What's the difference between Percale and Sateen?

Percale or Sateen, what's right for you? 

Percale -

The percale weave is a one-over one-under construction of 180 threads per inch or higher.

Percale weave illustration  Also called a plain weave, the percale weave creates a smooth, soft texture and is the most prominent in sheet fabric. The weave produces a strong, durable fabric and has a crispness preferred by many.

The percale weave also provides excellent breathability. To be clear, the fabric does not inhale & exhale. The percale weave allows air flow and moisture (sweat) absorbed by the cotton to evaporate.

The higher the thread count, the denser the fabric, the less breathability. 

This is why it is often referred to as being cool, creating a comfortable environment for a better nights sleep.

The Percale weave's firmness causes it to stand a little bit off the skin, allowing air to circulate all night. This also contributes to percale's coolness properties. 

Percale sheets will wrinkle more than sateen. 

Percale is well suited for the warmer summer months and year round. People who sleep hot will be more comfortable in percale.

Sateen - 

The sateen weave is usually a four-over one-under, construction but can also be a three-over one-under, which is what defines sateen.

Sarteen weave illustration The sateen weave produces an elegant, luxurious look and a smooth, soft feel with more fibers exposed on the surface.

Often described as buttery, the sateen weave has a warmer touch than percale. This is because it drapes close to the skin, creating a cozier feel.

This is why sateen is known to be warmer than percale. 

Sateen will wrinkle but less than percale. 

The sateen weave has less breathability than the percale weave. To be clear, the fabric does not inhale & exhale. The sateen weave does allow some air flow and moisture (sweat) absorbed by the cotton to evaporate but at a slower rate than percale.   

The higher the thread count, the denser the fabric, the less breathability.

Sateen fabric holds more heat than percale and is well suited for the cooler winter months or year-round. People who sleep cold will be more comfortable with sateen. 

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