We’re Working On A Nifty Glossary Of Bedding Terms For You!
This will be the home of one of the best glossaries of bedding terms you’ll ever find!
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We’re adding to this cool bedding glossary as time permits. If there are any terms you would like explained, please drop us a line!
Baffle Box – You’ll find these inside your better comforters, especially the ones that are down and feather filled. They are three-dimensional boxes that are made of stiffer fabric and allow maximum thickness for the fill while maintaining even distribution of filling within the boxes. Minimize shifting and migration of fill for maximum comfort and support. Your comforter will last longer and stay nicer for much longer. Essential feature to look for when buying more expensive comforters with better down and feather fill.
Bed Skirt – Decorative bed accessory often used with a comforter or with bedding collections to finish off a nice tidy look. A bed skirt, or dust ruffle, covers your box spring and bed frame and hangs touching the floor or nearly touching the floor.
Binding – Also called edging or piping, this is the decorative trim detailing on the fold-down portion of a flat sheet or pillowcase or sham. Usually contrasts the bed linen so detailing stands out. A nice extra touch to feed your senses.
Blend – A combination of two or more different types of fibers woven together to make a distinct cloth. Like polyester is blended with cotton so the sheet is warmer and less wrinkle prone than cotton alone.
Brushing – a mechanical fabric finishing process that raises the nap of the fabric, sort of like combing, giving it a softer feel. Flannel is a brushed fabric.
Chamber – Term used in pillow, comforter, and feather bed construction. Indicates walls of fabric sewn inside the basic shell that contains down or feather separate from other filled portions, enabling various support characteristics. See the definition of baffle box above for more details on this.
Combing – A yarn preparation for removing all short fibers and impurities from cotton. Combed yarn is superior to carded yarn in that it is more compact and has fewer projecting fibers. The finest cotton fabrics are made from combed yarns.
Comforter Cover – See: Duvet Cover
Cotton – vegetable seed fiber grown all over the world. The length of the fiber is the major determining factor in the relative quality of the cotton. The best quality cotton is Egyptian, Supima and Pima cotton.
Damask – glossy jacquard-patterned fabric. Gorgeously detailed intricate patterns can be found in damask bedding. Damask is similar to brocade but flatter and reversible. In general, any piece of dyed (single color) cloth with a woven pattern is called damask.
Down – an excellent insulator borrowed from water fowl. The soft, fluffy tufts of down grow under the breast feathers of ducks and geese keeping them comfy no matter what time of year it is.
Down Comforter – A shell filled with the small insulating down feathers of either geese or ducks.
Duvet – Your comforter…no matter what the fill is made of is still a duvet.
Duvet cover – What you put a down comforter inside of to protect it and keep the dirt away. Some comforters need to be professionally dry-cleaned, so keeping your more expensive comforters inside a duvet cover will be a smart investment. They also come in a wide variety of really awesome colors and designs so you can freshen up the look of your bedroom with a nice new duvet cover and some matching bed linens and pillowcases.
Egyptian Cotton – The longest staple cotton fiber grown, no doubt the best quality cotton you can get. The next best cottons are from the Southwest US like Supima and Pima which are just tiny bit shorter than the Egyptian kind.
Feather Bed – feathers contained within a fabric shell and laid on top of a mattress as a mattress topper. The featherbed will normally have elastic straps or even have a fitted sheet on it so that the whole shabang fits over your mattress and stays put. This way you and your featherbed won’t find yourselves sliding around. lol
Feather Bed Cover – this is a large covering for a feather bed to protect it from body oils and dirt and will help everything last longer.
Fill Power – The measurement in cubic inches that one ounce of down will fill when placed in a glass tube and allowed to loft for up to 3 days.
Fitted Sheet – Sheet used to tightly fit over your mattress. Bottom sheet. Fitted sheets usually have the corners with some elastic sewn around the edges. The cheaper versions will feature elastic on only 2 sides, while better quality fitted sheets will have elastic all the way around the bed. Helps keep that sheet on the bed so you don’t wake up on the floor.
Flat Sheet – Also called the “top sheet”, a flat sheet is placed on top of the fitted sheet and is typically tucked around the mattress at the sides and the bottom
Hand – Refers to how you’d describe the feel of a fabric like bed linens. The qualities of fabric like soft, cool, fine, stiff and the like.
Hemstitch – A way of embroidering sheets and pillowcases.
Jacquard – A way of weaving cloth that allows for some intensely gorgeous detailed designs to be woven directly into the fabric. Can be stunning.
Muslin – Plain-weave fabric made of cotton or poly/cotton blends not less than 128 threads per square inch. Typically won’t last too long for use in bed linen but acceptable if you know that going in. Sooner or later you’ll be able to see right through muslin. lol
Open Construction – Term used to describe comforter construction where the filling is allowed to move around. This will prove to be a poor choice in the long run. The comforter will get lumps of fill in the corners and then get thin in the middle where you’d like to have it. Then your fill will get smashed down and not be able to keep you as warm as when it was new. Typically you’ll also find that your shell on such a comforter will be made with a less tighter weave…which means that before you know it you’ll have annoying little feathers poking you here and there. lol
Percale – A closely woven plain-weave fabric, generally 180 thread count or better. Percale is soft, cool and light to the touch. Some of the best hotels feature Percale bed linens like the ones made by Anichini and others.
Pilling – The tendency of fibers of bedding like sheets to eventually work loose from the sheet surface and form little balls that remain attached to the surface of the fabric. I hate when that happens. You’ll typically find pilling in bedding with lower thread counts. If you want to avoid pilling, try and stay at thread counts of say 180 or more generally speaking.
Pillow Protector – A little zippered cover to stick your pillow into. This keeps your pillows fresh and away from body oils, stains and in my case, drool. lol Make sure you use a pillowcase over it ya know.
Pillow Sham – Basically just a fancy pillowcase. You can find them with tassels, with brocade, velvet or ruffles.
Pillowcase – A functional pillow covering to protect your pillow from body oils and soiling. It’s good to have several to always have a nice, clean fresh one on the bed- especially when you sort of drool like I do! lol
Plied yarns – Yarns that are twisted together after spinning to create a new yarn. Plied yarns don’t increase the durability or strength of the fabric and will exhibit a different feel, or hand than a cloth woven with single yarns. Plied yarns should be counted as only one yarn.
Polyester – A man made synthetic fiber. Durable, wrinkle and shrinkage resistance, non-breathable. Polyester fibers are often blended with cotton or other fibers to produce blended cloth.
Pre-Shrinking – Most pre-shrinking of cotton cloth is done on a compressive shrinkage range which is a mechanical process that allows cotton cloth to shrink naturally in its length. There is minimal residual shrinkage after this process
Print – this is the image, illustration or pattern applied or transferred to the cloth. You’ll find an absolutely huge variety of patters on any and all bedding. Thin or thick stripes, geometric patterns, flowers or any other image or picture on bed linens and bedding is called a print.
Sateen weave – weave that has more yarn surface on the face of the cloth than other basic weaves giving a softer hand and more lustrous, shiny look. Cloth made with combed yarns that are usually mercerized and have a very smooth, lustrous surface effect
Thread Count – The actual number of threads going in either direction in one square inch of cloth.
Warp yarns – The yarns that run the length of the woven fabric.