What is 'staple' and what does it have to do with my bed?A cotton staple is the measurement used to determine the length of cotton fibre. Cotton, being a natural fibre, comes in short and long lengths.
What is short staple cotton?
Using short staple cotton exposes fibre ends on the surface of the fabric, producing bedding (or other cotton products) that feels rough to the tough, is susceptible to bobbling, and which will degrade over time. The characteristics of short staple cotton make it perfectly suitable for use in some products, but not those that you plan to spend a third of your life in contact with.
What is long staple cotton?
In contrast to short staple cotton, long staple cotton creates a fabric with less exposed fibre ends and stronger threads, creating bedding that is soft, smooth, and durable. Everything that you’d want in your new favourite luxury bedding.
Historically, Egyptian cotton was the gold standard in the bedding world, thanks to Egypt’s climatic conditions which helped to produce extra-long-staple cotton naturally. Nowadays, with modern farming techniques, long staple cotton can be produced in many other cotton growing countries producing high quality percale, sateen and cambric bedding.
Why quality cotton is not all about thread count
You’ve heard the old adage that quality is more important than quantity? Well the same applies to cotton bedding (or any other cotton fabric for that matter) and staple lengths. Just like a good meal, a cotton material is only good as the quality of its ingredients.
Thread count has been given hugely overstated importance in the world of bedding, due to its ease of recognition and comparability. But high thread counts can be hugely misleading indicators of quality.
It’s much better to have bedding made from high quality long staple cotton fibres in a lesser thread count (above a minimum level of 2-300) than short staple cotton woven into a high thread count sheet.
Aside from staple length, the single biggest factor affecting how your bedding looks and feels is the weave used – Sateen bedding feel remarkably different.
Long staple vs Short staple
So now we're clear on the difference between long and short-staple cotton, let’s look closer at the pros and cons of each.
Why Do People Choose Short Staple Cotton?
Primarily due to its lower price. Short staple cotton is quicker and cheaper to grow, process, and weave than long staple cotton, meaning that cotton products made from short staple cotton can be sold at a cheaper price. But in this case, quality tumps price in the long run.
Cons of Short Staple Cotton
There’s no getting around it, short staple cotton is lower quality cotton. There’s no cutting corners when it comes to making luxuriously soft bedding, and using sub-standard raw materials just doesn’t cut it.
Pros of Long Staple Cotton
It’s all about the quality. As staple length increases, cotton becomes softer, smoother, stronger, and more durable. Basically, everything you want and need in high-quality cotton sheets.
At Georgestreetlinen, we only use the good stuff. We’re not cheap, and we don’t intend to be, because high quality cotton comes at a cost. Our mill enforces the most rigorous of standards, making sure that only the finest quality threads make it into our cotton bedding, so you can rest easy knowing that you’re sleeping in the best.
We use the finest size of yarn available for sheeting (60’s, 80’s and 100’s), similar to what is used in luxury shirting fabrics to give you a smoother and lighter result.
Both our weaves are 100% Cotton but they are distinctly different in texture.
The Crisp Percale at George Street Linen we have chosen is an extremely fine percale weave. Percale is a very balanced weave, one-yarn-over and one- yarn-under, similar to a basketweave resulting in a matte finish with a cool & crisp feel. Lightweight, breathable and guaranteed to give you the best comfort.
Exceptionally durable this sheet just gets better and better with every wash. Great for summer and also for warmer sleepers.
The Soft Sateen we have constructed is also using superfine yarns, 80’s & 100’s, woven as a traditional sateen, one-yarn-under and three-yarns-over, resulting in more yarns on the surface. This creates a luminous finish with a warm and buttery soft feel. Washed finish. Super for year-round comfort.