Bedding Glossary

A

Allergen
A substance that causes an allergy e.g. house dust, dust mite droppings or the dust produced when feather quills become crushed.

Allergy
Sometimes the body reacts adversely to certain substances e.g. house dust, dust mite droppings or down and feathers. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include wheezing, a runny nose, watering eyes, sneezing, itchy skin, or in severe cases, an asthma attack.

Anti-allergy
Anti-allergy labels are given to bedding products such as the anti allergy mattress protector and the anti allergy pillow protector, both of which provide an impenetrable barrier between the sleeper and the dust mites and other allergens. All the anti-allergy bedding, along with other products such as the Spundown duvet may be washed at 60°C, the temperature of which kills dust mites. These products help alleviate the symptoms of sufferers of Asthma, Eczema, Rhinitis and other bedding allergies and help provide a healthier way to sleep.

Absorbency
Absorbency is the ability of a fabric to take in moisture. Absorbency is important in that it affects many other characteristics including fabric shrinkage, stain removal, water repellency and wrinkle recovery; together with the fabrics ability to affect skin comfort and reduce static build-up. Absorbency is an important factor in categorizing cotton bedding, quilted cotton duvets, cotton duvet covers, mattress protectors such as the 100% cotton mattress protectors and pillow protectors as well as other luxury bedding. The high absorbency rates wick moisture away from the body to these fine linens. Absorbency is also an important factor in fine wools, with wool naturally wicking moisture from the body to keep the temperature of the sleeper cool and balanced. Wools such as Merino wool, pure Cashmere, Cashmere and Merino wool blends or silk and Merino wool blends are examples. The best blankets include Merino wool bed blankets, pure cashmere bed blankets, cashmere and merino wool blended bed blankets and silk and Merino wool blended bed blankets. Excellent wool quality is also of key importance for wool products such as luxury throw Blankets such as Superfine Australian Merino wool luxury throws, Pure Cashmere luxury throw, Cashmere and Superfine Merino wool blended luxury throw and silk and Merino wool blended luxury throws.

Acrylic

Acrylic is a manufactured fibre that is derived from polyacrylonitrile. Key properties of Acrylic include a soft, wool-like handle, easy to machine wash and tumble dry and outstanding color retention. Acrylic can add excellent warmth and is often used alone or in blends for the production of bed blankets, throws or throw blankets.

Alpaca
Alpaca is a natural hair fiber obtained from the Alpaca sheep, which is a domesticated member of the Llama family. It is either used alone, to produce Alpaca throws or bed blankets, or blended with other natural fibres such as Superfine wool, Mongolian Cashmere or silk. As Alpaca fibres are not as fine as Cashmere fibres, once blended the fibre produced becomes a cheaper alternative to Merino Wools, producing far less superior blankets or throws.

Angora
Angora or Wool Angora is the hair of the Angora goat, otherwise known as Angora mohair. These wool goat fibers are used to produce bed blankets and throws, which add an unusual 3-dimensional fluffy ‘look’ to your bed. However, these blankets and throws provide neither the warmth nor the durability of other blankets such of Superfine Merino Wool, Mongolian Cashmere or Silk Blends, which are considered of superior quality to Angora bed blankets.

Applique
A surface decoration, sewn or embroidered, or otherwise attached to the fabric.

B

Back-Coating
Fabric treated with sizing only on the back to give added weight, strength and opacity.

Back Support Pillow
The back support pillow is a v-shaped pillow designed to provide extra support when sitting up in bed, particularly when reading. Alternatively, this pillow may be placed around the waist to support your baby when breastfeeding.

Baffles
While simple ‘quilts’ are made by sewing a filler between two layers of fabric, down duvets are sometimes made with long channels or a sewn-through box design which, like box-construction, helps keep feather and down in place for an even distribution. The difference between the two styles of box design i.e. baffles and box construction, is that baffles have strips of fabric actually sewn between the layers of fabric.

Ball Fibre
Down-like clusters of polyester fibre used to fill high quality pillows, such as the Spundown pillow. Ball fibre is able to move freely to the shape of your head and neck, and allows the pillow to be easily re-plumped either after use or even after washing.

Batiste
What is Batiste Fabric? It is a medium-weight, plain-weave fabric that is typically made from pure cotton or a cotton blend. Batiste fabrics are only occasionally found in bedding and Home Furnishings. Egyptian cotton is considered a superior fabric for fine linens.

Batik
Batik is a wax-resist dyeing technique used on textiles where areas are opaqued with wax before the fabric is dyed. For two or more colors each preceding wax layer is removed and reapplied in a different patterned layer. A crinkled pattern is achieved by crumpling the fabric and cracking the wax. Primitive or ethnic batik patterns from Indonesia and Africa are reproduced by mechanical silk screen or roller printing on contemporary fabrics.

Batt
Many standard pillows contain a roll of polyester fleece as their filling called a batt. These may become damaged and flattened over time and misshapen when washed. We recommend ball fibre pillows or clusterfibre pillows rather than batt pillows.

Bed Skirt or Bed Valance
A bed skirt or bed valance is a decorative bed accessory often used with a duvet or with bedding collections to complete the ‘look’. A bed skirt / bed valance, or dust ruffle, covers your box spring and bed frame and hangs touching the floor or nearly touching the floor. 

Blanket Stitch

 The blanket stitch is a stitch which forms a line of loops along the blanket edge and used to reinforce the edge of thick materials such as finishing an un-hemmed blanket. The stitch can be seen on both sides of the blanket.

Bleaching
Necessary process to remove the natural and artificial impurities in fabrics to obtain clear whites for even dyeing and printing.

Blend
What is Blend or Fabric Blend? This refers to when a yarn or a fabric is made up of more than one fibre, rather than 100% content of a single type of fibre. In blended yarns, two or more different types of fibers are twisted or spun together in order to form the yarn. Examples of blended bedding items include 50% cotton 50% polyester sheets which are very popular for those with busy modern homes as they dry quickly once washed and require little or no ironing. Generally, however, the sheets and bed linen considered the highest quality are those comprising pure fibres of one type, rather than a blend. For example, the most superior bedding is made of Egyptian Cotton or pure linen, due to it's breathability. Blends are common and well-used in bedding items such as bed blankets and throws, with the blended fibres improving drape and handle, as well as providing superior softness and warmth. Excellent blanket and throw blends include Italian superfine Merino wool and Italian Cashmere and superfine Merino wool and silk. The addition of Cashmere to Australian Merino Wool provides an even more supreme warmth level, surface softness and drape. The addition of Silk to Australian Merino Wool provides increased smoothness, warmth, drape and softness. Camel hair, angora and mohair may also be used as blends in bed blankets and throws.

Boucle
What is Boucle Wool? This is a woven or knit fabric comprising curly, knotted boucle wool yarn, causing the surface to appear highly textured. Though the appearance is rougher than that of traditional bed blankets or throws, the level of softness can be highly variable depending upon the grade or type of wool fibre used. Use of fine wools or superfine wools produces an extremely soft product such as high-end bedding blankets and throws.

Bound Edge
The edge of a duvet finished using biased binding. This creates a much neater edge than, say an overlocked stictching edge which is prone to unraveling and may come undone over time. All the duvets we offer have bound edges.

Bourdon Stitching
A close, narrow row of decorative raised stitching such as a monogram, finished edge or accent.

Box Construction
Duvets with a box construction have been specially sewn with even-sized squares all over. These boxes keep the clusters of down perfectly distributed and prevent it from shifting so there won't be any "cold spots" in your down duvet.

Box Edge Pillow
A box edge pillow is a versatile pillow, the construction of which helps the pillow to stand upright when used on bedding.

Broadcloth
Broadcloth fabric is a tightly-woven fabric of plain-weave that is characterized by a slight ridge effect in one direction. The most common broadcloth is made from pure cotton or cotton and polyester blends. Broadcloth is not found in high-end luxury linens such as sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers or duvet casings, as it is not as smooth as pure or Egyptian cottons.

Brocade
Brocade fabric is a heavy, exquisite jacquard fabric which boasts an all-over raised pattern or floral design often with a satin background weave. Due to its heavier weight, brocade is not used for luxury bedding or fine linen items such as sheets, duvets or pillowcases. Instead, brocade is found more in bedspreads, throw pillows and other Home Furnishings such as furniture upholstery and curtain fabrics.

Brushing
Brushing is a mechanical fabric finishing process that raises the nap of the fabric, sort of like combing, giving it a softer feel. Flannel is a brushed fabric.

C

Cable Knitting
Cable knitting is a style of knitting in which the order of the stitches is changed. Forexample, should there be four stitches on the needle in the order ABCD, the first tow may be crossed in front of the next two, forming the order CDAB, Cable knitting is usually less flexible and more dense than typical knitting, having a much more narrow gauge. Cable knitting creates a visually intriguing knitted effect as may be seen in our beautiful cable knit throws and cable knit cushions, availble in cream or charcoal grey.

Calendering
Calendering or the Calender process is a process of finishing fabrics such as Egyptian Cotton or other luxury Cottons during which special effects, such as high luster, glazing, embossing, or moiré are produced. The calendering process is essential in the manufacture of high-end luxury linens and bedding of Egyptian cotton sheets, pillowcases, duvet casings, duvet covers, and bed valances. Fabric used for the exterior of fine bed linens includes bedspreads that have enhanced luster and sheen through this process. Calendering of fabrics for sheets etc is not limited to single-fibre bedding made only of pure cotton as this process also has great benefit for fibre blended luxury bedding including Egyptian cotton and silk blends or other cotton blends. Wools also benefit greatly from the calendaring process, producing a glossy surface, for example luxury bed blankets produced from pure Australian Merino wools, pure Mongolian Cashmere and pure silk bed blankets or blends such as Merino Wool and Cashmere. Beautiful effects are created when used for luxury bed linens, as calendering produces a beautiful sheen or gloss that greatly enhances sateen or jacquard patterns.

Calico
Calico Fabric is a tightly-woven fabric made of cotton with an all-over print that is typically a small floral on a contrasting coloured background. As far as bedding is concerned, one of the most common uses includes decorative quilts though other uses include sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases and bedspreads.

Cambric
A fine plain closely-woven cotton fabric, often treated to give it a slight gloss on one side, used as a down-proof casing for duvets and pillows.

Camel Hair, Camel's Hair
Camel Hair, Camelhair or Camel's Hair is a natural fibre obtained from the hair of the Bactrian camel, a 2-humped species. Camel Hair is extremely warm and can be woven into supremely soft luxury bedding such as Camel hair bed blankets, throws or used as a duvet filling.

Carding
Carding is a crucial process during which fibres that are too short for inclusion in the spun yarn are eliminated by separating and laying the fibres parallel to one another. Dirt and foreign matter that may be residing in the fibre mass are removed with the carding process and fibres are arranged into a very thin layer. Use of carding is therefore essential for the manufacture of high quality bed sheets and linens, bed valance, duvet covers, pillowcases, bedspreads, bed blankets and throws. Lack of good carding results in the unwanted inclusion of short or inferior fibers in cotton bedding or trapped in the fabric of wools used for bed blankets and throws.

Cassette or Box Construction
Rectangular stitched pockets to keep the filling in the natural duvet evenly spread when in use, meaning there are no cold spots.

Cashmere
Cashmere wool is the very highest quality and world's most expensive luxury fibre. These fibres are obtained from the soft fleecy undergrowth of the Kashmir goats that roam the mountains of Tibet, Mongolia, China, Iran, Iraq and India. There are different grades, varieties, and ply of Cashmere, the best being from Mongolian goats, where the goats roam at 15,000 feet and above, though this does not necessarily mean the bed blankets and throws made from this Cashmere are the finest available. Weaving method, ply, gram weight and the mill of production are additional crucial factors and can cause extreme variations in the level of quality. Amongst the finest Mongolian Cashmere bed blankets and blended Cashmere blankets, such as Cashmere and Merino wool, are generally those made in Italy, though it is important to note that locale alone is not a sole indication of quality.

Chambray
Lightweight cotton or blend fabric in plain, balanced weave. Yarns are slightly slubbed in both directions. Warp is usually white with a solid coloured weft, eg soft blue chambray duvet cover.

Chenille
A fuzzy cotton yarn or fabric that has pile protruding around it. Chenille is the French word for caterpillar.

Chintz
Chintz fabric is a plain-weave fabric that has been glazed, by passing the fabric between heated rollers under pressure so as to produce a polished appearance. This glazed cotton is often printed with figures and large flower designs and is used widely as an upholstery fabric.

Colourfastness
'Colourfastness' or 'Colourfast' describes the ability of a dyed fabric to resist fading from washing or laundering, sunlight exposure or other environmental conditions. The best bedding is yarn-dyed prior to weaving, with the finest sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, bed throws and blankets, fabric for bedspreads and quilts being produced from such fibers. Vat-dyed items are dyed after the weaving or looming process, tend to be far stiffer with reduced drape, sheen and luster and generally do not launder as well. The colourfastness of yarn-dyed fibres, versus vat-dyed fibres, are typically far superior. Cotton fibres are generally most colorfast due to natural absorption, particularly when yarn-dyed prior to construction.

Combing
‘Combing’ is a process that is one additional step beyond the carding process. Fibres are strenuously arranged in parallel form with any additional short fibers being removed so as to produce an end product with the smoothest, very highest quality yarns of supreme strength, length, and fineness. Combing is a process of particular importance in ensuring the finest quality of bedding comprised of pure Egyptian Cotton, wools, Merino wools, Mongolian Cashmere, Angora , Camel hair or pure silk. This is an additional step necessary in creation of the world's finest sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, bed blankets, throws, fabric for bedspreads and quilts.

Cotton
Cotton is a natural fibre which grows in the seed pod of the cotton plant. Fibres can range quite dramatically in length, most often ranging between 0.5 and 2 inches. The very longest fibres are most prized, and used in the creation of the finest bedding and fine linens. Ultra-long fibres produce unparalleled silkiness, sheen, softness, high luster and fantastic drape, characteristics that are absolutely impossible to obtain through use of shorter fibers. Shorter fibres create a rougher surface, reduced gloss and sheen and stiffer drape. Fibres longer than 1.5 inches are crucial in producing the highest quality pure cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets, duvet covers, cotton waffle blankets, soft pure cotton mattress protectors and other cotton duvet covers. High-quality Egyptian cotton is the most expensive cotton fibre, and used in the finest bedding, particularly in fine linens from the most superior weaving regions such as Italy.

Cotton Rich
A word of caution regarding bedding labels: if the package says "cotton rich" and the actual amount of cotton, whether Egyptian or other cotton, is not stated and can be a very small amount. It is better to select products that state 100% cotton or, if choosing a blend fabric, that clearly state the exact proportion of cotton in the bedding. This will ensure your product composition is one that you will be pleased with.

Combination duvet
Sometimes called a Four Season's duvet, this term was coined to describe two duvets of different togs (usually 4.5 Tog and 9 Tog) that can be used separately or buttoned together depending on the season. In the coolest months both duvets are used, in spring and autumn the higher tog and in summer the lower tog duvet; thus providing comfort whatever the temperature.

Comforter
The American name for a duvet.

Crepe
A lightweight fabric with a surface that is more or less crinkled according to the method used. Crepes are made in every variety of fibres.

D

Damask
Damask fabric is a very soft woven cotton fabric made on a jacquard loom that has an alternating satin and mat texture. Patterns may be either flat and one-sided, or entirely reversible. Damask is an elegant fabric, with Egyptian Cotton Damasks being amongst the most stunning and creating some of the most exquisite fine bed linens and home bedding. Damask fabrics can be found in pure cotton or Egyptian cotton or sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers as well as other home furnishings including furniture upholstery.

Denier
Denier is a unit of measurement used to refer to the linear density of a single, continuous filament fibre. Denier measurement refers to all manufactured textile fibres such as pure cotton, Egyptian cotton or silk. Finer fibers are reflected in a lower number, while the heaviest numbers denote the heaviest fibres. One denier is equivalent to the weight in grams of 9,000 metres of continuous filament fibre. It refers to measurement of fabric used to construct sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, Cashmere wool blankets, Cashmere wool throws, silk blankets, silk throws, fabric for bedspreads and bed valances. Common fabric compositions include bedding or fine linens made of Egyptian cotton, silk or cotton blends.

Dobby Weave
Dobby weave fabric is a stunning, decorative fabric woven on a dobby loom which is characterized by a dot or geometric design woven into the fabric structure. Dobby weaves can consist of any weight or compactness, with yarns ranging from extremely fine to those that are much coarser. The finest dobby fabrics are usually flat, extremely fine or sheer. Heavier dobby fabrics are available for home furnishings or accessories, most often found for furniture exteriors. The finest dobby weave fabrics for luxury bedding include pure cotton or Egyptian cotton sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, bed valances, bedskirts or curtains.

Dotted Swiss
Dotted Swiss fabric is a lightweight, pure cotton or cotton blend fabric which possesses a small dotted pattern that is either woven into or printed on the fabric surface. The finest Dotted Swiss patterns are woven rather than printed, often found in European fine linens or bedding such as those made in Italy, Germany or Switzerland. These fabrics add an elegant, crisp and clean look to your Bedroom or are also available as Nursery bedding or luxury bed linen for babies, kids and toddlers.

Double
The size of bedding to fit a standard UK 4ft 6" bed.

Double Cloth
Double Cloth is a fabric construction in which two fabrics are actually woven on the loom concurrently, one on top of the other. For the weaving process, the two layers are held together through use of binder threads. The woven patterns of each fabric layer may be similar or entirely different from one another. Heavier duvet covers may use this type of construction for durability though it is particularly useful and stunning in production of luxury bedding or fine linens such as Merino wool blankets, Cashmere blankets, silk blankets, Camel Hair blankets, or wool bed blanket fabric blends or luxury blankets and throws where additional warmth is produced.

Double Knit
Double knit fabric is a weft knit fabric in which two layers of loops are formed that cannot be separated. A double knit machine, which has two complete sets of needles, is required for construction.

Double Weave
Double weave fabric is a woven fabric construction made by interlacing two or more sets of warp yarns with two or more sets of filling yarns. The most common double weave fabrics are made using a total of either four or five sets of yarns.

Down
Down is the light fluffy layer of fine feathers that adult geese, ducks and other waterfowl have next to their bodies, underneath their outer feathers. Baby birds are covered only in down. Down provides the birds with warmth and insulation and is especially important to birds that spend a vast amount of time in water in colder climates. It is, however, the air that is trapped between the soft round clusters of down, and not the material itself, which keeps provides the insulation. The lightweight quality of down and its ability to trap large pockets of air, make down very popular as a filling for duvets, pillows, sleeping bags and jackets. Being naturally breathable and extremely lightweight also means a summer weight of down duvet, ie a 3 or 4 tog down duvet, will keep you lovely and cool in warm weather.

Down bedding and pillows can be fluffed and re-fluffed to maintain comfort and stay cool while sleeping. There are, however, different qualities of down. Large clusters provide superior insulation, ‘breathe’ better and last much longer than smaller, fragile down clusters. The ‘loft’ of the filling, which is also dependent upon the size of the down clusters, will also determine the physical size of the duvet. When shopping for down products, check the manufacturers fill rating, which rates the fill power of the product. The fill power relates to the expansion qualities of the type of down used, for example the down from a large goose, when fluffed, will loft and expand to fill a larger space than that from a duck. The higher the fill power: the larger and fluffier the clusters of down. Comparing the fill power of the various natural duvets is a good indication of the quality of the filling in terms of its loftiness. Our down filled bedding includes the premium goose down duvet, down pillows, the extremely luxurious Platinum European goose down duvet.

Drawn thread work
Drawn thread work is a form of counted-thread embroidery based on removing threads from the warp and/or the weft of a piece of even-weave fabric. The remaining threads are grouped or bundled together into a variety of patterns. The more elaborate styles of drawn thread work use a variety of other stitches and techniques, but the drawn thread parts are their most distinctive element. Drawn thread work is often used to decorate the trims of luxury bed linens, such as used to embellish drawn thread work linen bedding.

Durability
Durability is the ability of a fabric to resist wear while maintaining its good looks and integrity even through continuous or frequent use and laundering. Durability is crucial in the creation of the finest luxury linens including Egyptian cotton sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers, bed valances, bedskirts, quilts and bedspreads. Durability is also extremely crucial for those bedding items which are frequently pulled or tugged such as bed blankets. The best fabrics, most tightly-woven and made from the finest fibres are the most durable. Examples include bed blankets and throws such as Merino wool blankets, Mongolian Cashmere blankets, silk Blankets, Camel Hair blankets. The finest bed linens are designed to last years, or even generations, and durability is essential. Durability is increased when only the finest fibres and materials are used in the looming process for sheets or blankets, and it is extremely important that inadequate or cheaper fibres are disposed of and not included in the manufacturing process.

Dustmite
Dust mites are tiny creatures, so small in fact (0.3mm) that you need a magnifying glass to see them. They feed on dead skin, much of which is found in house dust. Found in even the cleanest of homes, they tend to live in bedding such as your duvet, pillows and mattress. Their droppings may cause allergies. Washing at 60oC kills dustmites and their eggs. We offer an anti allergy duvet and anti allergy mattress protector and pillow protectors which are specifically designed to wash well at this temperature. 

Duvet
A duvet is a large flat bag usually of good quality, high-thread-count cotton, filled with a highly insulating material, such as feathers, down, silk, wool, or polyester, but eiderdown was the original filling. The duvet is designed to go onto a bed, replacing layers of blankets and quilts. Except in extremely cold regions, a single duvet is usually warm enough for sleepers, making it much easier to make a bed, and making a bed more comfortable to sleep in. Duvets probably originated in Northern Europe, although they have since spread to the rest of the world.

The roots of the word can be found in the Old Norse: dunn, for “down.” The word was picked up by the French, and slowly turned into “duvet” over several centuries of linguistic evolution. Since a duvet is traditionally filled with down, the name is simple, but descriptive. In some countries, a duvet may be confused with a comforter. Several things distinguish a duvet from a comforter. To begin with, a duvet is designed to be used with a cover. Down is very difficult to clean, and it is easier to simply cover a duvet in a washable cover which can be cleaned periodically. A duvet is also flatter than a comforter (which tends to be having quite a puffy appearance) as eiderdown, the traditional filling which has wonderful insulator, does not need to be used in large amounts. Finally, a duvet is a standalone piece of bedding, meant to be used with sheets only, and no other blankets.

A comforter, on the other hand, often has no detachable cover. The entire piece of bedding can be washed, and is often meant to be decorative as well as functional. The use of washable insulators in comforters makes them less efficient than duvets, resulting in the need for more insulating filling, creating a puffy appearance. Comforters are also usually used with blankets and multiple layers.

Duvet Cover
A duvet cover is what you put a duvet inside to protect it and help protect the duvet. Some duvets need to be professionally laundered, so keeping your more expensive luxury down or silk duvets inside a duvet cover will be a smart investment. Beautifully styled duvet covers are available using embroidered, printed fabrics or any manner of design treatments, making it possible to freshen up the look of your bedroom with an attractive duvet cover with coordinating bed sheets, linens and pillowcases.

E

Easy Care Fabric
High quality 50% polyester, 50% cotton blended fabric is known as an ‘easy-care’ fabric as it is smooth, durable, launders easily and requires little or no ironing. Easy care bedding includes sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases such as the Punch easy care bed linen. Beware poor quality easy care non-percale bed linen as it will soon 'pill' (form little balls from loose fibres which remain attached to the sheet surface).

Easy Care Finish
The Easy-care finishing process uses resin to give fabric a smooth appearance. We do not recommend purchasing bed linens made of fabrics with an ‘easy-care’ finish because this finish will simply wash out. Make sure the bed linen is made of easy care 50% polyester, 50% cotton blended fabric.

Egyptian Cotton
Egyptian cotton is a fine, lustrous, long cotton fibre, regarded as the finest cotton in the world. Long staple cottons, grown in Egypt and valued for their softness, strength and texture are more expensive than commonly available cottons. 100% Egyptian cotton bed linen with a thread count of more than 180 feels more lustrous and softer than standard cotton. Egyptian cotton is also is known for its high absorbency and so valued in towels. We recommend the 220 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and pillowcases from the Bedding Basics Linen Select bed linen range.

Elasticity
Elasticity is the ability of a fibre or bedding fabric to return to its original length, shape or size immediately following removal of the stressor. Well-made luxury bed linens, whether made from pure cotton, Egyptian cotton or other natural fibres such as pure silk, will retain natural elasticity that allows the cotton or silk fibers to essentially “rebound” from the stress without breaking or tearing.

Embossing
Embossing is a type of calendaring in which fabrics are engraved through pressure using engraved heated rollers, under pressure, to produce a raised design or relief patterns on the fabric. Luxury linen use includes sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers and bed valances.

Embroidery
Embroidery is the embellishment of a fabric or garment in which coulored threads are sewn on to the fabric to create a design. Embroidery may be done either by hand or machine. Fine linens that may be embroidered include luxury linens made of silk, Egyptian cotton or cotton blends, creating embroidered sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, bedskirts and quilts, bedspreads, Merino wool bed blankets, Cashmere blankets, silk blankets, Camel Hair blankets, wool bed blanket fabric blends and luxury throws.

F

Face
The ‘face’ of the fabric is the intended correct side, or best-looking side of the fabric. This applies to all fabrics and is especially pertinent to luxury bed linens such as Egyptian cotton sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases. For extremely high-end sheets and bed linens, the face holds less importance with fine jacquard weaves, as both sides of the fabric are virtually identical. In terms of luxury bed blankets and throws made of natural fibres such as wool, Cashmere or silk, both sides of the fabric are the same in terms of good looks and face is therefore less relevant.

Fagotted
A decorative trim created by pulling out horizontal threads from a fabric and gathering the remaining cross threads into an hourglass shape.

Faille
Faille fabric is a glossy, soft, slightly ribbed silk-like woven fabric made from Egyptian cotton, silk or manufactured fibres such as rayon.

Faux
French word for imitation.

Feather
Feathers are the principal covering of birds, have a flat construction and are two dimensional. Feathers have a hard quill shaft running down their centres with a series of fine strands joining them together into flat structures. Feathers provide extra weight when used to fill quality duvets such as the duck feather and down duvet or the goose feather and down duvet. They are, however, better used to provide structure and support for pillows such as goose feather and down pillows and mattress toppers, such as the duck feather and down mattress topper.

Fibre
Fibre is a class of materials that are continuous filaments or are in discrete elongated pieces, similar to lengths of thread that can be either natural or manufactured. Fibres are twisted into yarns to be used in the production of a fabric. The most superior fibres for luxury bed linens include pure cotton, Egyptian cotton or silk for sheets, duvet casings, duvet covers, pillowcases, bedskirts, bed valances and quilts. Silk provides a naturally hypoallergenic natural filling for silk duvets, whilst also being one of the most luxurious natural fibres for bedding blankets, along with include pure Superfine Merino wool, new wool, Cashmere wool and Cashmere and wool blends. For durability, natural fibres such as Egyptian cotton, silk and pure cotton are combined with resilient manufactured fibres such as polyester in order to increase durability. Common examples of natural cotton fibres combined with manufactured fibres like polyester include the production of luxury duvets, bedspreads, luxury throws and faux fur bed throws.

Filament
A filament is a manufactured, continuous fibre of indefinite length that is extruded from the spinneret during the fibre production process.

Filling
The filling is the natural or synthetic material used to provide the contents of a duvet, pillow, mattress topper, mattress protector or pillow protector. The most superior fibres for luxury bedding include feather and down (as used in feather mattress toppers, down pillows and down duvets), pure cotton (such as the pure cotton duvet) or silk (as used for the filling of the silk duvet).

For those who suffer with allergies or simply prefer easy-care down-like polyester fibre bedding, then the most luxurious filling has to be 'microfibre', the very latest in soft down-like fibre fillings. In terms of softness and lightness microfibre is far superior to its predecessors: 'hollowfibre' (hollowfibre duvet - perfect for those who prefer a more 'tucked-in' feeling in bed) and 'ball fibre' (used to fill the Spundown ball fibre pillow - ideal if you prefer your pillows to offer a greateer degree of support).

Finished Fabric
Finished fabric refers to fabric that has completed all of the necessary finishing processes including carding and combing, and is ready to be used in the manufacturing of sheets, duvet covers, duvet casings, pillowcases, and other fine bed linens. Finished fabric for the finest luxury bedding includes pure Egyptian cotton sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases, manufactured in Italy, which are often pre-laundered in an additional step, to minimize any possible shrinkage prior to cutting and construction. The term finished fabric also applies to wools such as superfine Australian Merino Wool, pure Cashmere, Cashmere and superfine Merino wool blends or silk and Merino wool blends that are finished prior to construction. As far as these finished fabrics are concerned, they are then cut and sewn into Superfine Australian Merino wool bed blankets, pure Cashmere bed blankets, Cashmere and superfine Merino wool blended bed blankets, silk and Merino wool blended bed blankets, superfine Australian Merino wool luxury blankets or throws, pure Cashmere luxury blankets or throws, Cashmere and superfine Merino wool blended luxury blankets or throws, or silk and Merino wool blended luxury blankets or throws.

Fitted Sheet
A fitted sheet is used to tightly fit over your mattress. Fitted sheets usually have the corners with some elastic sewn around the edges. The cheaper versions will feature elastic on only 2 sides, while better quality fitted sheets will have elastic all the way around the bed to help keep that sheet on the mattress.

Flame Resistant
Flame resistant or flame resistance is a term used to describe a fabric that burns slowly or has the ability to self-extinguish upon absence or removal of external flame. Natural fibres such as wools, silks or wool or silk blends are naturally very flame-resistant. Examples of some of the highest flame-resistant bedding include superfine Merino wool bed blankets, Mongolian pure Cashmere bed blankets; together with Cashmere and superfine Merino wool blended bed blankets, silk and Merino wool blended bed blankets, superfine Merino wool luxury blankets or throws, Mongolian pure Cashmere luxury blankets or throws, Mongolian Cashmere and superfine Merino wool blended luxury throws or throw blankets, or silk and Merino wool blended blankets and throws.

Flame Retardant
Flame retardant or flame retardance is a chemical applied to a fabric, or incorporated into the fibre during fabric production, which significantly reduces a fabric's flammability factor. Luxury wool bedding, such as luxury wool bed blankets and throws, does not require additional chemical application as wool is naturally flame-resistant by nature. However, all UK pillows must be flame-retardant by law and so the fabrics intended for use as pillow casings are flame-retarded prior to manufacture.

Flannel
Cotton or wool flannel fabric is a medium-weight, plain or twill weave fabric that is most highly-valued when made from pure cotton, Egyptian cotton, cotton blend or wool. Though flannel is often thought of as a less expensive fabric, superior quality European sheets are exquisite in nature with some of the softest surfaces available, particularly when made from fine Egyptian cotton. Flannel has an extremely soft feel and a wonderfully smooth drape. It is also brushed on both sides in order to lift the fibre ends from the base fabric to create an extremely soft, fuzzy surface that offers extremely high heat-retention from the natural cotton fabric. The heaviest ounce-weights such as 6-oz, are superior, offering the highest level of warmth. Luxury flannel bedding includes sheets, sheet sets, duvet covers and pillowcases.

Flannelette
Cotton or wool flannelette is a medium-weight, plain weave fabric that offers a soft handle. Flannelette is typically brushed only on one side, as opposed to both sides like flannel. It is also lighter in weight than flannel fabrics. Flannel bedding is generally superior to flannelette as it offers a far higher level of warmth in bedding.

Flat sheet
Flat sheets, or "top sheets" are placed over a fitted sheet and then tucked under the sides and bottom of the mattress.

Flax
The flax plant is the plant from which cellulosic linen fibre is obtained. Like hemp, linen fibre is hollow at the core and so provides good insulation value, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. Linen sheets and bedding are particularly superior in warm climates as linen has a naturally cool feel, is wonderful absorbent and dries particularly quickly (hence the popularity of linen clothing in summer).

Linen and hemp are versatile ancient fibres that have been in use for thousands of years, long before cotton became commercially available. To luxury bedding connoisseurs, fine bed linens have maintained their distinctly luxurious feel, full of texture and character. The occurrence of naps across the fabric is completely normal. They are not imperfections but rather the characteristic of a truly natural, strong, and superior linen fibre. 100% linen bed sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases and bed valances are still particularly common amongst luxury bedding collections as fine linens have long symbolized elegance and comfort due to their natural coolness and drying capabilities. Linen is, however, also blended with other natural fibres such as pure cotton or Egyptian cotton, to enhance softness and drape and used to produce bed sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases.

Four Seasons Duvet
The ‘Four Seasons duvet’, or ‘combination duvet’ is a term used to describe two duvets of different togs (usually 4.5 tog and 9 tog) that can be used independently or attached to one-another with either buttons or poppers, depending on the season. In summer the lower 4.5 tog is used, in spring and autumn this is replaced by the higher 9 tog and then in the coolest months it may be necessary to use both duvets together; thus providing comfort whatever the temperature.

G

Gabardine
Gabardine is a tough, tightly woven fabric commonly used to make suits, overcoats and other garments. The fibre used to make the fabric is traditionally worsted wool, but may also be produced from cotton, rayon, polyester or cotton blends. The fabric is smooth on one side and has a diagonally ribbed surface on the other. Gabardine is a form of twill weave. Gabardine is occasionally found in high-end Home Furnishings such as luxury blankets or bed throws.

Gauze
Gauze fabric is a very thin and sheer plain-weave fabric made from pure cotton, pure wool and pure silk, or manufactured fibres. Gauze is a fabric often used in the Home Furnishings such as bed or bedroom accessories including curtains, accessory throw pillows, and very occasionally into luxury bed linens such as duvet covers, sheets and pillowcases.

Gingham
Gingham cotton fabric is a plain weave fabric that is medium weight and consists of the appearance of a plaid or check pattern. Ginghams may vary in size, in terms of pattern. Considered a traditional classic, gingham fabrics are most often seen in bedding such as pure cotton or Egyptian cotton duvet covers, sheets, pillowcases, curtains or bedskirts and valances. Ageless and fresh, gingham has an endearing naivety that makes it ever popular. Our gingham bed linen range includes the delicious sounding Raspberry red gingham bedding, spring green gingham bedding, pale green gingham duvet cover setsNavy blue gingham bedding, pale blue gingham bedding, Classic pink gingham bedding, baby blue gingham duvet cover set and lilac gingham bedding.

Greige Goods
‘Greige goods’, or ‘grey goods’, refers to an unfinished fabric that has just been removed from a knitting machine, or from a loom. Greige goods have therefore not experienced any finishing process such as carding or combing, or any of the other necessary finishing processes involved in the production of luxury sheets, duvet covers, bed blankets, blankets or throws.

Gusset
Refers to mattress depth.

H

Heather
Heather or Heathered refers to a yarn that is spun using pre-dyed fibres, blended together to give a particular look, such as black and white blended together to create a grey or charcoal heathered yarn. The term, heather, may also be used to describe the fabric made from heathered yarns most often used in pure cotton flannel sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases. Heathered wool bedding includes bed blankets such as Mongolian Pure Cashmere blankets, Merino wool bed blankets, new wool bed blankets and pure wool blankets. Boucle wool blankets and throws can also be Heathered.

Hemstitch
Hemstitching is the most basic kind of drawn thread work often used to decorate the hems and borders of linens with an open weave pattern.

Herringbone
Herringbone weave fabric is a variation on the twill weave construction where the twill is reversed or broken, at regular intervals, in order to produce a zig-zag effect. In terms of fine linens, herringbone weaves are most found in bedding such as pure cotton flannel sheets, duvet covers or pillowcases, luxury throw blankets including Camel hair throws and wool throws, as well as in luxury bed blankets such as pure Cashmere bed blankets, pure wool blankets or new wool bed blankets.

Hollowfibre
Hollowfibre is a textile thread or filament which contains a hole running up the centre, trapping air more effectively than by a solid fibre and ultimately providing warmth when used as a filling in bedding. Similarly, the hollow fibre shape is harder to bend and so provides structure. Hollowfibre pillows are therefore offer a firmer feel and are ideal for those looking for a cost effective pillow which offers plenty of support. A hollowfibre duvet is a relatively heavy duvet which provides a "tucked-in" feeling.

Houndstooth Check
Houndstooth Check weave fabric is a variation on the twill weave construction in which a broken check effect is produced by a variation in the pattern of interlacing yarns, utilizing at least two different coloured yarns. Rarely used in bedding, it may be found in pure cotton flannel sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases, luxury throw blankets including Camel Hair throws and wool throws as well as pure Cashmere blankets, new wool blankets and pure wool blankets.

Hungarian goose down
The soft down clusters found on the breast of a Hungarian goose. Down is very good at trapping air and so keeps you warm. Down has no quill and so is wonderfully soft. Hungarian goose down clusters are larger and trap more air than down from standard geese. This makes the duvets lighter, warmer and more luxurious.

Hydrophilic Fibres
Hydrophilic fibres are those which absorb fluids more easily, take longer to dry and require more ironing. The finest luxury bed linens are made from pure cotton, pure Egyptian cotton, pure linen, cotton/linen blends and bamboo viscose, all of which are natural fibres that naturally wrinkle at a higher rate but provide far superior breathability than man-made fibres such as Polyester. Bed linen made from linen, cotton/linen blends and bamboo viscose dry the fastest.

Hydrophobic Fibres
Hydrophobic fibres are those which lack the ability to absorb fluids. Such fibres are not particularly used in the production of fine linens which tend to be made from natural fibres such as pure cotton, pure Egyptian cotton, pure linen, pure silk, cotton/linen or silk/cotton blends; all of which naturally absorb and wick moisture away from the body for breathability. Hydrophobic fibres are generally reserved for embellishments of home furnishings or accessories including those appearing on duvet covers, decorative pillows or cushions.

Hypoallergenic
Hypoallergenic is a term used to describe bedding that causes or is claimed to cause fewer allergic reactions, these include man-made polyester fibre fillings such as ‘hollowfibre’, ‘ball fibre’ and 'microfibre'. Such silky soft polyester fibre fillings are used in the So Soft, Cotton Embrace, Spundown and Perfect Balance bedding ranges. Natural hypoallergenic materials include silk and cotton, making the Mulberry silk duvet and the 3 tog quilted cotton duvet popular choices of duvets for allergy sufferers looking for a naturally breathable duvet which is also nonallergenic. The 100% cotton mattress protectors and the 100% cotton pillow protectors are also naturally hypoallergenic.

J

Jacquard
Jacquard fabrics are woven fabrics manufactured by using the Jacquard attachment on the loom. This attachment provides versatility in designs and permits individual control of each of the warp yarns. Thus, fabrics of almost any type or complexity can be made. Brocade and damask are types of Jacquard woven fabrics. Jacquard is often used in Egyptian cotton sheets and bed linens, including duvet covers, pillowcases and bedspreads. In fact, many of the casings and covers of the our filled bedding consist of a finely woven Lysoft® cotton jacquard fabric, such as the Perfect Balance bedding range, including microfibre duvet, microfibre pillows, mattress protectors and pillow protectors. Luxury bed blankets may also be bound in Jacquard fabrics as this allows for tugging, pulling and increased durability, while maintaining an ultra-soft texture and elegant look. However, such bindings on blankets are rare due to increased manufacturing cost and only include the most superior Italian Cashmere blankets.

Jacquard knit
Jacquard knit fabric is a weft double knit fabric in which a Jacquard type of mechanism is used. This device individually controls needles or small groups of needles, and allows very complex and highly patterned knits to be created. Most often used in Egyptian Cotton sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, bedspreads and throw blankets.

Jersey fabric
Jersey fabric is the consistent inter-looping of yarns in the jersey stitch to produce a fabric with a smooth, flat face, and a more textured, but uniform back. With bedding, Jersey is usually made of standard cotton though luxury bedding sheets and bed linens may be made from Egyptian cotton. The feel is smooth, naturally elastic in feel and fit, and feels cool to the touch when cotton or Egyptian cotton fibre is used.

Jersey stitch
Jersey, ‘felt’ or ‘stockinet’ stitich is a basic stitch used in weft knitting where each loop formed in the knit is identical.

Jute stitch
Jute fibre, primarily from India, is a baste fibre mainly for bags, cordage and binding threads in carpets and rugs. The roughness of the fibre means that jute is not typically used in most home furnishings or bedding and is instead reserved for bindings of floor coverings such as rugs.

K

Knit fabrics
Knit fabrics are made from only one set of yarns, all running in the same direction. Some knits have their yarns running along the length of the fabric, while others have their yarns running across the width of the fabric. Knit fabrics are held together by looping the yarns around each other. Knitting creates ridges in the resulting fabric. Wales are the ridges that run lengthwise in the fabric, while courses run crosswise.

Kingsize
Bedding designed for a 5ft/150cm wide UK bed. Kingsize pillows are perfect for super kingsize beds and are size 91 x 48cm.

L

Lambs wool, Lambswool
Lambs wool or lambswool is the first clip of wool sheared from lambs up to only 8 months old, so fine that the wool is very soft, slippery and resilient. Lambswool is used in luxury bedding fabrics either by itself, or blended with other fibres, for example, lambs' wool and Merino wool blends, or lambs' wool and Angora, lambs' wool and silk or lambs' wool and Cashmere. It is found only in the finest bed blankets such as superfine Merino wool bed blankets, Italian silk and superfine Merino wool bed blankets and Mongolian Cashmere and Merino wool bed blankets made in Italy. Lambs' wool provides a supremely soft surface, naturally sheds moisture and is highly fire-resistant, making lambswool a premiere choice for the production of fine wool bed blankets, and our lambswool throws.

Leno Weave
Leno weave or gauze weave is a construction of woven fabrics in which the resulting fabric is very sheer, yet durable. In this weave, two or more warp yarns are twisted around each other as they are interlaced with the filling yarns; thus securing a firm hold on the filling yarn and preventing them from slipping out of position. Air and light are permitted passage through the fabric, making it an excellent choice for curtains and other window treatments. The Leno weave is too sheer and not durable enough to be used in fine Linens such as sheets or bed linens.

Linen
Linen fabric is a fabric comprised of linen fibres obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant. Advantages of linen fabric include natural characteristics of staying cool, drying quickly and wicking away moisture such as perspiration. Linen is one of the oldest textile fibres in the world and to luxury bedding connoisseurs; fine linens have maintained their distinctly luxurious feel, full of texture and character. The natural occurrence of naps across the fabric, which is completely normal, are not considered to be imperfections but rather the characteristic of a truly natural, strong, and superior linen fibre. Though 100% linen sheets and bed linens have an inherently traditional, classic look it is also synonymous with modern styles of bedding such as stylish 'shabby chic bedding'. Linen is one of the most widely used luxury bedding fibres throughout much of Europe including Italy and France. Italian and French sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases are often made from pure linen, linen/cotton or linen and Egyptian cotton blends.

Whilst linen is far stronger and more lustrous than cotton, it tends to wrinkle quickly unless blended with other manufactured or natural staple fibres. For luxury bedding and fine linens such as sheets and bed linens, linen is commonly blended with cotton or even Egyptian cotton, in order to further increase softness, surface smoothness and drape. Even cotton and linen blends will wrinkle, though less than 100% pure linen sheets and linen bed linen. Egyptian cotton and linen blends can be extremely worthwhile, providing coolness and fast-drying capabilities while remaining soft to the touch.

Lining
Lining is a fabric that is used to cover the inside of home furnishings, specialty bedding items or furniture upholstery so as to provide a finished look. Generally, the lining is made of a smooth lustrous fabric and examples of lined home furnishings include curtains, bed valances, bedspreads or bedskirts. Most bedding items have two surfaces for use and are therefore unlined.

Lock-stitch
Lock stitch is a type of stitch consisting of two threads that are interlocked at short intervals. A lock-stitched terry does not pull easily.

Loft
Loft refers to the height of a duvet or pillow created by its filling. Though influenced by the type of filling, on a basic level a higher loft generally means there is more air trapped within the filling creating a warmer duvet. For example, the down from a large goose, when fluffed, will loft and expand to fill a larger space than that from a duck. In terms of luxury bedding a goose down duvet is therefore considered to be superior to a duck down duvet.

Loom
A loom is a machine or device for weaving thread or yarn into textiles, including but not limited to Egyptian cotton, pure cotton and pure silk. The loom is used to create fabric for sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases as well as the casings for filled bedding, such as the exteriors for goose down duvets and pillows. Looms are also used to weave pure wool, silk and wool blends, Cashmere and wool blankets, lambswool and Merino wool blankets, Cashmere blankets, wool blankets and curtains. Looms can range from very small hand-held frames, to large free-standing hand looms, to huge automatic mechanical devices. In practice, the basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. The precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same.

M

Matelassé
Matelasse Egyptian cotton or Matelasse cotton is a medium to heavy-weight luxury cotton fabric comprised of a double-cloth construction, which creates a blistered or beautifully quilted surface appearance that offers extremely soft texture. The puckered or quilted surface of Matelasse fabrics is too heavy to be made into fabrications for fine linens such as sheets or duvet covers and so production is limited to that of bed valances and bedspreads, bedskirts, decorative pillows or pillow shams. Those made in either Italy or Portugal, such as our white cotton bedspread, are amongst the finest luxury linens available. The most outstanding Matelasse fabrics are made of either pure Egyptian cotton or pure cotton, with quality varying drastically depending upon the manufacturer and production methods used. Well-made Matelasse bedding has a stunning textured surface, is extremely soft and supple to the touch and hangs well on the bed. Less expensive sets are widely available, and the difference in quality is highly apparent: with lesser Matelasse sets made of shorter cotton fibres or cotton blends made with inferior fibres, the surface will be rougher, the drape or hang becomes stiffer, the surface will have reduced sheen and the pattern itself will appear half-puckered or not fully formed.

Mattress Enhancer
A 'mattress enhancer' is a quilted mattress cover which helps lengthen the life of an older mattress or provide extra softness to a firmer mattress. Our Spundown mattress enhancer has a depth of 3cm, ie slightly deeper than the quilted mattress protectors (1cm) and not quite as deep as that of a mattress topper (5cm, or more). For those looking for a greater degree of warmth, comfort and support in bed, then a mattress topper may prove to be a more appropriate choice of mattress cover. That said, a mattress topper may be spot cleaned only whereas our mattress enhancer may be hot-washed in a domestic washing machine.

Mattress Topper
Mattress toppers are available in many materials, though many still prefer luxurious natural fillings such as feather, down or wool. Examples of these include the Duck feather and down mattress topper. For those sensitive to natural fillings, soft springy synthetic-filled toppers have become more sophisticated and hence much more popular, such as our Clusterfull mattress topper.

Mattress Protector
A mattress protector prolongs the life of your mattress, making sure it remains stain-free and in perfect condition, by protecting it from all manner of accidents and spills. A mattress protector not only protects your mattress but also takes good care of you by providing a barrier between you and the dust mites which live in your mattress. Furthermore, if you haven’t used a mattress protector up until now then you’ll find it certainly renews the look of a tired-looking mattress, as well as protecting you from any existing stains. Examples of mattress protectors include the Spundown mattress protector, Perfect Balance mattress protector, the 100% pure cotton mattress protector, the waterproof mattress protector or the luxury waterproof mattress protector.

Memory Foam
Memory foam is made from polyurethane with additional chemicals that increase its viscosity level, thereby increasing its density. It is often referred to as visco-elastic polyurethane foam. Depending on the chemicals used and its overall density, it is firmer in cool temperatures and softer when warm. Higher density memory foam reacts to body heat which allows it to mould itself to the shape of a warm body within a few minutes. Lower density memory foam is pressure-sensitive and will mould more quickly to the shape of the body. The example often used to demonstrate its’ properties is that of a hand pressed into the foam and then removed, leaving a clear impression in the foam.

Memory foam was originally developed by NASA to decrease the very high pressure caused by the extreme g-force occurring during the take-off of the space shuttle. It was never used in the space program but was subsequently used medically, for example by patients who used to lie in bed on hard or very firm mattresses for long periods of time without regularly moving, such as being bed-bound after a paralyzing stroke. The pressure over some of their bony regions decreased or stopped the blood flow to the region causing pressure sores and/or gangrene. Memory foam mattresses helped hugely to decrease such events.

Memory foam was initially too expensive for general use, but with further development in recent years it has subsequently become cheaper to produce and is now widely available. It’s most common domestic uses are for the production of memory foam mattresses, pillows, and mattress toppers. It is ideal as padding for persons suffering long-term pain or postural problems; for example, a memory foam contour pillow may alleviate chronic neck pain. Its unique shape was specifically designed to support the entire length of the neck, allowing muscles to relax. Those who suffer with neck pain also find that the added warmth (due to the heat-retaining properties of the memory foam) helps to decrease the pain.

A memory foam mattress is usually denser than an ordinary foam mattress, in the same way a memory foam mattress topper is denser (and therefore firmer) than other mattress toppers. This makes it more supportive – but also heavier. Though memory foam mattresses offer firm support, they are often considered a good compromise between the comfort of a soft mattress and the supportiveness of a firm one. However, memory foam mattresses are often more expensive than traditional mattresses. So those who already have an existing mattress, that remains in fairly good condition, generally find a memory foam mattress topper offers a more reasonably-priced alternative, when compared to the cost of a new memory foam mattress.

Mercerization
The Mercerization process is one of treating Egyptian cotton, or other pure cotton yarns or fabric. The cotton fabric or yarn is immersed in a caustic soda solution, followed by acid neutralization. The mercerization process causes a permanent swelling of the fibre, which immediately results in an increased luster of the cotton fabric surface, as well as an increased affinity or “take ” for applied dyes, and generally increased strength. This process is an additional step that increases cost of the production process however is absolutely essential in creation of the finest quality bed linens. Examples of mercerization in luxury bedding includes cotton or Egyptian cotton fabrics used for sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers, pillow shams, bed valances, bedskirts, bed blankets, Cashmere blankets, wool blankets and throws, curtains and Drapes, exteriors for goose down duvets, pillows and mattress toppers.

Merino lambs' wool, Merino wool
Merino Wool or Australian Merino wool is a type of wool that originates from pure-bred Merino sheep of Australia and is Superfine Merino wool is regarded as being the finest and softest wool of any sheet. Because of the world-renowned weaving methods of Italy, the Merino wool is often imported to Italy where it is woven either by itself or in combination with other wools. Superfine Merino wool makes the softest, silkiest fibres capable of creating spectacular bed throws and blankets. It is also naturally fire-resistant, extremely lightweight and yet provides incredible warmth. Merino Wool, or Superfine Merino Lambs' wool, Merino wool and Merino lambs' wool can be expertly combined with other natural fibres such as Mongolian Cashmere, or blended with pure silk to create phenomenally soft and sumptuous blankets and throws. Examples include Italian pure Merino wool bed Blankets, Italian silk and Merino wool bed blankets, Mongolian pure Cashmere and Merino wool bed blankets made in Italy, Italian Pure Merino throws and blankets, Italian silk and and blankets and Mongolian Pure Cashmere and Merino wool throws and blankets made in Italy. The fabric is durable, cleans well, dries quickly and easily maintains its softness and good appearance, even over time and use.

Modal
Modal is an advanced fibre blend made from natural raw materials, softer and more breathable than Egyptian cotton.

By blending Modal; with polyester fillings, such as microfibre as with our Breathable Microfibre duvet with Modal®, created with the ability to replicate the breathability of natural fillings such as feather and down, silk and cotton. It is the Modal's remarkable ability to absorb and disperse moisture that allows you to feel fresh and comfortable throughout the night.

Microfibre
Microfibre is the name shared by both the ultra-fine manufactured fibres and the technology used to create them. Fibres made using this technology weigh less than 1.0 denier. When made into fabrics, these extra-fine fibres provide a superior feel, soft drape and a virtually unmatched softness. Microfibres are less than 1 micron in diameter making them twice as fine as silk, three times finer than standard pure cotton and eight times finer than wool. Four types of microfibre are produced and include polyester, acrylic, nylon and rayon. Microfibre has a wide range of uses in home bedding as it can be blended and combined with cotton to create fabrics for sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases and bed covers. 

Polyester microfibre fillings are the very latest in down-like fibre fillings. Microfibre fillings are very warm, soft and light-weight, in fact they’re far softer and lighter than other polyester fibre fillings including, 'ball-fibre' and 'hollowfibre'. Microfibre duvets and microfibre pillows are therefore the closest in feel to down duvets and pillows, whilst being naturally hypoallergenic. When used as a pillow filling they provide medium support and are the best pillows for back sleepers. As with the microfibre fabrics, microfibre fillings are also easy to maintain, washing well and drying quickly, whilst maintaining their softness over time and use. We believe we offer the best microfibre duvets on the market.

Modacrylic Fibers
Modacrylic fibres are manufactured fibres with characteristics similar to acrylic. Modacrylics are soft, strong, resilient, and dimensionally stable. They can be easily dyed, show good press and shape retention, and are quick to dry. They have a higher resistance to chemicals and solvents than acrylic, are not attacked by moths or mildew, and are nonallergenic. The downside, however, is Modacrylics do require lower ironing temperatures than acrylic. Modacrylics are sometimes found in bed blankets and throw blankets.

Mohair
Mohair wool is the extremely soft and warm wool hair fibres from the long silky hair of the Angora goat. Mohair wool is either used in high-end luxury bedding by itself or in blends for bed blankets and luxury Mohair throws. Fluffy and light in texture and feel, Mohair is often blended with either lambs’ wool or Cashmere, with production of the finest items produced in countries such as Italy. Mohair is found in specialty luxury or blankets, such as Italian Mohair and Cashmere throws, or Mohair and Angora throw blankets.

Moiré
Moire is a corded fabric, usually made from silk or manufactured fibres. It possesses a distinctive water-marked, wavy pattern on the surface face. Seldom found in bedding or fine linens, however occasionally seen in unique duvet covers, pillow cases, pillow shams or decorative accessory throw cushions.

Moisture Regain
Moisture Regain is the amount of water that a completely dry fibre will absorb from the air, at a standard condition of 70 degrees F and with a relative humidity of 65%. Moisture Regain is conveyed as the percentage of the dry fibre physical weight.

Moisture Transport
‘Moisture transport’ is the movement of water from one side of the fabric to the other, which is caused by wicking, capillary action, chemical or electrostatic action. Moisture transport is often discussed in regard to luxury bedding made of pure cotton, Egyptian cotton, silk, linen and wools. Synthetic or manufactured fibres absorb less than one percent of moisture, meaning that moisture released by the body has to either pass through the blankets and sheets or condense on the skin as perspiration. Wools can absorb up to 30% of their physical weight in moisture, while still feeling dry to the touch, so the body stays comfortable. Wools, inclusive of Cashmere, allow the body to naturally breathe by wicking away moisture yet feeling dry to the touch.

Muslin
Muslin is an inexpensive, medium weight and plain weave sheet or sheeting, with a low thread count of 160 threads per square inch or less.

N

Natural
The word ‘natural’ is used in bedding terminology to describe fabrics or fillings that are not man-made. Natural fillings for duvets, pillows and mattress toppers include Hungarian goose down, goose down, goose feather and down, duck feather and down, Mulberry silk and pure cotton. Such fillings are used in products including Hungarian goose down pillows, Hungarian goose down duvets, goose down pillows, goose down duvets, goose feather and down pillows, goose feather and down duvets, goose feather and down mattress toppers, duck feather and down pillows, duck feather and down duvets, duck feather and down mattress toppers, Mulberry silk duvets and quilted cotton duvets, mattress protectors and pillow protectors. Natural fabrics include pure linen, pure cotton and Egyptian cotton. Pure Linen is used to create the ‘Venetian’ linen sheets, duvet covers and Oxford style pillowcases; it is also used as the natural sand-coloured linen trim around the ‘Natural Border’ cotton percale duvet covers, sheets, pillowcases and cushions. Pure cotton fabric is used to create the ‘Santarem’ satin-stripe bedding and the ‘Decadence’ embroidered duvet covers and pillowcases; whilst 100% Egyptian cotton cotton makes up the ‘Bedding Basics’ range of bed sheets and pillowcases as well as the ‘Ladderstitch’ duvet covers, flat sheets and Oxford style pillowcases.

Nainsook
Nainsook fabric is a lightweight plain weave cotton fabric, typically finished as to create a luster and soft feel. Sometimes used for childrens' or kids' nursery bedding including sheets, duvet covers, duvet sets and pillowcases.

Nap
Nap or surface nap is a fuzzy, fur-like feel created by dry finishing the fabrics to raise the fibres on the surface. The fabric can be napped on either one or both sides. Fine bedding and linens such as luxury blankets have a fine, soft nap on both sides that is non-pilling. Luxury Flannel bed linen made of pure cotton or Egyptian Cotton also has a fine nap, with the finest having a nap on both sides.

Neck support pillow
The neck support pillow is a small pillow perfectly proportioned to fit around the neck to provide extra support in bed or whilst travelling.

Non-Allergenic
As per definition for ‘hypoallergenic’.

P

Percale
Percale cotton or Percale Egyptian cotton fabric is one of the finest plain weave fabrics available, made of combed yarns, usually possessing a thread count that falls within the range of 180-250 threads per square inch. The weight of the fabric is medium and washes very well. It can be white, dyed, or printed upon. Percales are traditionally made by European countries with supreme weaving methods. Luxury linen manufacturers in Italy and France produce far higher quantities of luxury bedding made in percales.

The word "percale" refers to the way the fabric is woven together and has nothing to do with the materials used, so percale fabrics can be either 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester. It is the long-yarn fibres which produce the superior quality sheets and bedding, with high thread count Egyptian cotton percales having the softest feel. Luxury bedding that utilizes an Egyptian combed cotton percale surface includes flat sheets, fitted sheets and pillowcases.

Cotton percale fabrics are also used as duvet casings which is not as glossy as the Sateen weaves used as filled bedding casings for the 100% pure cotton mattress protectors and cotton pillow protectors and sateen stripe duvet cover and pillowcases; percale fabrics have a relatively flat appearance.

Picot
A narrow row of dainty holes produced to create an edge or a finished flange.

Pilling
"Pilling", or "surface balling" of a fabric occurs when groups of short or broken fibres loosen on the fabric surface and then become tangled together in a tiny ball called a pill. Pilling results from rubbing (abrasion) of the fabric during normal use or improper laundering. While pilling cannot be eliminated completely, it can be minimized by proper handling during washing of the fabric. Use a slower agitation and a shorter wash cycle. Also, when tumble drying your bed sheets and linens, remove from the dryer as soon as they are dry.

Pilling, however, is most common with inferior or low-to-medium quality bedding in flat and fitted sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases and sheet sets, due to use of poor (short-staple) cotton. These cheaper quality fabrics and weaving methods pill easily and quickly, sometimes even after the first laundering or use. The majority of less expensive sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases, regardless of the “thread count” listed, will encounter a major problem with pilling. Inexpensive weaving methods, cheaper fabrics and fibres, as well as misrepresentation of ply and thread count have all led to major consumer confusion. Quite often, thread count listed on packaging can be misleading, with the true thread count being only one-half to one-quarter of what is listed. Certain countries, in fact, use different methods for compiling thread count, leading to a mass influx of sheets, sheet and duvet sets indicating an inflated number of up to 4 times the bedding's actual thread count.

Problems with pilling are not limited to lesser-known brand names and, in fact, often occur with even major manufacturers depending upon the where their bedding is manufactured. Pilling is also not an issue limited to one region, with major consumer upset with sets purchased inclusive of China, Egypt and India as well as other regions.

Pillowcase
A functional pillow covering used to protect your pillow from body oils and soiling.

Pillow Protector
Pillow protectors are covers for your pillows which fit over the pillow, between the pillow and pillowcase. They are often quilted to further enhance the feel of your pillow. Pillow protectors keep your pillows fresh and away from body oils and stains. Luxury pillow protectors include our pure cotton pillow protectors, Spundown pillow protectors, known for their washability, the 100% deep fill cotton pillow protectors, the waterproof pillow protectors and the anti-allergy pillow protectors.

Pillow Sham
The word "sham" means something that is false, and a pillow sham is a false decorative pillow. A pillow sham gives the illusion of a specially decorated pillow, instead of just covering a standard bed pillow with a pillow sham. Unlike the typical pillowcase, the pillow sham is often open in the middle of the back, with slightly overlapped fabric. Typically, you insert one side of the pillow into the pillow sham, and then insert the other side of the pillow into the opposite side of the sham. The overlapping fabric in the back covers the pillow completely, and by having the pillow opening in the middle, instead of on one side like a pillowcase, the pillow sham allows for a uniform design around the four edges of the pillow.

More common in the USA, pillow shams are often sold as part of comforter or quilt sets, and may either be of the same fabric that makes a comforter or quilt, or may be a different contrasting fabric that works well with the rest of the bedding. Because they turn regular pillows into “decorative pillows,” people don’t usually sleep directly on pillows covered by a pillow sham. Instead these may be placed behind pillows with pillowcases when one is sleeping, or they may simply be removed from the bed. When making a bed, pillow sham covered pillows often are placed in front of pillows in pillowcases.

Pillow shams are really a decorative accessory to a bed. They are, however, more useful than specially purchased decorative pillows. Often pillow shams are washable, while decorative pillows usually don’t always feature washable covers. Elaborate pillow shams may require hand washing or dry cleaning. Additionally, unlike a decorative pillow, the pillow insert may be easily replaced should it become worn, without having to search for another decorative pillow that matches your bed. The pillow sham cover will remain the same, but a new, more comfortable pillow, as long as it is the same size as your old pillow, can be purchased. This is definitely a convenient feature of the pillow sham, as the bedding design you own may have since become discontinued and therefore no longer be available to purchase.

Piped edge
A piped edge is a finish of fabric stitched around a cord. This high quality finishing is found around the edges of superior quality duvets, pillows and mattress toppers.

Piqué
Pique fabric is a stiff, durable, medium-weight fabric with an embossed pattern produced by a double warp thread. Woven pique styles have cords which run lengthwise, or in direction of the warp. Knitted versions are double-knit fabric constructions which are created on multi-feed, circular knitting machines.

Plain Weave
Plain weave fabric is a basic weave, utilizing a simple alternate interlacing of warp and filling yarns. Any type of yarn made from any type of fibre can be manufactured into a plain weave fabric.

Plied Yarn, 2-Ply, 4-Ply Bed Sheets and Linens
Plied Yarn, Ply, 2-Ply Yarns or 4-Ply Yarns is the method employed in creating bedding which may look fabulous right up until it is actually used, at which point it immediately begins to degrade and break down. The method involves a twisting together of two or more single yarns (2 yarns for “2-ply,” 4 yarns for “4-ply”) so as to obtain the end result of a longer fibre. The short yarns used in this process would typically be useless if not woven with other short yarns. Though not always the case, in general, this process can and does often produce inferior products. It has become a widely-used practice and can drammatically affect the life, feel, durability, sheen, softness and drape of the bed sheets and linens. Use of a single, long-yarn fibre produces the most superior products. In contrast, those yarns twisted together to “create” a supposedly longer yarn is a far cheaper production method which translates to a resulting cheaper product.

Use of plied yarns has become extremely misleading to the consumer in several ways. First, it has been suggested to consumers that more yarns are better, or that a higher number is better, with many consumers under the impression that more yarns involved in the process is better than only one yarn. This is entirely untrue. Secondly, a number of countries have been denoting a “thread count” on the packaging of their sheet and duvet sets (such as 1000 thread count) while simultaneously failing to mention that the “thread count” being used is inclusive of the number of threads being twisted together to form a longer yarn. In essence, this means that a 4-ply set marked as having a thread count of 1000 actually has a thread count of 250. However such bed sheets and linens would not even be able to accurately compare to those with a thread count of 250 comprised of long, single yarns. The shorter, usually inferior grade yarns used in twisting methods are exposed to faster breakdown because of the twisting. So the bedding will degrade in a much quicker manner, typically meaning it will be of even poorer quality than those bed sheets and linens with a standard thread count of 180. The difference is typically apparent within a short period of time, through use or even on the first laundering. The set may appear normal until used or laundered, where the fabric will suddenly feel rough and dull, commonly resulting in pilling. Bed sheets and linens will frequently need to be replaced altogether, in severe cases within a matter of months. The sheen, or surface luster and natural glossy shine, will also be lost within the first several launderings and minimum use. The drape, rather than falling smoothly and softly, will instead stiffen. These symptoms usually worsen with an increased number of threads twisted together. For instance, 4-ply sheet sets will tend to have more immediate problems than 2-ply sheets because of the increased number of threads causing an increased vulnerability in wear and tear.

Fine quality bed sheets and linens, with high quality softness, sheen, drape, durability and longevity are always those created with single-ply yarns: one yarn only. When only one yarn is used, coupled with use of an ultra-long length, the result is truly supreme.

Plissé
Plissé fabric is a lightweight, plain weave fabric that is made from pure cotton, rayon or acetate. Plissé is characterized by a puckered striped effect, usually in the warp direction. The crinkled effect is produced by a wet finishing treatment, involving the application of caustic soda solution, shrinking the fabric in the areas where it is applied. Plissé fabric has the look of woven seersucker fabric, similar to crepe. Plissé bedding is most commonly used in the manufacture of bedspreads.

Polyester
Polyester Fabric is a man-made, manufactured fibre, derived from oil based products, that was first introduced in the 1950's. Only cotton is used more often than polyester in the manufacture of fabrics for bed linens. Polyester offers high durability, great resiliency, high abrasion resistance and decreased wrinkling when used in cotton and polyester blends. Polyester content can be very beneficial in luxury bedding as it is a great time-saver requiring minimal or no ironing which makes easy-care poly/cotton sheets and easy-care bed linens absolutely ideal for busy modern homes.

Polyester is, however, a manufactured fibre that stifles the body's natural breathing process which for many, makes it an undesirable material in the manufacture of sheets and bed linens. Whilst polyester prohibits the body from breathing, cottons and linens, naturally wick away moisture and allow the body to breathe. The finest flat and fitted sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases are therefore considered to be comprised of pure cotton, Egyptian cotton or pure linen. With practicality in mind many customers simply ‘layer in’ poly/cotton flat sheets or duvet covers with pure cotton or linen for an easy-care ‘cheat’, rather than simply creating a complete, plain, easy-care bed set.

Polyester fibres are also used as a filling for most synthetic duvet and pillows, offering a hypoallergenic alternative to natural down or feather and down. ‘Hollowfibre’, ‘ball-fibre’ and ‘microfibre’ polyester fillings are all designed to mimic the loft and insulation of natural down. Furthermore, natural down or feather and down can be impractical when it comes to washing as they cannot be washed in regular laundry detergent, great care must be taken when drying them, and there is also the extra expense incurred in having your down, or feather and down duvets and pillows commercially laundered in large capacity washing machines. Silk bedding simply cannot be washed successfully. So, the preference of synthetic down stems from a reduction in allergens, lower cost and easier care, adding longevity and durability that is hard to compromise. High quality polyester hollowfibre bedding includes the hollowfibre duvet, pillow, mattress protector and pillow protectors, the Spundown mattress protector and pillow protectors, and the Perfect Balance mattress protector and pillow protectors. Luxury polyester ball fibre filled bedding includes the popular Spundown pillow, known as the “washable pillow”. Microfibre polyester fillings are the latest development in polyester fillings and the best imitation of the soft, lightweight feel of down. Superior quality microfibre filled bedding includes the Spundown duvet, known as “the duvet that loves to be washed”! The Perfect Balance duvet and Perfect Balance pillow are also filled with soft, light microfibre.

However, as mentioned above, polyester is less breathable than naturally occurring fillings such as down and feather or silk. The Perfect Balance bedding range, was therefore designed with breathablility specifically in mind. This bedding blends the silky soft clusters of polyester hollowfibre (used to fill the mattress protectors and pillow protectors) and microfibre (used to fill the duvets and pillows) with Lysoft, a natural fibre with the ability to wick away excess moisture in the same way as natural fibres such as feather and down, silk and cotton, ultimately creating hypoallergenic duvets, pillows, mattress protectors and pillow protectors which allow your body to 'breathe'.

Pre-Shrinking
Most pre-shrinking of cotton cloth is done on a compressive shrinkage range which is a mechanical process that allows cotton cloth to shrink naturally in its length. There is minimal residual shrinkage after this process.

Print
The print is the image, illustration or pattern applied or transferred to the cloth. You'll find a huge variety of patters on any and all bedding. Thin or thick stripes, geometric patterns, flowers or any other image or picture on bed linens and bedding is called a print.

Q

Quilting
Quilting is a sewing method done either by hand, by sewing machine, or by a longarm quilting system. Typical quilting is done with three layers: the top fabric or quilt top, insulating material (down or fibre filling) and backing material. The filling is held in place through stitching in a consistent and all-over pattern which joins the layers together to make a quilt. Examples of quilting and quilts include hand-sewn or handmade heirloom quilts comprised of patchwork, or modern-made quilts made by machine. Quilting does not refer solely to these items as it may also refer to quilted duvets. Bedspread sets and bedspreads may also be quilted. Padded mattress protectors and pillow protectors, otherwise known as mattress enhancers or pillow enhancers containing either layers of cotton or a hollowfibre filling may also be quilted. For allergy sufferers, a faux down fibre filling is used instead of goose or duck down filling, quilted within the duvet.

R

Rib Weave
Rib weave is a basic plain-weave variation which is characterized by prominent ribs in the weft. This type of weave may be formed in a number of ways, such as by the warp yarns and the filling yarns being of different widths, with the filling yarns being fatter than the warp yarns, or by using a substantially increased amount of yarns grouped together to form one in the direction of the warp. Either way a rib weave has a substantially higher number of yarns per inch only in one direction creating a series of horizontal ribs. The resulting fabrics of rib weave are abrasion resistant and have tear strength. Luxury bedding examples include cord, ottoman, shantungs or taffetas fabrics. These fabrics may either be used as the main fabric or trim for luxury bedding, including duvet covers, bedspreads, bed valances, bedskirts, quilted luxury throws and accessory or decorative cushions or pillows.

Rayon
Rayon fibre is a manufactured fibre that is widely used throughout home furnishings for interior decoration and composed of regenerated cellulose that is derived from wood pulp, cotton linters or a vegetable matter. Rayon is now referred to by its name for the manufacturing process used, with the two most commonly used production methods being Cuprammonium or Viscose. Rayon is used substantially throughout the home, bedrooms, Nursery and Childrens' Rooms. For the bed, Rayon can be blended with natural fibres such as cotton and used as a main fabric or trim for all types of luxury bedding items including sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, duvet sets, bedskirts, bed valances, decorative pillows for the bed and the fabric exteriors for natural filled feather and down duvets. It is a popular fabric also used as trim throughout the Nursery Room or Childrens' Room, for Nursery bedding and bedding for a variety of ages from infant, toddler and kids: uses include blends or trim on baby sheets and sheet sets, cot-bed and toddler duvets and duvet covers, baby bedspreads, baby blankets and baby quilts as well as baby pillowcases and decorative pillows for the Nursery.

Repellency
Repellency is the ability of a fabric to resist wetting or staining by water, stains or soiling. The natural fibres of wools are naturally water-repellent and can additionally absorb up to 30% of their physical weight in water without compromising heat retention or feeling damp or clammy to the touch. This makes Wool an ideal fabric for bed blankets, throws and luxury throws, where warmth and heat retention are key. wools including Mongolian Cashmere or other Cashmeres, Superfine Merino wool, Mohair or Angora can be used alone or in blended in combination with other wools or silk for phenomenal natural water-repellency and warmth. For the bedroom, naturally water-repellent luxury bedding includes pure Cashmere bed blankets, pure Merino wool bed blankets or blended to create lambswool and Cashmere bed blankets, Cashmere and Merino bed blankets or Merino wool and silk bed blankets.

Resiliency
Resiliency is a fabrics ability to return to its original shape after being wrinkled, crushed or twisted. Fabrics that offer high resiliency include natural fibres of pure Superfine Australian Merino wool and Superfine Australian Merino wool blends including silk and wool, Cashmere and wool and pure Mongolian Cashmere blankets. Bed blankets and throws comprised of these wool, silk or Cashmere blends are incredibly resilient. In terms of fine linens, the most superior Egyptian cotton bedding, such as flat sheets, fitted sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases made in France and Italy tend to provide the best resiliency

S

Saran Fiber
What is Saran Fiber : A manufactured fiber which offers excellent resistance to sun and weathering, most often used in Home Furnishings both Interior and Exterior. For Exterior Decorating, Saran is often used in lawn furniture and used for Furniture Upholstery and Floor Carpets for Home Interiors.

Sateen Fabric and Sateen Weave
Sateen cotton fabric or Sateen Egyptian cotton fabric, often termed Cotton Sateen is usually a 100% woven cotton fabric, although it is occasionally formed from rayon, which has a satin-like feel. Like percale, sateen does not refer to the material of the sheet but refers to the method in which the sheet was woven. A "sateen weave" is a variation of the satin weave, it is produced through floating fill yarns over warp yarns, so there is one vertical thread woven for every four or more horizontal threads. Since more of the threads are exposed to the surface, the resulting fabric is much smoother than if it was woven with a standard type weave. It is the sateen weave which gives sateen fabrics their extremely soft, smooth satin-like feel combined with a gentle and subtle luster with a natural glow. So, whilst percale finishes appear more matte or flat in appearance, sateens offer a natural sheen or shine.

Sateens offer a feeling of coolness, with Egyptian Cotton Sateens providing some of the absolute smoothest feel. Only carded or combed yarns are used. The best quality sateen is mercerized to give it a higher sheen. Mercerized cotton has been treated with sodium hydroxide to shrink it and increase its luster and affinity for dye. It is also makes it more mildew resistant and stronger. Sateens can be bleached, dyed, or printed. Sateen fabrics are used to produce flat sheets, fitted sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers. They are also used as the covers for cotton duvets, 100% cotton mattress protectors, 100% cotton pillow protectors, bedkskirts, pillow shams, as well as decorative and accessory throw pillows.

Some sateen sheets are only calendared to produce the sheen. This is when the fabric is pressed between two rolling pins to give it a glossier appearance. This is lower-grade sateen. The sheen will eventually fade away with a few washings. This is not considered genuine sateen.

Satin Fabric
Satin fabric is a traditional fabric in satin weave with a lustrous face and a dull back. This fabric utilizes a satin weave construction in order to achieve this lustrous or shiny fabric surface. The ‘Santarem’ bed linen range from Linen Select is created from beautifully smooth and crisp cotton with a stylish satin stripe weave. Choose from cream or white, the latter of which epitomizing the designer boutique style of hotel bedding.

Satin Weave
Satin weave is distinguished by its lustrous, or 'silky', appearance. Satin describes the way the threads are combined, and the yarn used may be silk, cotton or polyester, giving different fabrics.

The satin weave is characterized by four or more weft yarns floating over a warp yarn or vice versa, four warp yarns floating over a single weft yarn. With fewer tucks in the fibres the reflected light is not scattered as much as it would be with a plain weave, thus explaining the smooth and luminescent even sheen. The sheen is increased even more through use of high-luster filaments in yarns that have a low twist.

Scolloped Edge
Scalloped edge is a border that contains continuous curves finished with bourdon stitching.

Selvedge
The word "selvedge" comes from the phrase "self-edge", the natural edge of a roll of fabric. It is usually woven, utilizing more durable yarns and a tighter construction than the remaining fabric. Selvedge is desirable because the edge can’t fray.

Serge
What is Serge : Fabric possessing a smooth hand and created through a two-up, two-down twill weave.

Serging
What is Serging : An overcasting technique that is performed on the cut edge of a fabric, so as to prevent raveling.

Shantung
What is Shantung Silk Fabric : A medium-weight, plain weave fabric, characterized by a ribbed effect, resulting from slubbed yarns used in the warp or filling direction. End-uses include dresses and suits.

Shrinkage
The shrinkage refers to the contraction of a fibre, yarn or fabric after washing and drying. All products made of natural fibers have a tendency to shrink 4%-8%.

Silk
Pure Silk is the only natural fibre that comes in a filament form, produced by the silk worm during construction of its cocoon. Cultivated silk worms have a diet consisting of Mulberry leaves and can produce silk filaments up to one mile in length.

While the majority of silk is collected from cultivated silk worms, other collections of silk do exist. For example the wild silk of Tussah silk is a thicker and shorter fibre, produced by wild silk worms living in natural habitat. There are many varieties of silk including silk Chiffon, China silk, Crepe de Chine, silk Charmeuse, Jacquard Silk, Silk Douppioni or Silk Dupioni, silk Noil, Raw silk, Silk Shantung and Tussah silk. Each has different characteristics, with silk Chiffon being the most lightweight, airy and “see-through”. Charmeuse silk is the variety that comes to mind first for most, when referencing Silk. Charmeuse silk offers good drape and the front fabric face is very shiny and shimmery in appearance. China silk is a lightweight, sheer and plain-weave silk that is one of the least expensive varieties and one of the most commonly used and available forms. Crepe de Chine offers more of a pebbled, textured look and feel, less shiny and does not ravel as easily as other silks. Jacquard Silk uses both matte and shiny threads in its weaving, is denser and good for use with patterns as well as dyeing due to its three-dimensional appearance and depth. Silk Dupioni has slubbed ribs and a stiffer feel than other silks, and usually launders well. Laundering will cause Dupioni Silk to become less stiff and softer in feel, as well as reduced or softer colours. Raw silk is stiff in nature, dull in tone and characteristics, with a tendency to attract dirt because of the unremoved layer of sericin. Silk Noil is made from the short fibres left from the carding and combing processes, not offering the same reflective shine as other silks. Silk Noil may be laundered and has an appearance similar to cotton however drapes even better than cotton, and is naturally wrinkle-resistant making it the perfect companion for travelling. Shantung silk was once derived from silk worms living in their natural habitat, however most Shantungs today are derived instead from cultivated silk worms. Stiffer by nature than most other silks, the appearance of Shantung silk can vary and be either shiny or dull dependent upon the fill yarn used. Tussah silk is derived from wild silk worms and may be referred to as Shantung. Tussah silk worms survive on oak and juniper leaves as their diet, with the moths hatching from the cocoon and actually causing distruption in filament length. The result is shortened and coarser fibres, as opposed to long and shiny silk fibres which can be obtained from cultivated silk worms. Naturally wrinkle-resistant, Tussah silk requires dry cleaning and doesn't absorb dyes easily so is most often available in its natural color of light cream. All silk is derived from Asia, mainly from China.

Silk is one of the most expensive fabrics for luxury bedding. Silk may be blended with pure cotton or Egyptian cotton for durability, to produce Egyptian cotton and silk blended sheets, sheet sets, pillowcases, duvet covers, pillow shams, bed skirts and valances. In silk and cotton blended fine linens, the silk content maximum for durability does not usually exceed 50% and is often as low as 15%. Pure silks or silk blends are used for luxury bedding and fine linens inclusive of bedspreads, accessory or decorative throw pillows, bedroom curtains and bed valances. Pure silk or silk blended with microfibre or goose down is also used as a filling for duvets, pillows or mattress toppers. Our Mulberry silk duvet contains 100% A-grade quality silk creating a naturally ‘breathable’, soft and lightweight duvet that is also naturally hypo-allergenic and resistant to dust mites.

Single
The size of bedding that fits a standard UK 3ft bed.

Solution-dyed
Solution-dyeing of fabrics refers to a process of fibre dyeing in which coloured pigments are injected into the spinning solution, prior to fibre extrusion through the spinneret. Solution-Dyed yarns are extremely colour-fast in nature.

Spinneret
A spinneret is a device or tool, consisting of a metal nozzle with extremely fine holes, which is used in the spinning process of manufactured or man-made fibres. The spinning solution is forced through the holes of the spinneret to form continuous filaments. Diameter of the Spinneret holes varies depending upon the denier desired for fibre production.

Spot Weave
Spot weave construction is a woven construction in which patterns are built into the fabric at spaced intervals through the use of extra warp and/or extra fill yarns. These yarns are woven into the fabric by means of a dobby or Jacquard attachment.

Spun yarn
Spun yarn or spun yarns is a yarn made by taking a group of short staple fibres, which have been cut from the longer continuous filament fibres, and twisting them together to form a single yarn. This single yarn is then used for weaving or knitting fabrics.

However, the most commonly used synthetic fibre in luxury bedding has got to be polyester (created in 1953). Polyester is hypoallergenic, extremely resilient and durable. When used in bed sheets and linens, or casings for filled bedding, it washes extremely well, is far more crease-resistant than natural fibres such as cottons and linen, and dries extremely quickly too. A cotton / polyester fabric blend is used to create easy-care sheets and pillowcases. Polyester also provides good warmth, is extremely practical and very affordable when used as a down-alternative in filled bedding such as duvets, pillows, mattress toppers, mattress protectors and pillow protectors. It is, however, less breathable than naturally occurring fibres or fillings such as cotton, down and feather or silk. High quality hypoallergenic bedding filled with silky soft down-like polyester includes the award-winning Spundown bedding range, consisting of a duvet, pillow, mattress protector and pillow protectors; the Perfect Balance bedding range, consisting of a duvet, pillow, mattress protector and pillow protectors; and the Cotton Embrace and So Soft bedding ranges, which also consist of duvets, pillows, mattress protectors and pillow protectors.

Siberian Goose Down
Considered to be the top of the ladder above Hungarian and Polish down. A Siberian down duvet will be lighter and warmer and will appear “puffier”.

Sham
An ornamental covering for a pillow.

T

Tapestry
Tapestry weave is a heavy, ribbed fabric, that may be hand-woven or machine woven. Tapestries are intricate and elaborate designs, often depicting historical or current pictorials including imagery of people, animals and landscapes. The most expensive Tapestries are those that are handmade, and thus highly labour intensive, as opposed to made on machine. Made using coloured filling yarns in the areas where needed, worked back and forth over spun warp yarns. Tapestries may be found throughout the Home in rooms such as the Living Room, Study, Library, Office, or Bedroom.

Tension Control Weave
Tension control weave is a decorative weave that is characterized by a puckered effect. Puckering occurs due to warp yarn tension that is intentionally varied before filling yarns are placed.

Terry Cloth
Terry cloth or terrycloth is a type of cloth that has uncut loops on the pile of the fabric weave. This fabric is formed by using two sets of warp yarns. One set of warp yarns is under very little tension; when the filling yarns are packed into place, the loose yarns are pushed backwards along with the filling yarns, and loops are formed.

Terry Velour
What is Cotton Terry Velour, Cotton Terry Cloth Velour or Cotton Terrycloth Velour : A pile weave fabric made of Pure Cotton, Pure Egyptian Cotton or Turkish Cotton with an uncut pile on one side and cut pile on the reverse. Cotton Terry Velour is prized for its supremely soft and luxurious hand and is prominent in Home Accessories such as Egyptian Cotton Mens, Ladies or Childrens Bathrobes. Cotton Velour is also renowned in Luxury Bath Linens such as Egyptian Cotton and Turkish Cotton Bath Towels, Hand Towels or Face Cloths. Because of its high absorbency rate, Cotton Velour is extremely popular for Bath Linens and is extremely soft and plush in feel and appearance.

Thread Count
The ‘thread count’ (TC) of bed linen is often used as an indicator or quality. Thread count refers to the number of threads of yarn in one-square-inch of a woven fabric, the sum of the warp and the weft. During the weaving process a 'warp' is created with threads laid down along the length of the cloth, then a 'weft', of threads is interlaced between them. Thread counts can range anywhere from 80 - 1200TC. In bedding, low-end thread count fabrics are generally used in settings where the linens are going to have a short life span, such as institutional settings. However, a thread count of 150 is the industry standard, with those fabrics such as cotton 'percale' usually having a thread count of 180 being considered to be good quality. More expensive fabrics have a higher thread count (over 250). The higher the thread count, the finer the fabric. These fabrics are softer, more luxurious to the touch, and will often last longer.

It is, however, very important to remember that there are other factors worth consideration, in addition to the thread count, when choosing and purchasing new bedding. One must also take into consideration the type of cotton used and the "ply" of the sheets and bed linens. The term "ply" refers to the number of single fibres twisted together before it is woven into a fabric. By twisting two fibres together, mills can double the thread count of a fabric. By twising three fibers together, they can triple it and so on. Some 1000TC sets of sheets are actually 330TC 3-ply or 250TC 4-ply. Bed sheets and linens are easier to make this way, so be wary of manufacturers who do this. One indication of a higher ply, is that the fabric is generally thicker and heavier, than where a lower ply is used. Also, the greater the ply, the more likely fabric will pill too. The highest thread count that can be woven into a single ply is 500TC. If you can find a set of these, then you've found yourself a truly fabulous bed linen (depending on the cotton used). All 1000TC sheets are at least 2-ply.

The benefits of having a high thread count sheets is that mills are forced to create much finer threads in order to increase the amount of threads in a square inch (bearing in mind that they don't also increase the ply). Finer threads usually result in a much smoother and softer fabric. This is the main reason that a higher thread count fabric is more desirable than a low thread count one. Having finer threads also means that the threads are slightly more delicate, so one must use proper care instructions when washing their bed sheets and linens.

When choosing new bed linen, you ideally have to find a balance between the thread count and the ply. If you're looking for the ultimate in luxury, is extremely soft bed linen then choose a high thread count with a low ply, but these are certainly that bit more expensive. If you really don't mind or even prefer a heavier bed linen, then opt for a high thread count with a high ply (3-4). Afterall, they’ll certainly keep you that bit warmer! Our recommendation is for good quality, lighter weight bed linen, that won’t break the bank, choose those made from a cotton fabric with a thread count of between 250 and 600, but with a lower ply.

Ticking
Ticking is a tightly woven strong, durable striped linen or cotton fabric used in bedding to cover bed mattresses, bed mattress box springs and bed pillows. Ticking fabric may be manufactured using a plain, satin or twill weave construction.

Tog Rating
The Tog rating represents the thermal performance of a duvet. A high tog indicates a warmer duvet, a low tog a cooler duvet. The Tog should not be confused with weight because a down duvet a down duvet can be very light but also very warm. 3 or 4.5 tog duvets are perfect for summer use and for children who prefer cooler duvets as they can get very hot in bed. 9 or 10.5 tog duvets are for use in autumn and spring or for winter if you get very hot in bed, or have a warmer home. 13.5 tog duvets are for winter use in cooler homes.

Toile
A Toile is a fabric printed with a scenic pattern or design .

Tulle
Tulle Netting is a lightweight and extremely fine, machine-made netting, typically having a hexagonal-shaped mesh effect. Most often used for Wedding Veils or Wedding Decorations.

Twill Weave
Twill weave is a basic weave in which fabrics are constructed through interlacing warp and filling yarns in a progressive alternation, producing a diagonal effect on the fabric face. In some twill weave fabrics, the diagonal effect can also be clearly viewed on the back side of the fabric as well. 100% cotton down proof twill fabrics are used as the casing fabrics for the duck feather and down pillows, goose feather and down pillows and goose down pillows.

Twist
Twist or twisted yarns are terms that apply to the number of turns and the direction that two yarns are turned during the manufacturing process. It is the twist in the yarn that compacts and tightens the fibres together. The twisting also helps the fibres adhere to one another, increasing yarn strength. The direction and amount of yarn twist helps determine the performance, durability and appearance of both yarns and the fabric or textile product they ultimately create. Single yarns may be twisted to the right (S twist) or to the left (Z twist). Generally, woollen and worsted yarns are S-twist, while cotton and flax yarns are typically Z-twist. Twist is generally expressed as turns per inch ( tpi ), turns per meter ( tpm ), or turns per centimeter ( tpc ).

V

Velour
Velour or Velour Fabric is a plush, medium weight, closely woven fabric that possesses a thick pile. It is usually made from cotton but can also be made from synthetic materials such as polyester. Velour may be manufactured using either a plain or satin-weave construction and resembles velvet, but with a lower cut pile. Velour finishes in luxury bedding include fine linens such as luxury duvet covers, pillow shams, bedspreads, bedskirts and bed valances.

Velvet
Velvet or cotton velvet fabric is a cut-pile, medium-weight constructed fabric in which the cut pile stands up very straight. Velvets are woven using two sets of warp yarns, where the extra set of warp yarns produces the pile. Velvet is considered a luxury fabric, typically made with a filament fibre in order to produce a high luster, sheen, soft drape and smooth feel.

Velveteen
Velveteen or cotton velveteen fabric is a cotton cut-pile weave fabric which utilizes additional fill yarn construction, with either a twill or plain-weave back. Velveteen is woven with two sets of filling yarns, with the additional set producing the pile.

Visco-Elastic Foam

Viscose
Viscose may sound like a ‘synthetic’ fibre but it isn’t. Though, viscose isn’t a ‘natural’ fibre like cotton or silk, it isn’t a ‘man-made’ fibre either. It actually viscose lies somewhere between being a ‘natural’ fibre and being a ‘man-made’ fibre as it is man-made, but created from a natural product, ie cellulose (wood pulp). Viscose is actually what is known as a ‘regenerated fibre. Viscose is softer than cotton, with better recovery than silk. The most common type of viscose is rayon. Viscose, or rayon, is often blended or contained in partial quantities in luxury bedding, can have a stunning sheen and makes really superb quality luxury bedding accessories, such as bed throws.

Voile
What is Voile : A crisp and lightweight, plain-weave fabric that has the appearance and similarity to Cotton. Voile is made through use of highly-twisted yarns, in a high yarn count construction. In Home Furnishings, Voile is most often used in Curtains for Bedrooms or in the Living Room, Office, Study or Library.

W

Waffle Cloth
A honeycomb weave usually of cotton or wool, used mainly for towels and robes.

Warp
Warp in woven fabrics, refers to the yarns which run lengthwise and are interwoven with the fill, or weft, yarns.

Warp Knit
Warp Knit is a type of knitted fabric construction in which the yarns are formed into stitches lengthwise. Warp knits typically have less elasticity than do weft knits. Examples of a warp knit include tricot and raschel knits.

Waterproof or Water-resistant
Waterproof or water-resistant is a term used to describe products that are unaffected by water or resisting water passage, or which are covered with a material that resists or does not allow water passage. Waterproofing describes making an object waterproof or water-resistant. Waterproof fabrics are usually natural or synthetic fabrics that are laminated to or coated in some sort of permanently waterproofing material, such as rubber, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU), silicone elastomer, and wax. Waterproof luxury bedding includes items such as the waterproof mattress protector and waterproof pillow protectors. This waterproof bedding consists of a pliable, 100% waterproof polyurethane backing layer which forms an impenetrable barrier to liquids, with a soft, absorbent combed cotton top layer which guarantees minimal noise.

Weft
The weft are the filling yarns that run perpendicular (crosswise) to the warp yarns within any woven fabric.

Weft Knit
Weft Knit is a type of knitted fabric in which yarns are formed into stitches in widthwise manner. Common examples of weft knits are circular knits and flat knits.

Wickability
Moisture Wickability or Moisture Wick is the ability of a fibre or a fabric to disperse moisture and allow it to pass through to the surface of the fabric, so that evaporation can take place.

Wool
Wool, Wools, Cashmere wool, Camel wool, Alpaca wool or Angora wool are often associated with fibre or fabric made from the fleece of sheep or lamb, such as lamb's wool. The term "wool" applies, however, to all animal hair fibres and includes the hair of the Cashmere goat, Angora, Camel hair, Alpaca wool, or the hair of the llama or vicuna. The finest wool is pure Cashmere, the most luxurious being Mongolian Cashmere. Wools can be blended, to add warmth and softness. Wool and Cashmere bed blankets Made in Italy are absolutely unparalleled, taking into consideration fiber quality and mill. Superb wool products include luxury bedding such as pure Cashmere bed blankets, pure Merino wool bed blankets, silk and Merino wool bed blankets and Mongolian Cashmere and Merino wool bed blankets. Made in Italy. Wool is not limited to the Bedroom and is in fact extremely popular in the form of Luxury Throw Blankets designed for the Study, Library or Living Room such as Mongolian Cashmere Throws Made in Italy and Italian Throw Blankets, Italian Superfine Merino Wool Throws and Throw Blankets, Italian Silk and Merino Wool Throws and Throw Blankets and Mongolian Cashmere and Merino Wool blend Italian Throws and Throw Blankets. Wool is also used in Home Furnishings and Accessories, in areas such as Wool-Filled Throw Pillows, Wool Carpets and Wool Rugs.

Worsted Wool Fabric
A tightly woven fabric made using only long-staple, combed Wool or Wool-blend yarns. Worsted Wool fabric has a hard yet smooth surface. An example of worsted Wool fabric is Gabardine Wool.

Woven Fabrics
Woven Fabrics are fabrics composed of two sets of yarns. One set of yarns, the warp, runs along the length of the fabric. The other set of yarns, the weft or fill, runs perpendicular to the warp. Woven fabrics are held together by weaving the warp and the fill yarns over and under one another.

Wrinkle Recovery
Wrinkle recovery is similar to resiliency, ie the ability of a fabric to recover to its original shape after it has been twisted, wrinkled or otherwise temporarily distorted. Generally speaking, the all-natural staple fibres such as pure cotton or Egyptian cotton will tend to wrinkle easier than duvet covers, sheets or other bedding that has been blended with manufactured fibres such as polyester. Examples of luxury bedding created from poly/cotton fabric includes Pure cottons, however, are superb in terms of breathability and softness, characteristics which polyester bedding blends compromise. Wool luxury bedding, including pure Merino wool bed blankets, pure Mongolian Cashmere blankets, Cashmere and wool bed blankets, pure Merino wool luxury throws and throw blankets, pure Mongolian Cashmere luxury throws and throw blankets and Cashmere and wool luxury throws and throw blankets do not wrinkle easily and recover well from twisting or distortion.