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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and suggestions.
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.