The realm of textiles is vast and varied on account of the weight of fabrics on human history and the multitude of manufacturing processes in existence, but the good folks at Akemi Uchi gave us a crash course on material and weave types so that we could put this guide together and have you better informed the next time you find yourself out shopping for bed linens.
RENOIR STATURE 100% Fine Cotton Sateen (450 Thread Count)
The original cotton bedlinen is weaved in the same fashion as satin from silk fibres since the first cotton gins came into popular use at the start of the industrial age. The finest natural fibres are collected from a single species of cotton plant – identified as providing the longest possible strands, with the greatest concentration of verified quality crops largely grown in the American uplands. The cotton yarn is visibly threaded on one side of the sateen fabrics to produce a smooth lustre that mimics the appearance silk while providing the breathability and durability of a 100 percent cotton fabric.
SHIZEN 100% Combed Cotton Sateen (480 Thread Count)
Ordinary cotton given the Bushido treatment results in blends of extra fine fibres that provide a smoother texture. Combed cotton has been made stronger and softer with an additional refinement process which removes impurities and shorter fibres, resulting in a more homogenous blend of long fibres with a finer texture and more a compact consistency than fabrics weaved with uncombed blends of cotton. Although still considered a single-ply sheet with a 480 thread count, these cotton sheets demonstrate an insulating effect that traps body heat.
CARSEN Lenzing Modal® (850 Thread Count)
Cotton needs to be farmed, typically requiring more resources than edible crops – a more ecologically sustainable fibre than cotton is derived from the treated pulp of beech trees farmed in and around the tiny tourist town of Lenzing (Austria), resulting in a natural fabric that is twice as soft as cotton. Touted as a revolutionary development in the realm of fabrics, the production of these beech tree fibres is an environmentally-friendly closed loop – where water and energy are the main by-products and the majority of other chemical by-products are recovered for use in subsequent fibre batches.
EVERETT ProModal® (Lenzing Modal® + TENCEL®) cotton (880 Thread Count)
The revolution that arrived with the use of Lenzing Modal® beech wood fibres got an upgrade from blending with fibres of eucalyptus wood – known as TENCEL® and used in cosmetic facial masks due to the natural material’s chemical inertness and high potential for water absorption. This high-tech blend is especially for the ecologically conscious, as the materials used are harvested from sustainable forest plantations requiring less water and providing substantially higher yields than cotton. The uniformly smooth fibres of cellulose harvested from eucalyptus wood provide fabrics with a smoother surface that is benign to sensitive skin, higher in water absorption than cotton, and naturally resistant to bacterial growth without any chemical additives.
CHIYOKO 100% Jacquard Cotton Sateen (900 Thread Count)
The height of luxury is defined by high thread counts providing a fine texture and a sturdy fabric. When those threads are spun off a specially-adapted loom, like the kind pioneered by the French weaver Joseph Marie Jacquard, the resulting fabric is characterised by seemingly three-dimensional designs woven in the intricate patterns that are synonymous with classical elegance.
Images by Akemi Uchi