Different types of weaves have been used for centuries in bedsheets. Over time, the bodies of natural materials used in weaving have changed and now, most weaves are made from synthetic fibers.  

Cotton is still commonly used as a base textile because it is durable, soft, and absorbent. There are a few most common types of cotton woven fabrics: percale weave, twill weave, jersey knit and sateen weave. Here is some information on the  most common types of weave:

Sateen weave 

is one of the most luxurious and softest fabrics available for bedding. Like all wovens, it requires multiple yarns to create a fabric with more than one color. It’s characterized by two sets knit at right angles to each other, which creates an even surface where all fibers lie smoothly together. The sateen weave gives sheets their silky texture and great appearance; it has a natural luster and provides for more durability than cotton or polyester fabric. Sateen is available in a wide range of colors and two styles: plain weave and twill. They are best for good appearance and feel.

Twill weave 

is produced using a single yarn that passes over or under the warp or weft. Part of this yarn then passes between the warp threads, creating a diagonal pattern that creates the twill weave. Twill weaves are popular for sheets because they give greater stability and durability than plain weave fabric, making them suitable for hospital use. Twill weaves come in many different numbers of stripes, giving you the ability to put as much color on your bed sheets without worrying about clashing colors; it also allows you to sew different types of patterns into your creations without altering the overall look.

Jersey knit 

It is another type of weave that allows for color changes within the same area. It’s created by using two different sets of threads throughout the fabric and then stitching them together, creating a diagonal pattern that results in a checkerboard effect. Jersey knit fabrics are usually used for sheets because of their ability to create intricate patterns that look great along with their durability and strength (which is why it’s used in hospital equipment).


A type of weave used in bedsheets is called a cotton percale. This type of weave was first developed in France to experience a luxurious sleep and mainly to provide homes with a more luxurious and durable fabric. As the name “percale” indicates, this type of sheeting goes around and around, giving it its intricate pattern. A tightly woven cotton percale can be particularly difficult to unravel after it is made because each thread passes through two loops in between each other; thus, making it nearly impossible to get out by hand.

Sequence Of Stitches

The cotton percale weave is made with a specific sequence of stitches in a very tight, elaborate pattern. The panels of the percale weave consist of points where many threads are tied together, or “perched”, and the thread passes through two loops in between each other. This creates a tightly woven material that is especially difficult to unravel by hand. The threads are tied at the top, bottom, center and all four corners (usually at least three rows of stitching at each corner) to create this intricate pattern.

Popularity Of percale Sheet

The ease with which it can be unraveled by hand is one reason percale sheets, also called percale ruffled or pique, became so popular in Europe. At that time, many people could not use their hands as much as they could their feet and therefore were limited at times in what they could do. The ability of these sheets to be unraveled by hand may have been the reason that the sheets were so popular. Another reason might simply be its name—the “percale” name was highly regarded at that time for its elegant way of tying up the material.

Thread Count

Before purchasing any type of fabric, you need to make sure you are getting a good quality by checking the material’s thread count. Higher numbers mean the threads are thinner, which allows for a smoother surface on the fabric and makes for more durable sheets. It needs to be higher than at least 200 in order to get a good shiny finish. 

  • If you’re getting a sateen weave, then you need to look for fabrics with at least 300 threads; this will give your sheets more durability and strength without losing the soft and shiny feeling that sateen is known for. 
  • When buying any type of twill weave sheets, make sure it has at least 250 threads per inch (which is equal to 4,584 stitches per inch). This will ensure it has an even, tight surface that can handle bed use. 
  • Jersey knit fabrics need at least 130 threads, which will allow for a good tight weave and allow for intricate designs that won’t rip or tear.

Sewing Your Designs

If you’re going to be sewing designs into your sheets, then you need to make sure the weave will work for you. Plain weave is difficult to work with because the fabric only allows one design per material area, making it difficult to create intricate patterns; if you have several colors, then this may not be the best choice for your design. 

Twill weave is the easiest of all weaves to work with because it allows for more intricate designs and many colors without clashing. If you want your sheets to last a long time, then it would be best to stay away from sateen fabrics; they are pretty but they’re not that durable. 


There are many types of weaves used in bedsheets and each type will have a corresponding description. Understanding what type of weave someone’s bedsheet is, can help you determine the thread count, durability, and longevity of that sheet.

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