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Choosing Linens Wisely - Importance of Long Fiber Cotton

March 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 170

When buying linens it is easy to rely on thread count as the single way to judge quality. But that is not the only consideration when making the decision to buy or not. Certainly consideration should be given to the quality of the hem, how even the fabric is woven, and the quality of the dyes. In addition it is very important to know the quality of fibers used to manufacture the threads which are used in weaving the fabric. Since this information is not always printed on the labels, it is useful to ask.

Why is this important? When producing or spinning thread, fibers are twisted around each other so that they become interlocked and form a strand. It is more difficult to spin a thread if the fibers are short. The longer the fiber used, the stronger the thread. It requires many more short fibers to form a thread of a particular length than long fibers and the fibers are unlikely to be able to grip as firmly if they are short. Additionally, the ends of the fibers tend to stick out as they are being twisted together. This makes the threads less smooth if more short fibers are used than long fibers. As can be understood, the longer fibers create smoother, stronger threads.

It makes little difference what kind of linens being produced - table linens, bed linens or bath linens - the better the thread being used for weaving the better the linen. With table linens, the smoother the fabric the less likely the fabric will stain. In addition, the smoother the fabric, the easier it will be to iron it if it is required. Dyes will take better on a smoother fabric and last longer. Most of all, if using cloth napkins it will simply feel better. With bed linens, the smoother the fabric the better it will feel, the nicer it will look, and the stronger it will be. Bath linens are more absorbent when longer fibers are used and less lint is given off when drying. They last longer and don't get scratchy. And again, the dyes used are more likely to hold their color better.

The fibers which are longer tend to be labeled as Egyptian cotton but there are others. Most quality fabric manufacturers will point out whether long fibers are used and the source of the fabric. High quality fabrics can be found being manufactured in France, Belgium, Portugal, Ireland and other countries in Europe.

Depending on how the linens are going to be used, and how long they are expected to last, it makes sense to choose them wisely. Putting the extra effort into judging the quality will in the long run make economic sense as well as having linen that feels silky and looks good.

Kathryn Severance, co-owner of Gallic Traditions, LLC an online website featuring imported European linens, cookware, tableware and housewares. Having lived in France for several years, she became well acquainted with the beauty of high quality products not found easily in the United States. She is committed to continuing to provide easy access to unique and high quality products which can be found at http://stores.gallictraditions.com. Learn more on her e-zine at http://touchoffrance.com

Source: EzineArticles
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