Pine Cone Hill
The Worlds of Pine Cone Hill Fine Linens
The Bright Stuff, Graphic Traffic, Urban Tree House, Cape Calm, Neutral Territory, Mod Maisonette, La Dolce Villa, or Haute Lodge. Dove and Distaff has the complete swatch set for all of these Pine Cone Hill Worlds of Fine Linens. We stock La Dolce Vila, Cape Calm and Neutral Territory. Sheet sets come in twin, full, queen, or king with matching pillowcases. Shams come in both standard or european. Duvets, quilts, coverlets, and bed skirts. There are many Matelasses from which to choose.
It is a world of choices and you get to make some.
The French word, Matelassé means quilted, padded, or cushioned. Matelasse’ fabric is a heavy thick textile that appears to be padded, but there is no padding within the fabric. Usually 100% cotton, but may be chenille or cotton polyester blends, this style is meant to mimic the style of hand-stitched Marseilles type quilts made in Provence, France. The stitching on the fabric gives the appearance of padding and forms a decorative design. Matelasse” can be very elegant or casual and often seems to improve with every washing.
Sheeting Quality Indicators
1. Fiber Quality
2. Yarn Size
4. Thread Count & Construction
Fiber Quality: 100% cotton sheets are the most popular and widely used type of sheets. There is a huge variety in the quality of 100% cotton sheets. The highest quality cotton is long staple cotton. Staple refers to the length of the cotton fiber; the longer the fiber the better because it creates stronger and finer yarns. Among long staple cottons, the longest are Egyptian extra long staple and Pima.
Yarn Size: The fineness of each yarn is what the term yarn size refers to - the higher the yarn size, the finer the yarn. Finer yarns allow for lighter, more supple fabric. The yarn size in quality sheets is typically between 40 and 100. Up to 120s may be used also, but are pretty rare. Higher thread counts are created with finer yarns, as more of them can be woven into a square inch. Also, super fine yarns can be twisted together, creating 2 ply yarns that can then be woven into sheeting. When 2 ply yarns are made with a very high yarn size, they make a nice product that is not at all weighty or blanket-like.
Finishing: After the cotton yarns are woven into a fabric, the fabric is finished. This includes singeing and mercerizing. The singeing process burns off the tiny fuzz that can later develop into pilling on your sheets. Mercerizing is a treatment conducted under tension, in order to increase strength, luster, and affinity for dye. Bed linens of lesser quality may not be singed or mercerized.
Thread Count & Construction: Thread count is simply the number of threads per square inch of fabric. These consist of vertical threads (warp) and horizontal threads (weft) woven together. Construction refers to how the thread count is achieved (# of warp and weft yarns, # of picks in the weft, use of 2 ply yarns etc.) To achieve higher thread counts, sometimes 2 ply yarns are used and sometimes multiple yarns (picks) are inserted into the weft. The FTC has ruled that plied yarns should each only be counted as one thread for the purposes of thread count. This is not enforced, but in response the market has moved more toward single plies with multiple picks as the preferred method of achieving higher thread counts. In weave quality terms alone, the best fabric would be made with single ply yarns and have a single pick; but the highest thread count you can get with this type of construction is about 400. Above that, 2 ply yarns and/or multi-picks must be used.
In a quality product, the incremental comfort value of thread counts over 300 is very little. A 300 thread count can feel far superior to a 1000 thread count. Thread count has become a simple metric used by marketing people to capture interest and impress with high numbers. The problem with mass produced high thread count sheets is that to keep the price down, important elements of quality must be sacrificed.
How does this happen?
Weaving with 2 ply yarns that do not have a high enough yarn size so the end product feels heavy and blanket-like.
Inserting multiple yarn threads (picks) into the weft which are often visible to the naked eye. This practice increases the thread count but otherwise really has no practical or useful purpose. Depending on the number of picks and yarn size used it can also make the product feel heavy.
In the end the customer gets a product with an impressive thread count but a product that probably feels no better (or even worse) than something with a lower thread count.