Top positive review
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High quality - high thread count. Very attractive sheets **updated review**
on December 2, 2012
It is now May of 2013, and I wanted to add a few things to this review. My opinion has not changed, in fact I find these sheets to be the best I have ever owned. I've added some additional perceptions and care tips at the end of the original review which starts here:
I purchased this sheet set in khaki, king-sized, in October, 2012. I also bought a spare set of standard/queen pillow cases in the same color, but 600 thread count. I've waited until now (early December) to post my review because a few people have complained about pilling and roughness in the fabric. I wanted to be sure to wait until they'd been washed and dried enough times for that to happen if it were going to. It hasn't. The sheets come packaged in (and completely fill) a box that is larger than any I've seen for a king-sized set of cotton sheets before. The sheets themselves weigh over 13 pounds. I mention this, because this is evidence that the fabric is a very good quality and obviously of a very high thread count. While it does not (in itself) indicate anything about the quality of the sheets, it is a good indicator of how substantial the fabric is and, because *more* weighs more than *less* it is evidence of a high thread count. (Microfiber sheets are also very substantial in size and weigh quite a bit, but they are 100% man-made, knitted, not woven, material -- they feel more like an acrylic blanket than a sheet, if the comparison is of help to you.)
These are lovely, soft, high quality sheets with a nice sheen due to the sateen weave (as opposed to the matte (dull, not shiny) appearance of percale woven sheets.) They are very generously sized and have well-made seams and corners. There is a double merrow-stitch row on the header of the top sheet giving a nice, attractive and finished look to the sheets. The attention to detail is remarkable with bias-bound seams in the corners and all other seams enclosed in a hem (the sheets themselves) or a serged seam (in the pillow cases). The sheets were a little stiff and had what appeared to be deep wrinkles in them after the initial washing, until they were washed and used about 3 times, after which the fabric has relaxed and gotten much softer.
Since people seem to have a lot of problems with their expectations of 100% cotton high thread count sheets, I thought I'd add some pointers that may help you get the best experience with your sheets. First of all, cotton wrinkles. Period. If you catch the sheets before they are dried to a crisp, the wrinkles won't have chance to set in and become semi-permanent creases. Also, it may take a few washing's for your sheets to "relax" and for all of the fabric sizing (what makes the sheets look so nice in the package) to be washed out completely. Until then, they may feel a bit rough and wrinkly.
There are some things that you can do to make your sheets look better longer and wear better, too. A lot of people focus on the "cold wash/low dry or line dry" but I haven't found that to be a major factor for me. I use only the dryer (not line-drying) because I have allergies, and the sheets will attract a lot more allergens in the open air but the filter in the drier catches dust and animal dander before it is redeposited on the sheets. Hot water and very hot dryer will cause more shrinkage (they are cotton after all) but, if you've found these sheets to be too over-sized for your liking, a little shrinkage won't hurt. If the sheets fit well now, don't use hot water or a hot dryer, they may not fit as well afterwards.
One of the hardest things on cotton fabric is an over-crowded washer or dryer. When I wash sheets, I wash only the sheets and pillowcases in one load. (I have a king-sized bed so there's a lot of fabric there.) If the fabric is free to move around in the washer without rubbing up against itself or other items in the load you are much less likely to have pilling and wear spots on the sheets. The dryer should be half-again as large as the washer with plenty of room for the sheets to float around in there -- you'll have much less wrinkling and fabric wear that way. I've experienced the most pilling and tearing on sheets that were overcrowded in the washer &/or dryer.
Even though I have a very large washer/dryer set, when it comes time to dry the sheets I dry the contour (bottom) sheet in a load by itself -- it tends to wrap itself around other items in the dryer causing stress and wear on the fabric as well as preventing some items from drying thoroughly when they get trapped in the contour of the sheet. I then dry the flat sheet and pillow cases in another load. It doesn't really take any longer since one sheet dries in about half the time of two or more from around 10 to 20 minutes versus 35 to 50 minutes or more for 2 sheets plus pillow cases -- the top sheet is much larger than the bottom sheet and with the added pillowcases it takes a little bit longer in the dryer. I'm usually just about done struggling to fold the giant contour sheet by the time the second load is done drying. I've taken to using the lowest setting on the dryer for a slightly longer period of time, because the sheets have a little bit more time "floating" around in the dryer and allowing the wrinkles to loosen up. I did, however, use the hot setting the second time I washed these sheets because I knew I could do with quite a bit of shrinkage on these sheets, and the hotter temperature did help loosen up the fabric's stiffness significantly.
You may see threads left attached at the end of each seam, especially in the corners of contour sheets. Don't cut these threads, and by all means, don't pull on them. Doing so can permanently damage the sheets. If you absolutely must cut the threads (it looks like a tiny woven rope) be sure to leave at least 1-1/2" of these threads attached because if they are cut too short, the seams will work themselves open and unravel leaving what look like tears at the corners and on the ends of sheets. Just tuck these threads inside when you make the bed (they'll be inside next to the bed and won't be visible once the bed is made) and forget about them.
If you should find yourself with some hems that want to turn backwards and crease, or with deep creases in the header of the sheets -- go find your iron -- and touch up the creases with a moderately hot iron (careful not to scorch, use steam if you can.) After doing this once (or at most twice) you shouldn't have to bother with it again (at least not anytime soon.) The fabric "wants" to pull back over the thread sometimes, because the thread is of a different weight than the fabric and doesn't have the sizing in it that is usually put into the fabric and may shrink at a different rate. After the first washing, it shouldn't be an issue anymore and if you can't live with it use your iron (just this one time, I promise.)
Hope this helps.
These sheets have only gotten softer and more comfortable with every wash. In my original review (above) I suggested ironing the hems and edges to get out creases that might get set into the fabric. I said you should only need to do this occasionally when a crease gets set in or a hem turns back on itself and doesn't "want" to lay flat. While I still believe that is a good thing to do, I have rediscovered the joy of sheets that have been ironed (all of the sheet, not just the hems and headers.)
When I was growing up we had in our laundry room an ironing machine called a "mangle". I'm not sure how it got it's name, but I always treated it with the greatest respect because I had no desire to find out exactly why it deserved that name.) The mangle consisted of a revolving padded cylinder (held in a horizontal position) onto which items to be ironed (or pressed) were carefully fed and held in place while a hot (extremely hot) curved metal plate (the same length as the cylinder and about a foot or two wide) was lowered onto the revolving cylinder. When all this is done correctly (and with a little skill), a perfectly smooth, ironed article of clothing (usually men's shirts) or sheet or tablecloth or other large cloth fabric item rolls smoothly out the back of the machine. With a machine such as this, ironing a top sheet takes a several seconds. If you want to iron bottom (contour) sheets with it a bit more skill is required.
I mention this because I have become enamoured of ironed, high quality sheets. They feel and look sumptuous and tend to resist wrinkling for quite a while. A number of people have commented that they had hoped to have sheets that felt as luxurious as the sheets they slept on in a luxury hotel. Well, *ironing* is the key to that luxurious feel.
Hotels pay a laundry service to wash and press (or iron) all the sheets they use on guests' beds and that's why they feel so great. There is not a single sheet on this planet that will not feel much smoother and softer after having been pressed this way and high quality, high thread count sheets feel the best. The laundries have giant-scale "mangles" that will iron one king-sized sheet in just a few seconds. They also use only flat sheets since the contoured sheets take a good bit more care to press, and the maids in hotels know how to properly fold and tuck the bottom sheet to get it to look perfect and stay neatly on the bed.
I don't have a mangle in my home, but I do love the feel of properly ironed sheets. So I am forced to resort to an ironing board and a good quality steam iron. It takes me longer than a few minutes (I won't lie to you) but I do it while watching TV and I don't notice the time so much. I know most people won't want to bother with ironing their sheets but I thought I'd mention it here because so many people seem to be craving the feel of bed linens from a luxury hotel -- and this is one way to get that. To be honest, if I had a family at home (my husband and I are retired, now) I wouldn't bother with this at all. We have joined the ranks of the "genteel poor" and so we can't afford to pay a laundry service to press our sheets for us. So, ironing the sheets is something I do to please myself and my husband (to be completely honest, he really doesn't care that much about sheets) and to keep myself out of trouble.
I hope my update provides you with helpful information or even amusement; if not, please feel free to disregard it.