What is the difference between percale & cotton?

Written by eileen rivera
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Linens can come in different styles and fabrics. Cotton is a popular fabric for bed linens and percale is a popular weave for fabrics used for bed linens. Percales can be found in different fabrics, including cotton.


Percale refers to a weave that is used for fabric and is not related to the fabric that is used. Cotton is a natural fibre that is harvested from cotton plants. The fibre is spun into yarn and used to make textiles.


Percale was developed in India in the 17th century and eventually came to be produced in France. The age of cotton is not known. It is known that cotton was being grown and spun into cloth in the Indus and Nile river valleys as early as 3000 B.C.


Percale fabric is used mostly for bedsheets and sometimes for shirts. Cotton is a versatile fabric that is used in a range of apparel from towels to tents. U.S. currency is 75 per cent cotton and 25 per cent linen.

Percale Sheets

Bed sheets have a great range of prices. The prices are determined by the brand, fibre content and thread count (number of threads in one square inch of fabric). The higher thread count make for higher quality sheets. Percale woven sheets usually have a thread count of 200 or higher.


Percale can be woven from almost any fibre and in bedding linens it is usually woven from cotton. Cotton can be woven using various styles, including percale, muslin and sateen.

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