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Choosing and Caring for Quality Bedding
If you're shopping for bed linen, make sure you check the label (or the product description if you're shopping online) to find out what fabric it is made from and that it has a high thread count.
Thread count is the standard measure used when assessing the quality of bed linen. The thread count represents the number of threads (horizontal and vertical) contained in one square inch of the fabric. Thread counts for bed linen can range from as low as 80 for a basic fabric to as high as 400 for Egyptian cotton. Choose a fabric with a thread count of at least 100 and, if you're aiming for a high quality feel, aim for one with a thread count of 200 or more.
When reading the product descriptions of different bed linen sets, you are likely to come across the term "percale". Percale is a type of fabric with a high thread count and a specific type of weave, and can be made from a number of different materials. For example, you can buy 100% cotton percale or a percale fabric that consists of a blend of cotton and polyester. Percale usually has a thread count of more than 180, and is the perfect choice for bedding as it is smooth, lightweight and, if cared for properly, long-lasting.
Other terms that you might come across in the product descriptions for luxury bedding sets relate to the type and style of fabric, rather than the quality. Jacquard, for example, refers to a method of weaving in which a pattern is woven into the fabric rather than being printed on to it.
Caring for luxury bedding
Rotate Your Bedding Sets
It's a good idea to buy several sets of bedding and rotate them (so that you have one set in use, one set in the wash, and one set in the airing cupboard, for example). This will help to ensure that your bedding lasts as long as possible.
Remember that pillowcases and sheets are likely to wear out more quickly than duvet covers or accessories, so it's a good idea to buy additional sheets and pillowcases when you buy your luxury bedding set.
The most important factor to bear in mind when washing luxury bedding is the temperature of the water - use lukewarm water rather than hot water. Don't use too much detergent and try to use a mild one if possible. Never pour detergent directly onto the fabric and don't use bleach on your bed linen as this can make it turn yellow.
If possible, dry your bedding naturally rather than tumble drying it. If you need to dry it in a tumble-dryer, set it at a low temperature and make sure that you don't over-dry it. Remove the bedding from the dryer as soon as it is dry, as leaving it in the dryer to cool can cause wrinkles to appear in it. If you do need to leave it in the dryer to cool, however, you can remove the wrinkles by putting a damp cloth into the dryer with the bedding and drying it for another five to ten minutes.
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