Bed Linen Glossary – Everything you need to know

Bed linen terms and meanings aren’t always easy to keep up with! And if you are just now entering this amazingly enormous world, this glossary will be a powerful help.

Flat Sheet – also known as “top sheet”, is typically placed on top of the fitted sheet.

Fitted Sheet – the sheet that is placed on top of the mattress, but has the characteristic of fitting the mattress tightly and perfectly, once it has elasticated corners.

Duvet cover – a decorative and protective cover for the filling that is used to replace traditional quilts. They are usually less expensive than quilts and offer an easier way of changing the bedroom’s design and mood.

Sham – term used to describe the pillowcase that co-ordinates with duvet covers.

Valance – also referred to as “bed skirt”, is a piece of decorative fabric used to cover the bottom of the bed, bellow the mattress. Used usually in Scandinavian countries.

Thread count – the amount of threads woven, vertically and horizontally, into every square inch of fabric. Usually the quality of bed linen fabrics is measured by the number of TC (thread count), higher the TC, higher the quality.

Easy care – in bed linen, this refers to a fabric that requires little to no effort to launder and iron.

Seersucker – an all-cotton fabric with a crimped and puckered surface.

Digital Print – different from the traditional rotary print, allowing unlimited use of colors (rotary print has a limit of colors per print) and a more realistic look to the print itself, once it prints exactly the design created digitally.

Yarn Dyed – a type of yarn that is dyed before being woven, creating a different look from the traditional dyeing process done on fabric already woven.

Industrial wash – special wash made in industrial laundries, done to break some of the fabric’s fibers in order to make the fabric softer and “easy care”.

Overdye – process of dyeing a fabric twice or dyeing over a printed fabric, to give a totally different look to the same fabric.

Chenille – texture fabric characterized by being luxuriously soft and adding volume/dimension. Chenille is usually made from cotton or wool, but can also be made from acrylic or rayon.

Jacquard – this type of weave creates an intricate, textured pattern within the fabric. Tapestries, brocades and damask fabrics are all jacquard weaves.

Matelassé – a soft, jacquard-woven fabric with a quilted, puckered surface appearance that adds dimension and texture. Used most often in coverlets.

Binding – way of finishing the edges of a coverlet or quilt. A narrow length of fabric that is sewn to cover seams or unfinished edges. When used the same fabric of the base, it’s called “self-binding”.

Embroidery – decorative, ornamental needlework stitches used to dress up a fabric.

Piping – a decorative trim used to finish a hem, seam or as an outline. It can be made out of the same fabric or a contrasting one.