A Bit About Egyptian Cotton & Bamboo Sheets
Introducing Some New Varieties of Bed Sheets at BLO...
100% Cotton Sheets are pretty easy to understand. The higher the Thread Count, the stronger, more durable and dense the fabric. But not everything in the world of the humble bedsheet is that simple! If you've thought about Egyptian Cotton (or are just wondering what all the fuss is about), or perhaps want to make the switch to Bamboo Sheets or Microfibre, this is the place for you.
Egyptian Cotton - What's the Big Deal?
The Pima Cotton plant, also known as Extra Long Staple or Egyptian Cotton, is one variety of cotton plant. Like all cotton plants it grows as a small, bushy tree with fluffy wad-like flowers of cotton. The Extra Long Staple variety is called that because it grows unusually long, silky fibres (many of which are woven together to make the actual thread used in cloth).
Though there are many kinds of Extra Long Fibre cotton plants out there, the handpicked (delicately handled) fibres and high quality production of Egyptian manufacturers mean that Egyptian Cotton sheets are prized around the world. Many luxury and upmarket brands will boast about the use of Egyptian Cotton in their products. But beware, some stuff labeled as "Egyptian Cotton" might only contain a small percentage of the real thing. Our sheet sets are certified and carry the Egyptian Cotton cotton bud logo to signify that they are made from only top-quality Egyptian cotton.
Though we have not tested these in our home yet (our 350TC Cotton Sheets are still going strong!), we have an Egyptian Cotton bed sheet set on hand to compare some of its features.
It feels a lot thinner and less "dense" than the 350TC Cotton sheets (which feel rich and smooth but heavy), but REALLY tough and far lighter than the cotton sheets.
Rubbing your hand against it, it feels silky and more glossy. It has a luxurious shine to it that catches the light, where the cotton is totally matte - pure cotton will look bright in a vibrant colour and feel soft to sleep on but it does not shine like this.
It's said that Egyptian Cotton is hardwearing and keeps a more vibrant colour for longer. Once we have tested the Egyptian Cotton we will be able to report on this further.
Bamboo Fibre - A Healthier Alternative?
Bamboo has only recently become usable as a fibre to make clothing and sheets, thanks to new technology being developed. The great thing about bamboo as a fabric is it is much better for the environment than cotton, which uses stacks of pesticides and chemicals in its production. As Bamboo is a grass it grows back quickly and its roots stay in the ground (meaning there is less erosion / soil degradation), and bamboo forests are denser allowing for higher crop yields than cotton.
Also, though Bamboo is a natural product, it does not naturally come in "fibres" - instead a resin is extracted and made into thread by artificial means. So it's not a natural fabric like Cotton and that makes it hypo-allergenic, much like microfibre is.
These sheets feel fantastic! The label says the fabric has a "naturally enhanced lustrous finish". The Bamboo Sheet Set is shiny and smooth, has a more "silky" feel than the 350TC Cotton AND the Egyptian Cotton, and the lustrous shine seems to be double sided (the inside of the pillowcase is as shiny as the outside).
The label promises greater heat retention / cooling in summer, as bamboo is more heat absorbent than cotton. As it's not a natural fibre, it's listed as hypo-allergenic. Some natural properties of Bamboo have been enhanced to also make it Anti-Bacterial.
Like the Egyptian Cotton the lustre finish means it catches the light and looks much more vibrant than just cotton. It feels more rich and soft than the "tough" Egyptian Cotton, though the thickness seems unchanged. We'll see what the differences are after a few washes.
What to Choose?
Both of these fabrics are incredibly light and have a "silky" finish. The choice is up to you - if you prefer a rich, almost felty soft feel then the higher Thread Count 100% Cotton varieties might be your thing. But if you want that silky luxurious look that catches the light and a more silky smoothness against your skin then Bamboo and Egyptian Cotton are the better options.
Between them it's up to you which you prefer - environmentally friendly, hypo-allergenic Bamboo or luxurious, prestigious Egyptian Cotton?
Either way, we have a basic range of colours available to suit your tastes & needs in each fabric style, so happy shopping!