Percale vs. Sateen Sheets: The Difference

Percale vs. Sateen Sheets: The Difference

You’ve probably been tempted to consider the high thread count sheets that are popping up everywhere with prices that seem too good to be true. If your instinct is telling you that something doesn’t add up, you’re right. Thread count? Percale? Sateen? What really makes a high-quality sheet? The answer is in the weave. 

What is a sheet’s weave?

Percale is a balanced, or closed, weaving method with a one-over-one-under thread pattern between the warp (lengthwise) and weft (widthwise) fibers. This 1:1 ratio produces a soft and durable fabric, ideal for bedsheets. A sateen weave, on the other hand, is created by weaving four threads over one. The sateen weaving method produces fabric four times faster, thus four times cheaper than with a traditional percale weave.

Children on percale duvet cover

Thread count in sheets

Thread count is the actual number of threads or strands of yarn in one square inch of fabric. A sateen bed sheet that claims a thread count of 400 will have 80 threads in the length direction and 320 threads in the width direction. A 400 thread count percale, or balanced woven, bed sheet will have 200 threads woven together in each direction. The difference in quality is profound.

What is percale

Percale means Quality

While initially offering a satiny hand feel out of the packaging, because of sateen’s open weave, longer expanses of thread are left floating on the surface. These threads will quickly become abraded and break apart, leading to pilling, fraying, and a rag-like texture with normal use. Percale bed sheets woven with superior 100% Supima cotton yarn, like Thomas Lee’s 500 thread count PerfectCale® bed sheets, are ultra-smooth, soft to the touch, and made to last.

At Thomas Lee, we believe in offering our customers the best quality possible. Our goal is to provide you with years of extraordinary luxury and comfort, and that starts with creating your perfect bed. Invest in your rest, and you’ll sleep well for years to come!

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