What is percale?
Coming from the French word “percale” which was a cotton fabric manufactured in France in the early 17th century. Percale is a closely woven fabric, usually made of cotton from a minimum of 180 thread counts per square inch. The fabric is medium-weight, firm and smooth. It is made from finer both carded and combed yarns. The high thread count gives the fabric a soft, silk-like feel.
Thread counts can be as high as 1000 in the retail sector but in general most hotels only require up to 300 thread count today.Single pick construction – means each time the loom opens only one yarn is sent through the warp. To do this the loom runs slower, increasing the cost of manufacture. Although it costs more, single pick constructions gives the fabric a tighter weave and therefore it hold its shape better, feels smoother and lasts longer than double pick. When the thread count is higher than 300/400, fabrics must be woven with more than one pick (yarn) insertion because you simply cannot fit any more threads into an inch.In higher thread counts they are likely to be inserting 2/3 or 4 yarns per insertion. This makes the fabric heavier but not necessarily better and the linen can feel rougher and uneven.
At Richard Haworth, we supply various types of Percale bedding, from our luxurious Cotton Percale Duvet Covers to our 800 thread count Savoy. Richard Haworth are the market leaders supplying linens to the hotel, restaurant and spa trade.