Sheet Facts 101

Confused and overwhelmed when it comes to purchasing high-quality sheets?! Sheet shopping can consist of numerous variables such as thread count, fabric type, style of weave, color, sizing, pocket depth, elasticity, hem stitching, care instructions, etc.  It’s no wonder, shoppers get frustrated when attempting to purchase quality bedding.  Below are some helpful definitions of bedding terms to help you make an educated, informed bedding decision.

Thread Count

Thread count, also known as the number of threads per square inch, is measured by counting the number of threads in one square inch of fabric including the length and width.  The length of a square inch of fabric is called a warp and the width is called a weft.  Thread count helps determine the measurement of the fineness or coarseness of the fabric and is usually considered a good indicator of fabric quality. 

Fabric Types

Fabric types include cotton, linen, silk and satin, with the most typical and widely used fabric being cotton.  There are several different types of cotton including long staple, intermediate staple, short staple, organic and combed.  Staple means a fiber of a standardized length and consists of any configuration, but the longer the staple the higher quality of cotton.  Premier cottons, such as Egyptian or Supima, usually consist of long staple cotton and are known for the smoothness and glossiness they exude.  Intermediate staple cotton is lower in quality in that it lacks some of the luster and suppleness that long staple includes; however, can still produce quality bedding.  Due to a lack of suppleness and sturdiness, short staple is not often used in bedding.  Organic cotton includes non-genetically modified cotton that is grown in locations where the practices and materials used to produce the cotton have a very low impact on the environment.  Lastly, combed cotton is cotton that can be combed and is typically a more lustrous, stronger yarn than the standard yarn used for bedding.             

Style of Weave

The style of weave used in bedding can determine whether a sheet is smooth and shiny or dull and course.  There are several basic types of weaving including plain, twill and sateen.  Plain weave is used in most bedding and consists of alternating yarn over and under each other to produce a durable fabric.  Plain weave includes percale, batiste, voile, cambric and gingham.  Twill weave consists of a twill line and usually has a softer ‘drape’ than a plain weave.  This type of composition involves more fibers on the surface of the fabric, which can be sanded or brushed for additional softness.  Lastly, sateen weave produces a lustrous, smooth texture and includes a larger number of exposed yarn on the surface of the fabric.  Sateen weave typically has a higher thread count due to the necessity of keeping the yarns as close together as possible.

Pocket Depth

Pocket depth refers to the depth of which a fitted sheet can fit a mattress.   The depth refers to the depth of the mattress itself and therefore pocket depth refers to the depth of which the fitted sheet pocket can fit the mattress depth.


Elasticity is the secureness or well-fitting of a fitted sheet.  Elastic is typically around the edges of a fitted sheet to ensure close-fitting of the mattress and can vary in thickness, material, size and style.

Hem Stitching

Hem stitching consists of the type of stitching that is typically on the flat sheet and pillowcases.  There are a variety of types of stitching, most popular for sheets including the following: double-needle, embroidery, barrato, backstitch, and self-hem. 

  • Double-needle  – Two rows of stitching
  • Embroidery – Detailed pattern
  • Barrato – Embroidered Stripe, can include multiple rows
  • Backstitch – also known as z-hem include folding under and stitching with no extra material
  • Self-hem – Includes the folding under of raw fabric

Now that you have adequate information to make an informed, educated decision on good quality bedding, check out Affluence Home Fashions below for high-quality sheets.

Affluence Home Fashions 1000-thread-count, 100% Premium Cotton Sheet Sets:





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