Let’s de-myth Egyptian Cotton…

Given that we spend up to a third of our lives between the sheets, bed linen should be one of our most significant purchases.  For high-end chalet and hotel owners, it is critically important to provide your guests with the right quality linens.  Even the least discerning of guests can tell the difference between genuinely luxurious bed linen and the cheap impostors.

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It is widely accepted that Egyptian Cotton produces the finest linens.  The reason for this is geographical.  The land along the banks of the Nile has a unique chemical composition that works well for growing cotton, despite the little rainfall.  The provenance of the cotton is important as the term ‘Egyptian Cotton’ is often misused for marketing purposes.

Understanding the terminology surrounding Egyptian cotton isn’t as straightforward as it first seems.

Let’s bust the first myth: It isn’t all about the thread count

After the cotton has been picked and combed, it is then drawn out and spun into thin yarns before being woven,  The thread count is simply the number of threads that are woven into every square inch.  Higher thread counts require finer yarns.  Finer yarns tend only to be made from the highest grades of cotton.   However, a lower thread count can still be woven from a high grade cotton and a high thread count can be woven from a lower grade cotton.  When shopping for linens,  bear this in mind as the thread count isn’t the only thing you should be looking out for!

Let’s bust the second myth: Fine threads

Marketers of Egyptian cottons find plenty of scope for trickery within the English language.  The word ‘finer’ has two meanings; of higher quality or thinner.  When reading about Egyptian cottons be sure that you are reading the right meaning.  A ‘thinner’ thread doesn’t necessarily mean a thread of higher quality.  This tends to be more of an issue further down the thread count scale.  At the top end, it is worth knowing that only the highest quality threads can be spun finely enough to be produce thread counts of 400 or higher.

Let’s bust the third myth: There’s more to it than just the raw materials 

To quote an expert in the field, Malcolm Jones, “On the face of it, bedlinen is a very simple product…The reality is that to produce the finest bed linen is a complicated process requiring the very best raw materials, state of the art machinery and skilled hemmers.”  In addition to the picking, combing, spinning and weaving process, the fabric is finished with dye or embroidery such as corded edges.  All of these processes require skill.  The level of care and attention needed to produce the best quality linens is costly and is reflected in the price of the product.

We at Chalet Shop have chosen our linens carefully.  We have taken advice from Malcolm and other industry specialists and we believe that the Egyptian Cotton linens that we offer are great quality.  Our linens fall into two categories; Luxury Egyptian Cotton and Egyptian Cotton.  The Mont Blanc Collection, as the name suggests represents the peak of luxury.  This collection has featured at The Lodge, Virgin Limited Edition in Verbier and has received numerous positive comments from guests.  The Alphubel and Matterhorn collections are more affordable but maintain excellent quality.  If you would like further information, please contact us at [email protected] and we would be more than happy to help.

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