Gloseeker Article Writer
One thing human beings all have in common is the quest for a good night's sleep. We're told to avoid caffeine, reduce screen time an hour before, and ensure our rooms are dark. We set the tone with ambient noise and soft pyjamas, but have we ever considered setting the tone with the comfort of our bedding fabrics? In this article, we'll break down the major fabric types utilized in popular bedding so you can find the best choice for a comfortable night's sleep.
Cambric fabric is a lesser-known cotton fabric. Its name comes from its place of origin-Cambria, France. Now, what is cambric fabric? Essentially it's a lightweight, finely woven cotton fabric. People often ask what the difference is between cotton and cambric, but really, the only difference is that cambric is a fabric and cotton is a material that is turned into fabric.
In order to create cambric, the cotton is woven very tightly to achieve a lightweight, airy, and breathable fabric. Its thin and light quality makes it the perfect fabric for warmer climates. It'll provide you with a nice layer for sleeping without creating excessive warmth. If you live in a cooler climate, this fabric is not an ideal choice for you since it has very little to no heat-trapping ability. When it comes to bedding, look for cambric comforters and duvets.
The origin of calico fabric can be traced back to the year 1505 in Great Britain. It's made of unbleached and unprocessed cotton. Calico is overall a fairly plain piece of cloth. Due to the nature of the unprocessed and unbleached cotton, the fabric is typically a little coarser and rougher in texture. However, a big benefit to calico is the inexpensive price tag. Because it's so cheap, calico is usually used by seamstresses to test and construct garment patterns before creating the actual piece with more expensive fabrics.
Calico bedding is quite easy to care for and overall very low maintenance. It can be washed in a regular washer and dryer, but for the overall longevity of your bedding, choose a warm heat setting instead of a hot one. Calico is also considered fairly on trend with the natural bohemian style. It gives a clean and effortless look to any bedroom. When it comes to bedding and overall comfort levels, we recommend utilizing calico for comforters and duvets rather than sheets.
Jacquard is created by weaving fibres together on a jacquard loom. Typically, jacquard is made out of cotton, but it can also be woven out of polyester, silk, or acrylic. Many jacquard fabrics feature raised patterns woven into the fabric, which give a somewhat ornate look. This ornate appearance is precisely why a jacquard is more expensive. The patterned texture requires a lot of skill and time to create, which justifies a higher price point.
Usually, you'll find a jacquard utilized as upholstery for sofas and chairs. However, a jacquard can also make really beautiful comforters and duvet sets. Keep in mind that the jacquard is fairly heavy and will trap a lot of heat when you're sleeping, which is perfect for a cosy winter night. Jacquard sheet sets can also be a stylish accent for your bedding. As a note of caution, jacquard bedding should only be washed in cool water in order to prevent shrinking and pattern warping.
Linen is perhaps the most sustainable bedding fabric option on this list and is made out of flax fibres. Linen has a longer lifespan than cotton and is considerably more durable. The fibres of the flax threads are slightly tighter and longer than cotton fibres, which is ultimately what makes linen stronger. Linen typically costs quite a bit more than cotton due to the construction and overall more durable quality. That higher price tag is justified even further though when you consider that linen is anti-bacterial and temperature regulating. The temperature regulation is especially beneficial for the overall comfort and quality of your sleep. You'll stay nice and cool in the summer and toasty warm in the winter.
While linen is made all over the world, Belgium is historically known for the quality of its linen due to the fact that flax plants naturally thrive in their climate. In order to maintain the quality of your linen, be sure to only wash it in cold water and tumble dry on low heat.
Microfiber is a very thin synthetic fibre. It's so thin that it has a diameter of fewer than ten micrometres, which is about half the diameter of a strand of hair. It's woven very tightly together, giving it a moisture wicking capability. Due to the tight weave and synthetic materials, microfiber is not very breathable. However, microfiber is fairly stain-resistant and also repels dust and other allergens. It's also known for being very soft and comfortable.
Because of the synthetic materials, microfiber bedding is very inexpensive. It's quite possibly the least expensive choice on this list. So if you're shopping on a budget and looking for a soft, moisture-wicking, allergy repelling bedding set, microfiber might be the right choice for you. Please note microfiber is known for shrinking on the first wash, so be sure to choose warm or cold water settings.
While originally made out of wool yarn, modern-day poplin is now typically made out of 100% cotton. It's incredibly soft and very durable. Like microfiber, poplin happens to be moisture repellent, however, it differs from microfiber in that it's very breathable. Poplin's breathable quality comes from the inclusion of natural cotton material.
Poplin fabric is pretty thin and doesn't trap much heat, making it the ideal bedding fabric for warmer climates and the summer months. In order to properly care for your poplin bedding, be sure to only wash in cold water and tumble dry on low heat.
Satin can be a little confusing because it's not physical material. It's actually a type of weave with fewer interlaces. The weave style is what gives the fabric that shiny sheen. As for its makeup, satin is usually made out of silk, polyester, or nylon. it also happens to be one of the most durable fabrics.
If you suffer from allergies, satin might your best bedding choice. Because of the tight weave, the fabric doesn't trap dust particles or other allergens. Consider switching to satin and take note if you're allergies improve at all.
Chintz fabric gets its name from the Hindi word Chhint, which essentially translates to spotted, speckled, or sprayed. Back in the 1700s, chintz dominated the fabric markets in England and France largely in part because of the beautiful, colourful patterns. England and France wound up banning the sale of chintz in an attempt to restore a business to their own fabric markets.
Chintz is actually a calico fabric, made out of cotton, or a cotton-polyester blend that is glazed on the top side to give it a nice shine. Because chintz patterns are pretty ornate and delicate, it's considered a more decorative fabric rather than practical. Look for chintz comforters, duvets, and accent pillows. There are chintz sheets, but they're harder to come by and not as soft as other options. Choose to utilize chintz as more of a style choice than a comfort choice.
Like many of the other fabrics on this list, flannel is also made out of cotton. However, what sets the flannel apart is the fuzzy finish of the fabric. When comparing flannel bedding to 100% cotton bedding, the cotton set is going to be much cooler and lighter in weight.
Flannel is good at trapping heat. It's nice and soft and very comforting to crawl into on a snowy night. It's substantially thicker and heavier than other bedding materials and most definitely not recommended for the summer months. As for maintenance, flannel can be washed in the washing machine, but be certain to never use hot water.
So far all of the aforementioned fabrics on this list are either made out of man-made or natural materials. Silk, however, is produced by worms, specifically Mulberry Silkworms who make the silk fibres through a process called sericulture. This is what makes silk expensive and sometimes controversial with animal rights activists. Silk fibres come in four different types: Muga, Mulberry, Tasar, and Eri. Now, when it comes to pure silk fabrics, there are more than 50 types. Some of the most popular include charmeuse silk, crepe silk, silk georgette, dupion silk, and chiffon silk. Charmeuse silk is perhaps the most commonly seen in pillowcases and duvet covers.
There's also a variation of charmeuse silk called stretched charmeuse silk. Essentially the silk fabric is blended with a small percentage of spandex to make it less rigid. The slight give in stretched silk makes it much more comfortable and soft for bedding. If you have frizzy hair, many hairstylists suggest switching to silk pillowcases. Not only is it beneficial for your hair, but it can also reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Bamboo fabric is created out of the pulp of a bamboo shoot. It's then processed into threads. Many people believe bamboo fabric is the best natural and sustainable fabric choice, but it's actually surrounded by quite a bit of controversy. The bamboo fabric on its own is quite coarse until it's put through an intense chemical process to make it silky smooth. Most companies who sell bamboo fabric tout their natural process, but the dozens of chemicals used to alter the bamboo fibres aren't very natural. If you're purchasing bamboo fabric for natural qualities, be sure to look into the manufacturer and its process.
When created correctly and sustainably, bamboo fabric can be very lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to the touch. There are also many bamboo cotton fabric blends on the market. The addition of cotton makes the fabric a bit cheaper and also a heavier duty. All in all, bamboo fabric is very durable and comfortable to sleep in. Just be certain to research the manufacturer before supporting their company if your motivating factor for buying bamboo fabric is the sustainable and natural qualities.
Polycotton is exactly as its name sounds-a blend of materials including polyester and cotton. The polyester part of this blend makes the fabric water repellent and not very breathable, which can be a negative aspect to some. However, polycotton is considered one of the most low maintenance and easy to care for bedding fabrics. It's also very cost-effective and won't break the bank.
This fabric is typically used for sheets, not duvets or comforters. Polycotton sheets are considered very comfortable due to the nice stretch of the fabric and the smooth texture. As an added bonus, it's also wrinkle-resistant and like silk, it can reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Percale fabric is pretty densely woven and typically made out of 100% cotton. Many hotels use percale sheets due to their crisp, soft feel. They're also easy to maintain and don't pill. They can bleach and wash the sheets in hot water for maximum sterilization while doing very little if any damage to the fabric. Similar to polycotton, percale is usually only found in sheets, not duvets or comforters.
Crepe fabric more often than not falls under the silk category, however, it can also be made out of wool, polyester, and other synthetic materials. Crepe is defined by its wrinkly, lived-in appearance. If you're looking for a smooth touch, the crepe is not for you. On the contrary, if you enjoy a little texture for your duvet or comforter, crepe can be a cosy and homey style choice. It's also perfect for accent pillows.
Crepe is more of a medium-weight fabric and doesn't really add much in the way of comfort. Due to the delicate materials used to make a crepe, it's important to wash crepe fabric by hand. Some crepes are even considered dry clean only. Be sure to consult the label of your item before washing it.
Viscose falls into the rayon family and is similar to bamboo fabric in that it's made up of pulp from trees. This fabric is incredibly breathable and has a nice silky comfortable feeling. It's also touted as being environmentally friendly, which is true in some capacity. It's environmentally friendly in that it's biodegradable, but it also takes a considerable amount of water to complete the process of breaking down the wood chips. As previously mentioned, viscose is in the rayon family. Other types of rayon include lyocell, and modal. Both of those are considered to be more environmentally friendly than viscose.
Many people love viscose sheets due to how lightweight and silky smooth they are. They're also typically less expensive than traditional cotton sheets. However take note that, viscose requires dry cleaning. Not only will your sheets shrink when washed regularly, but the water will also damage the overall strength of the fabric.
It is our sincere hope that this bedding fabrics guide helps you achieve the perfect comfortable night's sleep. Whether you prefer thicker or lighter, or smoother or crisper fabric, there's truly something for every personal sleeping preference and budget.