You’re probably wondering what all that hullaballoo is about with Egyptian cotton. Well, you have got a point. It is simply cotton, and cotton from Egypt. It is handpicked during harvest and said to be the best cotton, at least according to the industry experts.
It is also regarded to make the best sheets and duvets out there. If you actually come across an Egyptian cotton product, it costs a fortune. Yeah, like someone once said, good things do not come cheap.
Like any good thing, there shall always be counterfeited products to mimicking it. Have you ever seen a counterfeit for a useless product or brand? No, so if you ever come across a counterfeit know that the real deal is a good deal, that simple.
So the trick here is being able to appreciate the fake from the real. It is like everybody out there is out to fleece you. Some of them are innocently trying to make a living. Therefore, here is some advice that shall hopefully reduce your error rate and increase your chance at seizing the right product.
Why it is special
Put simply, handpicked cotton is softer than machine picked cotton. In addition, when turned into yarn, it normally makes longer and stronger strands than the machine picked. Since machines are not known for being gentle. What would you expect? American cotton is rough cotton. No offence, it’s just the truth.
In the manufacturing of Egyptian cotton sheets, four ply is what is used. That is four strands are intertwined. Moreover, considering these strands are long, they make for better sheets. How so? Simple example; Say you are drowning, would you appreciate being pulled out with a rope that was made tying up several pieces together? On the other hand, would you prefer one single rope?
The latter is more reassuring, not so? In principle, that is what the long yarn of the Egyptian cotton sheet looks like. The other sheets, well, are like the knotted rope you are skeptical of. Now you know why Egyptian cotton sheets are such a hot item. It is not for nothing.
That aside, long yarn strands produce stronger and more durable products. That means your sheets, and or duvet shall last a while. Unlike those made from broken strands, for lack of a better way to explain it.
Therefore, four ply sheets end up making even stronger and longer lasting sheets. Common sheets are two-ply, generally. So I think you catch the drift. That briefly explains why Egyptian cotton comes off as the most superior cotton. They are the most expensive and the most popular when you are hunting for sheets and duvets.
Deciphering your sheets
If you are not particular about your sheets, you are probably paying more for less. Cotton sheets are the best sheets on the market. But even with cotton as we have seen, there are the very good, not so good, and eer . . . , you know.
If you came across labeling as basic as 100% cotton, it is more than likely American. Check the ply of the sheets. Then check the weave. Percale is a plain weave with a fine finish. Scotland is soft and heavy, there is Oxford, and etcetera.
Finally note the thread count, the higher the count the more durable and softer they shall be. A 200-thread count is good, but a 300-thread count is even better. In addition, like the pudding, the true endurance test is in the sleeping. After several sleep in the sheets, and washing, you shall be able to set your mind to rest.