July 16, 2021 7 min read
Most shoppers know the main features to look for when shopping for bedding: material, thread count, and even environmental certifications. However, in the jumble of labeling, many overlook one key trait: weave.
The type of weave used to craft textile matters a lot. This can determine if your fabric has a matte finish, smooth feel, or any number of characteristics.
Two main types of weaves used in linens are sateen weave and percale weave. Right now, we’re going to deep dive into the latter and explore what percale fabric is all about.
Percale is a woven material that follows a specific thread pattern: one-yarn-under, one-yarn-over. This grid-like pattern may seem basic, but it’s unique to percale. The tight, strict weave makes percale lightweight, durable, and smooth to the touch. It’s like the linen of cotton but crisper.
Now that we know percale only refers to the type of weave used, not the material, you’re probably wondering, “What are percale sheets made of?” Though most percale bedding is cotton-based, you might find a sheet set blended with other fabrics too.
While there are tons of textile options for percale, cotton seems to be the go-to. Why is that? What is cotton percale, and why is it unique? Let’s find out.
If you’re still on the fence about whether cotton percale bedding is right for you, take a look at what else this incredibly textile has to offer.
Even if you’re already sold on buying cotton percale sheets, there are several factors to think about before confirming your payment. Consider the following when shopping for new bedding:
Whenever you’re laundering any garment for the first time, it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. Unfortunately, not all care directions are alike — even for the same fabrics. Still, you can follow these general guidelines when caring for percale.
Machine washing your bedding is hands-down the easiest way to do it. Luckily, percale is machine washable!
Be sure to use a mild detergent and wash with warm water on the gentle cycle as the machine can be a bit abrasive. You can even try turning your bedding inside out to reduce friction-induced pilling.
Good news: percale is also dryer-safe! In fact, tumble drying your percale bedding can help reduce wrinkles — just be sure to remove them right away. However, it’s important to note that your sheets may shrink by up to 2 percent after their first wash.
If you’ve got the time, why not try hand-washing your sheets? The reduced friction will decrease pilling, helping your garments stay good as new (if not better) for longer.
As with machine washing, use a mild detergent and warm water, then feel free to toss it in the machine to tumble dry or hang it on a clothes rack.
Cotton percale is the ultimate boho bedding material. It’s lightweight, airy, and perfectly crisp but low-maintenance and improves with each wash. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, affordable, and oh-so-smooth. What’s not to love?
Ivy And Pearl Boutique. “Why Are Fabrics Sometimes Blended? The Advantages And
Disadvantages Of Various Common Fabric Blends.” Ivy and Pearl Boutique, 27 June 2021,
Manchester House. “What Is Cotton Percale?” Manchester House, 16 July 2014,
Overstock. “Percale Sheets: What You Need To Know: Overstock.com.” Overstock.com Tips &
Ideas, Overstock.com, 19 May 2021, www.overstock.ca/guides/percale-sheets-fact-sheet.