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​Percale vs. Sateen bed sheets.

What are the differences?

In the below video we explain the differences. If you prefer to read versus watch, scroll down the page.

There are a number of weaves that are used in the construction of bed sheets. Each have a slightly different feel, hand and weave.

  • Jersey knit
  • Flannel
  • Oxford cloth
  • Twill

However, without question, the two most popular weaves are Percale or Sateen and it is hard to say which is the most popular.

Before we get into the differences, we thought we would provide a brief overview of weaving.

With textiles there are warp threads and weft threads in woven fabric.

Here is Wikipedia’s explanation of warp and weft.

Warp and weft are terms for the two basic components used in weaving to turn thread or yarn into fabric. The lengthwise or longitudinal warp yarns are held stationary in tension on a frame or loom while the transverse weft (sometimes woof) is drawn through and inserted over-and-under the warp.

Percale:

Percale as shown below, is woven so that each warp thread is traversed with one weft thread. Essentially the warp thread is woven over one weft thread then under the next weft thread (over one, under the next one – on and on – like the hot pads that many of us made as children).

  • Percale is a slightly stronger weave than sateen.
  • A Percale weave offers that cool, crisp and velvety feel.

Sateen:

Not to be confused with Satin, which is inexpensive and generally polyester.

Sateen as shown below still has warp and weft threads, however, the warp threads may skip over one or more warp threads.

 

  • By skipping one or more warp threads two things can be accomplished – more surface area of the weft thread can be exposed on the surface of the sheet and intricate patterns can be woven into the fabric creating, stripes or other patterns.
  • Sateen fabrics generally have a softer hand and drape than a percale fabric and are considered softer.
  • Sateen fabrics also have a slight sheen to them.

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong when deciding between a Sateen versus. Percale, it simply boils down to your preference. Some prefer a Sateen, some a Percale, some don’t have a preference.

To shop for the finest luxury sateen & percale sheets - click below.