Simplifying The Challenges Of Buying Great Quality Luxury Linen
If there is one thing that makes a house a home it is the quality of the linen that is used in bedding, as tablecloths, towels, rugs and other areas of the home.
However, purchasing linen can be an extremely confusing business – after all many linen products, at least at first glance look very similar. So what should you be looking for when making your linen purchase?
#1 Thread Count – The Truth.
Many people will advise you to always keep in mind the thread count when purchasing linen – and that’s good advice, but that isn’t the only thing to keep in mind.
Firstly thread count is quite simply the number of threads per square inch of a linen product. This count includes both threads woven vertically and horizontally.
So you need to keep a look out for higher thread counts – ideally this should be between five and six hundred. However some manufacturers add extra threads called ‘picks’ and this can drive the thread count into the thousands, so thread count isn’t all you should be looking for. A bare minimum thread count should be 200.
If there were three pieces of advice for the newbie linen buyer these would be:
A) Keep a lookout for Egyptian cotton.
B) Where the linen is woven.
C) Lastly that vexing measurement of thread count.
Egypt is the source of the best cotton in the world without doubt so it is reasonable to assume that the best linen will be made from Egyptian cotton. But always only buy from a reputable dealer – it’s not unknown for inferior cotton to be labeled as Egyptian cotton (make sure the label reads ‘100% Egyptian cotton). A second tier choice would be Pima Cotton which is grown in the United States – not quite as good as Egyptian, but very good nonetheless.
As far as weave is concerned linen woven in Italy is a fabulous choice.
#2 What To Avoid.
As with everything in life if it seems to be too good to be true it probably isn’t. If you’re in the market for Egyptian cotton sheets with a thread count of 200 and you see a bargain basement price of around $100 chances are that you’re not going to get what you thought you were buying.
A Queen set, which is a useful mid point guideline, made from real Egyptian cotton and produced in the EU, with a thread count of around 200 shouldn’t sell for anything less than around $200. There are exceptions and reputable dealers sometimes make this sort of linen available at lower prices, but you should exercise caution when buying.
If you’re in the market for linen that will see everyday use then percale with thread counts between 200 and 600 is a good bet. 400 to 600 will give you a nice light sheet, while anything above 800 will still be soft, but a lot denser. The 800 count sheets would be more suitable for winter use rather than the hot days of summer.