Manufacturing Linen for UK's Top Brands

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Thread Count mean?

This is the combined number of warp (length ways) and weft (width ways) threads per square inch of fabric.

What is the difference between bag style and envelope style duvet covers?

Bag Style: This is the traditional style of hotel duvet cover that incorporates an open end that can be tucked under the mattress, making it easier to change than other varieties.

Envelope Style: Envelope style duvet covers feature an internal flap which closes the duvet inside and holds it in place.

Shoulders Style: Also known as Tack Style - This is a variation on the open bag style. Usually shorter than the traditional bag, because instead of having an open end that is tucked under the mattress, the corners of the bag feature stitched shoulders to hold the duvet in place. 

What is meant by Percale?

A closely woven plain weave fabric with a thread count of 200 and above (some would argue 180 and above)

What is a Sateen?

A weave construction where the weft (width ways) yarn floats over 3 to 5 (commonly 4) warp yarns to give a satin type finish

What is carded cotton?

Carding is a mechanical process whereby a web of fibres is untangled and aligned by a series of metal teeth rotating at high speed. This process also removes short fibres and any remaining waste material and readies the fibres for the yarn spinning process.

What is combed cotton?

This is a process which can be done in addition to carding to improve the quality of the yarn. The fibres are further aligned and short fibres plus any remaining impurities are removed by passing through finer combs. This process gives a more even, smooth, clean and stronger yarn. Fabrics made from combed cotton will be more expensive due to this additional process.

What is Egyptian cotton?

Egyptian cotton has a longer fibre staple length due to the favourable growing conditions in the Nile Delta. This will give a stronger, smoother yarn.

What is Yarn Count?

This is the method used to describe the density (thickness) of the yarn and is traditionally given in “cotton count” e.g. 16’s, 30’s, 40’s. In this system the lower the count, the thicker the yarn, so a 16’s yarn will be thicker than a 40’s yarn. The higher counts e.g. 40’s, 60’s will be used in bed linen. The metric system used to measure yarn density is the “tex” system which works in the opposite way whereby the higher the tex value the thicker the yarn.

What is Pilling?

Pilling (often described as bobbling) occurs when fibres break free from the fabric as a result of abrasion. These loose fibres form an entangled ball which is loosely attached to the fabric surface giving a rough and worn appearance.

Bed Linen - Benefits of cotton?

100% cotton bed linen provides greater comfort due to its naturally absorbent properties which will absorb moisture from the body during sleep.

Benefits of polyester/cotton?

Polyester cotton combines the absorbent properties of 100% cotton with the easy care and faster drying characteristics of polyester.

Towels - Why wash before use?

During manufacture, lubricant is applied to the yarn used to form the terry loops, which assists the insertion of the terry loop weft during weaving. This lubricant gives the yarn a slippery surface, which means the loops are very easy to pull. A pre-washing process is essential both to remove this lubricant and to allow the ground weave of the towel to shrink in, which tightens the fabric and holds the loops in place. Around 3 times the usual quantity of detergent is required in the pre-wash to ensure all lubricant is removed.

What does GSM mean?

The standard measurement for weight of fabrics is Gramm’s per Square Metre (GSM). This is also used to indicate the quality of a towel. The higher GSM the better the quality.

Which GSM?

The softness and absorbency of a towel will be greater with increasing GSM, therefore the higher the GSM, the more luxurious the towel. A towel that weighs less than 400gsm will feel thin and this should be the minimum weight for hand/guest towels. Luxury towels fall in the region of 500 – 650gsm and higher in some cases.

Table Linen - What are the benefits of cotton?

Cotton table linen is more absorbent which is often more desirable for napkins in particular; and can be finished to a crisp sheen giving a luxurious drape.

What are the benefits of 100% polyester?

100% polyester table linen has a higher strength and lasts longer than cotton. Shrinkage is minimal. It also has increased stain release properties and has a faster drying time than 100% cotton. This is desirable from a laundry production perspective as production costs are reduced. Polyester constructions have been developed to give a softer, absorbent more cotton like feel.

What is meant by Mercerised?

Mercerising is a process by which cotton fibres by are swelled with treatment in concentrated Sodium Hydroxide. This gives the fibres a circular cross section which increases the lustre, improves shrinkage, strengthens the fabric and increases colour retention.