is the top notch stuff. These fabrics have a very tight and dense weave of very fine threads, making them superbly soft and plush. They are also very resilient and will still be plush after many years of use. These are top of the range fabrics that sell at a higher price for obvious reasons.
Lower thread counts of 200 to 400 are brilliant quality. A 200 thread count will be seen on most commercially available linen sets that are available in home stores and the supermarket. A 400 thread count is the type used in most hotel and accommodation establishments. Good quality that withstands daily washing between room services.
Benefits of Egyptian Cotton Linen
Basically, the much purer quality and increased lifespan of Egyptian cotton sets it apart from others that may only give you a season or two of service before they start wearing thin and getting tatty.
Egyptian cotton’s resilience and its color holding qualities keep it looking and feeling fresher for years.
They are less likely to start getting worn fluffed patches from use because of the longer undamaged fibers. Average cottons that were mechanically harvested tend to fray on a microscopic level, leaving you with sheets that get dulled after a season of use.
Care and Washing Instructions
The best way to care for your Egyptian sheets is to buy using mild detergents and cool to warm washes. Avoid hot water washes as far as possible, as this could destroy the dexterity of the fabric.
Also for white sheets that lose their brightness, don’t use full strength bleaches to brighten them. Bleach is fairly corrosive and even diluted can quickly weaken your sheets. Rather use a washing detergent that has a white brightening agent in it.
The best way to dry an Egyptian sheet is to hang dry outside on a washing line. However in the wet season, this is not always possible, so a tumble dry on a light warm setting is advisable. Avoid a hot air setting as this could dry out the fibers to the extent that they become brittle and eventually start tearing or fraying.
The care of these particular kinds of high quality sheets is no different to that of standard ones. Here’s a great video explaining care and washing instructions.