Besides knowing the types of fibers used in bedding, bed sheets and linens, it’s also good to have some knowledge of the types of weaves. Knowing the different types of fabrics and weaves will help you decide on the type of sheet to buy; since they determine the overall finish and feel. Whether you are looking for sheets for warmth or to keep you cool; here is a list of the different types of weaves along with a little bit of information on each.
Thread count is a term that is important to know when you are shopping and buying sheets or linens. It’s the number of threads—horizontally and vertically—woven into a single square inch of fabric. Traditionally, the higher the thread count the smoother and denser the sheet will feel. But thread count should not be the only way to determine the quality of your sheets. The type of weave and fabrics will have a huge impact on a sheet’s softness and durability.
Flannel is twill, plain or medium weight-weave bed sheet fabric made of cotton with a napped finish on one or both sides. This type of weave is ideal for winter since its raised surface gives it a warm, fluffy and cozy feel.
Percale is a plain-weave fabric made from both combed and carded cotton yarns. This type of weave is lightweight and closely woven producing a smooth finish and crisp feel.
Sateen is a weave from cotton that produces more yarn surface on the face creating an exceptionally soft bed sheet with a smooth, lustrous finish that resembles satin.
Satin is a silky, smooth finish resulting from very thin, high thread count fabric, such as nylon, polyester and acetate woven or knitted tightly together. When buying satin sheets look for "woven" materials verses "knit" to get the smoothness desired in this weave.
Microfiber is a tight weave made up of man-made fibers spun into a very fine yarn, which creates an ultra-soft finish and wrinkle resistance. Because of the tight, thick weave, this bedding can be water resistant and allergen proof, depending on how dense and tightness of the weave.
Pinpoint is a stitch of two over and one under; it’s durable but not as soft as other weaves.
Jersey is cotton fibers and materials that are knit versus woven, similar to a tee shirt material, providing stretch, softness, and comfort.
Dobby is finely woven into a fabric usually of geometric shapes or flowers creating a decorative pattern. Dobby is used on duvets, pillow shames, coverlets, or other decorative bedding to add decorative accents.
Jacquard is an elaborately woven pattern containing a slightly raised area of fabric. This decorative weave and pattern is produces using a jacquard loom. It’s often found on bedding such as coverlets, decorative pillows, pillow shams, and comforters.
Two-ply is a fabric made of yarn plied from two threads creating heavy-duty and durable sheets with a “heavier” feel.
Single-ply is fabrics using individual, un-plied threads on their own in the weaving process, resulting in a softer draped fabric. This fabric is often used on window treatments or other decorative bedding pieces; its main purpose is decorative only.