When choosing for some new luxury linens one of the very first thing to consider should be the type of weave of the fabric. This is the actual way each and every single thread is woven into a fabric fine texture. It is an often overlooked feature that can make a big difference on the way made up luxury bedding products look and feel.
Percale and Sateen weaves are the most common type of weaves and are the two main options available in the luxury linens market. Sateen weave add luster and drape to luxury bedding for a soft silky hand. The fabric has a lustrous and smooth surface, with a luminous sheen, while the back side shows a slightly rugged texture. Percale is a plain weave with a matte finish and a supple lofty hand. Percale cotton luxury linens are light and crisp yet incredibly soft. Both the top and back sides of the fabric look and feel exactly the same showing a textured surface.
The choice depends basically on the individual preference for luxury bedding with a soft-as-silk touch and a luminous shine or rather a crisp hand with a matte surface. Percale fabric is also lighter in weight and more breathable making it suitable for the summertime or the hot climate. Sateen is usually a little thicker and more tightly woven showing the highest thread counts. While 100% cotton luxury bedding is mostly recommended for the understated quality of a natural fiber, still not all cottons are created equal.
Among the finest quality available worldwide are Egyptian cotton, mostly woven into Sateen, and Pima cotton for Percale weave. Egypt produces the best quality, longest fiber and most valued raw cotton worldwide. It is grown and hand harvested along the fertile banks of the Nile river delta where unique climatic conditions give rise to the finest long staple and extra long staple cotton fibers that are woven into world's softest luxury linens.
Sea Island or American Pima cotton is a very strong, high-grade, long staple cotton quality developed from selected Egyptian cotton crops in the southwest of the United States. Because of the fineness of Pima cotton, more fibers can be spun into a yarn of a given count, which will enhance the feel, softness, drape and brilliance of a luxury bedding fabric. It is named after Pima County in southern Arizona, location of the experimental farm on which it was developed in the early 1900s. It now accounts for only 3% of US annual cotton production and is mainly cultivated in the San Joaquin Valley, California. There's not really one best choice in luxury bedding between Sateen or Percale as it is left to the personal preference of the individual shopper. It's important here to be aware of the substantial difference among the two types of weave to get the maximum return on the investment in high quality luxury linens.