What is Percale Bedding? Is It Right for Me?

Bed with Throw

Fabric is always going to be an important factor in the perfect night’s sleep. The right material will relax the mind, put the body at ease and beckon you to bed each night – leaving you refreshed in the morning. On top of all that it should be easy to care for. Sounds like a pretty tall order for fabric, right?

When you’re searching for the right bedding, you’ll probably come across several compositions and constructions – one of which is percale. Not sure what it is? Read on for everything you need to know.

What is percale?

Percale is any fabric woven to 180 thread counts or higher. It’s often confused with a type of material, but the word ‘percale’ simply refers to the way the fabric is woven together and has nothing to do with the materials used. Percale can be a blend of polyester and cotton, 100% cotton or any other material used to make bed linen – as long as it has a thread count of 180 or higher.

What is thread count?

Technically speaking, the thread count is the number of threads per square inch of fabric. A fabric with a thread count of 250 would have a combination of threads woven vertically and horizontally to total 250, i.e 125 threads woven horizontally and 125 threads woven vertically.

There’s a misconception that the higher the thread count, the better the quality fabric. However, thread count is only a part of the quality equation. The truth is, the ideal thread count needs to be taken into account alongside the composition of the material and the type of weave.

In general, the type of weave and composition of the fabric makes a bigger difference than the thread count number.


The construction of percale and sateen are similar, but the weave of their warp threads (vertical threads) and weft threads (horizontal threads) create a different end product.

  • Percale – A plain weave that is characterised by a matte finish and giving sheets that ‘crisp’ feeling. The tight weave of one-over-one-under produces a strong and thick fabric.
  • Sateen – Sateen sheets have a unique weave of three-over-one-under, which give this material the sheen and drape of satin with comfort and durability in tow. It is slightly gentler than that of other durable fabrics because of its looser weave.


While looking for bedding, you may quickly realise that percale bedding can be a mix of fabrics. For example, sheets can be 100% cotton percale, 100% cotton sateen, or blended percale or polycotton sateen… In short, there are plenty of different options!

  • Polycotton – Polycotton is manufactured with a blend of manmade polyester and natural cotton.
  • Cotton – A natural product that is hypoallergenic and breathable. There are a variety of different types of cotton to choose from, including Egyptian cotton, Pima cotton or a mix of cotton and manmade fabrics.

Narrow down your bedding search with Homefords

If you’re looking for crisp, clean and liveable bedding, then percale sheets may be the right fit for you. At Homefords, we offer a variety of wholesale bedding that suits your needs – whether that is by thread count, weave or budget. With free mainland UK delivery and discounts on bulk orders, you can make your bedding search a snap. Visit us today to get started!

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