About Egyptian Cotton

  • November 24, 2009 3:40 pm

Egyptian cotton is one of the strongest and natural fibers in the world. The reason people fall in love with Egyptian cotton sheets is both for the durability and for the luxurious feel. Smooth and soft, Egyptian cotton sheets represent the care and precision that was maintained from planting to manufacturing.

cottonEgyptian cotton is considered the best because it produces the smoothest, longest threads of any cotton type. The history of your Egyptian cotton sheets is as rich as the Nile delta where the Egyptian cotton itself was grown.

The Nile river delta is historically known for its agricultural richness. The moderate climate and rich soil provide the perfect combination needed to produce Egyptian cotton. Egyptian cotton is different from cotton grown elsewhere in the world.  Its fibers are longer, softer and more durable than other cotton types.

The finest feeling high-quality sheets start by using a long staple, about three inches long. The staple is the part of the cotton that is pulled off a ball of cotton. Cotton with a shorter staple can result in yarns that break or fabric that pills. The cotton is then spun into a continuous yarn. High quality spinning insures the durability and continued smoothness expected with normal use. Yarns are woven into sheeting (either percale or sateen) and finished.

Egyptian cotton is unique not only for its properties: softness, length and uniformity, but also for its processing. Hand treated from planting until the final processing with prized techniques passed down from one generation to the next.  Egyptian farmers have learned how to produce superior plants without the use of chemicals. The weeding is done by hand and organic fertilizers are used. Heavy machinery is not needed for harvest as it is picked by hand. Finally it is rolled with a special ginning process that will not damage the exquisite fibers.

Celina Hotel Collection

Celina Hotel Collection

Finishing is a process applied to the sheeting after it has been constructed on the loom. Certain companies like those in Italy and Switzerland have finishing techniques that are heavily guarded secrets. Other companies in other countries may be able to purchase the exact machinery and looms that they use, but they have yet to master the technique necessary to properly finish luxurious fabrics. No matter what the techniques, if Egyptian cotton isn’t used, the quality will be less than expected.

If any of these steps is compromised, the result will be sheets that are rough, pills, aren’t durable, and don’t launder well.

Please visit our website www.LuxorLinens.com for the most luxurious sheets, towels, robes, comforters and featherbeds your body will ever require.

Cotton Photo Credit: flydime

Proper Monogram Etiquette

  • November 24, 2009 3:00 pm

Valentino Stripe 1200tc Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Valentino Stripe 1200tc Egyptian Cotton Sheets

When deciding on which monogram to choose there are some guidelines to proper monogram etiquette that may help in your decision making.

One Person Monograms:

When printing a monogram for ONE PERSON, the format would typically be:

First Initial       Last Initial       Middle Initial

so for someone names James Edward Thompson, his monogram would be: JTE


Couple Monograms:

When printing a monogram for a MARRIED COUPLE the format would typically be:

First Initial of Wife      Last Name Initial      First Initial of Husband

So for someone named Ellen married to Matthew whose last name is Hudson, their monogram would be: EHM


Single Initial Monogram:

Another option is to use just a single initial to represent the first name (for a single person) or the last name (married or single).

No matter which you choose, monogramming a gift is a great personal touch that people will remember.

What You Should Know Before Choosing New Sheets

  • November 6, 2009 4:39 pm
Giovanni Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Giovanni Egyptian Cotton Sheets

An investment in your health and well-being, knowing how to choose the best sheets for your bed is important.  When choosing bed sheets there are three major areas that you should be aware of: Yarn quality, thread count and finishing processes.

Yarn Quality

When choosing the type of sheet, one must understand about the different types of yarn that are used to create bed linens. Cotton, Silk, Synthetics and Blends are traditionally the fibers used but recently Bamboo has thrown its hat into the ring combining its natural anti-bacterial fibers with other natural fibers to create unique fabrics.

Adella Pure Comfort Bamboo Sheets

Adella Pure Comfort Bamboo Sheets

The finest cotton in the world is grown on the banks of the Nile River in Egypt. Egyptian cotton is hand planted, weeded and harvested with the utmost care using techniques passed down for generations. Using only natural fertilizers, Egyptian grown cotton is one of the most natural products grown on the planet.

There are other cottons grown other places in the world. The cottons that make the best fabrics are Extra Long Staple Cottons. The staple is the individual fiber pulled off the cotton ball. Egyptian cotton and Supima cotton have an extra long staple and therefore can be spun into a smoother, stronger, finer yarn, so that it is possible to weave more threads per inch into the fabric, resulting in a higher thread count.

Valentino 1200 thread count Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Valentino 1200 thread count Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Thread Count

Thread count is the measure of the number of yarns woven into a square inch of fabric. An easy way to remember is the higher the thread count, the softer the fabric. This is generally true; however, it is possible to cram short staple cottons into a square inch to create a high thread count and as a result the fabric will feel rough or coarse. This is the defining difference between Egyptian cotton or Supima cotton and cotton grown elsewhere geographically. Only Extra Long Staple Cotton can give the staple needed to create a yarn that is fine, strong and smooth which is woven into a superior luxurious fabricyou’re your sheet set.

Finishing Processes

The expertise and experience of the craftsman is key to providing the components to manufacture fine linens. From choosing the quality yarns to selecting the type of the weave, the craftsman is the artist who creates the luxurious feeling fabric that is to become your bed linens. The craftsman pays meticulous attention to the details when weaving and finishing the sheeting to insure the lustrous look and feel.  Fabric finishing and sewing gives even the most discerning customer the assurance of quality. The result is a look and feel that will be the perfect sheet to revolutionize your sleep.

If you have questions about choosing the perfect sheets for your home, you can visit our Customer Service Page for further options.

We are making it our mission at Luxor Linens to keep our customers informed and educated about the products we sell.   Follow us on Twitter  @LuxorLinens

How to Care for Your Sheets

  • November 6, 2009 4:25 pm
Fausto 1200tc Egyptian Cotton Sateen Sheets

Fausto 1200tc Egyptian Cotton Sateen Sheets

Sheets are probably the most overlooked and taken for granted fabrics in your home next to towels. But if you are smart and know what you are doing, care for Egyptian Cotton Sheets can be easy, care-free and will ensure the long life of your sheets.

First, you should consider some things when purchasing with regard to care. The quality of your sheet set will determine the life of the sheets. There are things you can do to prevent the premature aging of your sheets (which we will get to in a moment), but there are factors that you might want to consider that will affect the longevity of the sheets.

What is ‘pilling’ and why do sheets do it?

Sheets pill due to several factors one is that perhaps shorter fiber cotton was used to manufacture the fabric. Egyptian Cotton Sheets are made with longer fiber (also known as staple) cotton which makes stronger, more flexible threads which make a better fabric. Think about it this way, if you were to make a rope out of pieces of string, would you want to use longer pieces of string or shorter? Wouldn’t the shorter pieces tend to ’stick out’? Now think about if that rope was washed and spun around; wouldn’t the ends that were sticking out be raveled and balled up when the washing got done? That’s the same way a sheet ‘pills’. The short ends of the fibers which ’stick out’ from the fabric, get spun around in the wash and ball up to cause little ‘pills’ on your sheets. Egyptian cotton is extra-long fiber cotton which is woven into a strong, long lasting, flexible yarn that will last through multiple washings comparatively. In addition to pilling, shorter fiber cotton sheets tend to wear out more quickly than do long fiber cotton sheets for the same reasons: shorter fiber tends to break easily.

Valentino Stripe 1200tc Egyptian Cotton Pillow Cases

Valentino Stripe 1200tc Egyptian Cotton Pillow Cases

Does thread count matter?

Thread count matters in the long term care of your sheets. Higher thread count doesn’t just mean a softer, more flexible fabric, it also means stronger and longer lasting. The term ‘thread count’ refers to the number of threads in a square inch of fabric. Think about a tug-o-war game between 100 big, bulky strong men and 1000 lean, toned men each side doing the same thing, with the same objective. Who is going to win out in the end? The higher thread count, longer fiber cotton fabrics will last longer and be more flexible to your use than anything else. This is why ‘regular’ cotton sheets tend to wear out in the middle a lot quicker than long-staple cotton sheets.

So how do I make sure my sheets will last a long time?

Care for your sheets is not rocket science, but it does take thought. First, realize that for most people, pillow cases tend to get soiled much quicker than bed sheets. For this reason alone, we suggest keeping an extra set of pillow cases for each sheet set. This will keep you from laundering your sheets too frequently and perhaps cause their premature death.

Let’s go through some steps and tips of things to look for and do when laundering your Egyptian Cotton Sheets:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations and instructions.
  • Look for stains. Always look for stains BEFORE you wash. If you forget and don’t pre-treat to ensure the stain removal, you may end up ‘baking’ the stain right into the sheet when you put it into the dryer. Pre-treat any stains with mild detergent and perhaps non-chlorine oxygenated bleach if needed. Do not use any chlorinated bleach products as this will weaken the fibers and cause premature damage to the fabric.
  • Use warm or cool water to prevent heat damage to the fibers in your sheets. Choosing the gentle cycle for your wash will also prevent any damage due to agitation.
  • For the same heat-damage prevention, set the dryer on low heat when drying your Egyptian cotton sheets. This will preserve the integrity of the fabric as well as prevent wrinkles.
  • If you don’t want to iron your sheets, take them out of the dryer just before they are completely dry. Folding them when they are this way will prevent wrinkles and ensure the fibers of your sheets will not weaken due to over drying.

Remembering these few simple things will keep your Sheet Set in like-new condition for years to come; an investment worth taking care of.

Please visit Luxor Linens for the finest in Egyptian Cotton Sheets.

Featherbeds and Duvets

  • November 6, 2009 3:32 pm
Giolla Cotton Duvet

Giolla Cotton Duvet

Featherbeds and Duvets, or Down Comforters have a somewhat similar history even though they are used in different ways, by using them together, people have, for centuries kept warm in the coldest of climates.

Somewhere around the 14th century, wealthy land owners began to make what we now know as a featherbed. Most people slept on mattresses made of hay. Hay was plentiful and cheap. It was only the wealthy who could afford a bed made of feathers because it took a lot of geese and ducks to supply enough down to make a bed. Live birds could have their downy breast feathers harvested several times a year, even so, it usually it took years to gather the 50+ pounds of feathers needed to make a full mattress. These featherbed mattresses were so difficult to obtain and such a luxury that they were considered part of a dowry for an unwed woman or heirlooms to be passed down from one generation to the next. By the 19th century, regular folk had figured out that they too could gather enough down to make their own featherbeds.

Usually featherbeds were used in conjunction with an existing mattress much firmer and usually filled with hay. The featherbed was laid on top of the other mattress to provide softness and warmth while sleeping.  Today, featherbeds are utilized in much the same way as those people did centuries ago; featherbeds are placed on top of a mattress to provide comfort and warmth.

Duvets originally developed in northern Europe where the winters are long and cold. Duvets are actually called fedderbetten, or featherbeds, in German, and their use has been reported since the 1700s. Having a ‘featherbed’ underneath you as well as on top assured the sleeper of a warm, soft night’s sleep.

A duvet is a loosely quilted comforter that is generally placed into a large fabric sheeting envelope which is fastened with buttons or snaps.  It has quilted channels or baffles sewn into the construction to prevent the loose down from shifting. Early duvets were a large, single space that allowed for the down to shift in the night causing ‘cold spots’; spots that had no down provided no more covering  than a sheet and afforded no warmth. Eventually, channels or baffles were sewn into the duvet to prevent down shifting as well as to make smoothing out the duvet easier for the bed maker.

In Europe, a duvet is traditionally used alone with only a bottom sheet while in the U.S. we use a comforter inside a duvet cover as a blanket. Duvets covers are washable and provide a protective covering for your down comforter which can be difficult to clean and must be aired out on occasion just as a featherbed would need.

If you have questions regarding the purchase or care of a Duvet or Featherbed please refer to our customer service page for our contact options. We are making it our mission at Luxor Linens to keep our customers informed and educated about the products we sell.   Follow us on Twitter  @LuxorLinens

Glossary of Terms

  • October 14, 2009 12:51 pm

While we here at Luxor Linens don’t choose to carry items made from all these types of materials in our Boutique, we want our customers to be informed of all bedding and fabric terms so they can make informed decisions regarding their choices in fine linens.  Please feel free to browse our glossary and our learning center. If you cannot find the answers to your questions here, feel free to email us at info@luxorlinens.com with your questions and suggestions.

Glossary:

Baffles – A construction feature in higher quality down comforters.  Baffles are small fabric walls sewn in between the top and bottom of the comforter shell. Down enclosed in the baffles is prevented from shifting and allowed to fully loft (fluff up). This keeps the down evenly dispersed throughout the comforter and prevents the down from shifting which could cause cold spots (areas where there is no warmth due to lack of insulation from the down).

Bed skirt – A bed skirt is a flat piece of fabric to which a ‘skirt’ of fabric is attached on three sides. Typically it covers the entire top of the box spring and drops to the floor. Also called a dust ruffle it is usually used in conjunction with a coverlet or a comforter.

Bedspread – A decorative bed covering that covers the entire bed and reaches to the floor on each side and the foot. Generally used alone covering the pillows or with pillow shams.

Comforter A fiber filled or quilted bed covering which spreads over top of mattress but does not cover pillows or hang all the way to the floor. A comforter is smaller than a bedspread and larger than a coverlet.

Cotton – All natural, pure cotton is the softest and most breathable fabric. The length of its fiber, the “staple”, measures the quality of cotton. Higher quality yarns are made from cotton with a long staple. Types of cotton include:

  • Combed cotton –Cotton fibers which have undergone an additional manufacturing process called combing which is a process removes many of the short, uneven fibers leaving the remaining longer fibers for weaving.
  • Cotton sateen – A soft and luxurious fabric weave in which most of the threads are placed on the surface of the sheeting, creating a satin-like sheen.
  • Egyptian Cotton – Top of the line cotton which has the longest, softest and strongest fibers which create yarns that result in an extraordinarily soft and luxurious fabric and hand.
  • Supima – Long staple cotton produced in the desert region of the United States. Sometimes compared to Egyptian cotton, Supima cotton does not match the quality, softness, and luxurious fabrics and hand that are expected in Egyptian cotton fabrics.

Coverlet–Not usually used as a blanket or spread it is a thin piece of fabric used to provide the bedding with a ‘finished’ look. Usually, a coverlet only covers the top of the bed with minimal hang.

Down – A fine layer of soft, fine duck or goose feathers that are beneath the tougher exterior feathers. These soft hairy clusters of feathers trap warm air next to the birds’ skin. Because it is a natural insulator, fine, high quality down provides for lightweight warmth all year long.

Down comforter – Similar to a comforter, a down comforter is a fabric shell filled with goose or duck down. Usually used with a duvet.

Duvet –A large protective and usually decorative light fabric envelope for a down comforter. A duvet is open at one end for the down comforter to be inserted and is easily removable. Ties, buttons, zippers and snaps are typical closures. Provides a quick way to change the look of a room and protects the down comforter which can be difficult to clean. Usually paired with pillow shams.

Feather bed –Heavier and thicker than a down comforter, a feather bed is a feather/down-filled mattress to provide softness and comfort. Similar to a mattress topper, placed on top of your existing mattress and under your sheets, a featherbed provides extra softness and comfort.

GSM (Grams per Square Meter) -measure of the density or weight of towel fabric. Generally the higher the number GSM the thicker and heavier a towel will be.

Hand – Term for how a fabric feels to the touch.

Hypoallergenic – Indicates a product that is largely allergen-free or with little chance of causing an allergic reaction.

Linen – Woven of fibers from the flax plant, linen is renowned for its strength and durability. The natural wax content of flax fibers gives linen a beautiful luster. Linen becomes softer and finer the more it is washed. Not usually used for bed sheeting because of the roughness of the fabric, the term has become synonymous with all household fabric pieces.

Pillow Sham– a decorative pillow case usually with trim or piping and an envelope type opening in the back, called a ‘french fold’. Similar to how a duvet is used with a down comforter, a pillow sham is used to protect the pillow and provide a decorative touch to your bedroom.

Satin – A fabric made out of silk, cotton, or synthetic fibers. It is very smooth, soft and shiny with a matte reverse side. Care should be taken when using this fabric, as it tends to spot and be difficult to clean.

Silk – Sometimes regarded as the most luxurious of all fabrics. Silk fibers have flat surfaces which reflect light at many different angles, giving silk a natural shine. Silk has a smooth, soft texture that is not slippery. Silk lore has it that sleeping on silk prevents “bed head” and slows the onset of wrinkles.

Synthetic – Any man-made material used in manufacturing. Polyester, nylon and acetate are examples. Man has yet to create a fiber that matches the quality, softness and strength found in natural fibers like cotton and silk.

Thread-count – A measurement representing the number of threads per square inch in fabric. A high thread count results in a finer, smoother weave, and can extend the life and increase the value of your bedding.