ASK AN EXPERT
CUTTING THE CONFUSION ABOUT CHOOSING SHEETS
QIlove the idea of sleeping on beautiful sheets but there are so many options. What’s the best way to choose sheets?
AConsidering you spend about eight hours a night between your sheets, it’s worth investing in a good quality set. Not only because they’ll look smart and last a long time, but they should feel good too.
Tracie Ellis (pictured), the creative director for the Aura by Tracie Ellis bed linen and homewares range, is passionate about quality sheets.
“There is a huge difference in quality and comfort when it comes to sheets,” she says.
“It has become quite a confusing purchase as sheets have been marketed as having a very high thread count in an effort to convince customers of their quality, but with no mention of the actual yarn quality, thread count really doesn’t mean much anymore.”
Tracie is a big fan of natural fibres, saying they breathe, they’re soft and they’re warm in winter and cool in summer.
“Always choose natural fabrics, steer away from anything that contains man-made fibres because it simply doesn’t breathe and will not give you a restful night’s sleep,” she says. “Instead, go for 100 per cent cotton or linen/ cotton blends.
“Our linen cotton is my preference as the linen fibres relax over time and the products simply get better with age.”
Give me the sheets
Tracie says there are several types of cotton fabrics available for sheets. “Cotton fabric is made from short, medium or long staple fibres,” she says. “These fibres are then combed and woven into fabric. The best quality sheets are woven from the highest quality cotton fibres — long-staple combed fibres. “The shorter the fibre, the harsher the sheets and the shorter the life span of the product.” In contrast, Tracie says thread count is measured by counting the threads, which is both the warp (length) and weft (width) within a small section of the fabric. “Thread count has become a misunderstood and overused term, and is certainly not the measure of quality it’s thought to be,” she says. “In some instances, 1000TC (thread count) sheets can be of a lesser quality than 250TC sheets.
Tracie says linen sheets aren’t measured by thread count at all.
“Linen is a luxurious fibre that’s naturally thicker and stronger than cotton, so if you were to measure them by thread count, it would sound low by comparison,” she says.
“Ignore the thread count altogether and touch and feel sheets when you’re shopping as it really comes down to personal preference.”
Tracie says it’s important to ensure you buy sheets that actually fit your bed.
“Sheets have their most wear and tear from not fitting around a mattress and from being agitated in the laundry,” she says.
“Look after your sheets by washing them in a good quality detergent on a cool cycle.
“We recommend washing and drying your bed linen inside out, out of direct sunlight at least every fortnight.”
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