Choosing Your Bed Linens
What should I look for in finer linens? Finer linens are usually characterized by a combination of beautiful materials, expert construction, fine workmanship, and design. Most fine linens are made from linen or cotton because both are durable, absorbent, and pleasant to the touch.Finer linens are smooth and soft (no coarse knots or uneven slubs should be visible); they may also be lustrous, but never shiny. Workmanship is key: all designs must be precisely executed, all colors uniform, and all seams must be finished evenly and correctly to ensure they are suitable for a lifetime of use.
How do I determine quality in bed linens? We believe that high quality bedding is a worthwhile investment that you will be sure to enjoy often. To determine quality, we recommend focusing on three issues: material (for breathability and durability), thread count (for softness), and style. Gracious Style is proud to offer bed linens made from the highest-quality natural fibers in a variety of luxurious thread counts for any budget.
What material should my bed linens be made from? Bed linens are most commonly made from natural materials such as cotton and linen because they are strong, absorbent, and highly breathable. Both also wear extremely well and become softer with use. We do not recommend synthetic blend linens because they are not as soft or as breathable as natural linens and many have a tendency to pile over time.
What is the difference between linen and cotton? Both linen and cotton are natural vegetable fibers. Linen comes from the flax plant and cotton comes from the cotton plant. Both fabrics are highly absorbent, durable, and become softer with use. Generally, linen feels lighter and has more texture, but it requires pressing after use. Cotton, on the other hand, feels more substantial and is better for reproducing printed designs. It is by far the most popular choice for bedding, so it is more widely available and generally more affordable.
What is Egyptian cotton? By far the finest variety of cotton in the world is Egyptian cotton because the humid weather and rich soil around the Nile delta produce especially delicate and long fibers. Cotton grown in Egypt has a staple length of over 2 1/4", twice the size of that in generic cotton and 60% longer than Pima cotton. For this reason, Egyptian cotton is used to make some of the finest linens in the world.
What is sateen? Sateen is cotton made with a satin weave. Rather than a one-over-one weave like percale, the warp or weft threads passed over several filling threads, creating a fabric with a silken feel and a very smooth and lustrous surface. Sateens can be produced in both light and heavy weights; they should ideally be ironed after washing to restore their luster.
What is percale? Percale is a closely woven, plain weave, meaning that the warp and weft threads cross each other one at a time. They are a tighter weave with a thread count of at least 180. Percale can be made of any fiber but are usually cotton or a cotton/polyester blend.
Why is thread count so important? The term "thread count" refers to the number of threads in one square inch of fabric. Higher thread counts mean a tighter weave, a softer and stronger fabric, and a finer quality. For a luxurious feel, we recommend fabrics with at least 300 thread count.
While important, thread count should always be considered in conjunction with the quality of the fiber, workmanship and finishing process used on the linens. Always make sure that the highest quality fiber is used because a high thread count sheet made from lower quality fibers will feel heavy and coarse instead of soft and luxurious.
You can rest assured that all Gracious Style products are made with the highest standards of craftsmanship using the best materials in the world. Whether the thread count of your sheets is 300 or 1010, made from cotton or linen, sateen or percale, your bed linens will be of the absolute highest quality.
What are the dimensions of your bed linens? Actual dimensions vary between collections, but they are generally as follow:
If you do not find a standard size item to fit your needs, Gracious Style is happy to offer custom sizes in many of its collections.
Do you carry sheets with extra deep pockets? All of the fitted sheets in Gracious Style collections have generous pockets of at least 16" deep. If you require a larger size, please write us or call us at 1-888-828-7170 and we will be happy to assist you with your special order.
Can you do custom sizes? Yes. If you can't find a standard item to fit your needs, Gracious Style is happy to offer custom sizes in many of its collections.
Why do I need a mattress pad? Mattress pads protect your mattress and add extra softness and comfort to your bed.
What colors should my bed linens be? White and ivory are the most popular choices for bed linens. However, bed linens are a versatile way to bring color and pattern into a bedroom.
What style should I choose for my bed linens? Gracious Style is proud to offer a large variety of styles for your bed linens including colorful solids, intricate embroideries and stunning prints. We are also happy to monogram any bedding item for the ultimate in personal luxury.
You will spend more time in your bedroom than any other room in the house so be sure to make it your own. For a vibrant tropical oasis you could go with a floral print, or if you want a bit of decoration but not too much color, perhaps neutral linens with a monogrammed accent would be more appropriate. Keep in mind that you will likely own several sets of linens, so you may want to choose different styles to fit your needs.
How should I monogram my bed linens? Single-letter monograms usually feature the first initial of the last name. On three-letter monograms, most individuals choose to have their first, middle, and last or first, last, and middle initials embroidered. For married couples, a popular choice is the initials of the couple's first names on either side of their married last name. Alternatively, embroidered designs such as crowns or wreaths are also ideal for personalizing linens. Gracious Style can custom embroider any design you choose.
Where should I monogram my bed linens? Following are standard placements for monograms: Neckroll: Center Boudoir sham: 3.5" from top edge Pillowcase: 5" from outer edge or Center Standard/King/Euro Sham: 5.5" from top edge or Center Flat sheet: 5.5" from outer edge Duvet cover/coverlet: Center We will gladly place your monogram wherever you choose.
What style of monogramming do you recommend on bed linens? We generally recommend choosing a style that is in keeping with the linens themselves. On classic linens, we suggest a timeless font such as the Script or the Diamond. For a more contemporary look, the Delano is a modern take on the classic Script. Fanciful monograms like the Palace Scroll and Claridge appear more prominent on plain linens. Keep in mind that some monograms are only available in one-letter styles while others can be embroidered in two or three-letter styles.
Can you do custom monogramming? Yes. If you have a particular monogram or design that you would like to have embroidered, please let us know and we will be happy to help you.
How do I care for my bed linens? Gracious Style recommends that you always wash bed linens before putting them on your bed for the first time. Be sure to wash your sheets regularly (remember that natural fibers get softer with each wash) in warm water with like colors and tumble dry on medium. Do not use bleach or fabric softener because it can damage fibers and make the sheets less soft over time. For less wrinkle in your sheets, remove them promptly from the dryer and put them on the bed or fold them right away. If you do want to iron your bed linens, take out of the dryer slightly damp for easier ironing, and always press embroideries on the reverse side.
How should I store my bed linens? Since bed linens are used often, simply fold them after laundering and store them in your linen closet. We recommend storing sheet sets together to minimize confusion when making a new bed.
How many bed linens do I need? Gracious Style recommends that a basic collection of bed linens include one set for the bed, one set for the laundry, and one set for the linen closet. A full list of recommended items includes: