It is among the qualities of cotton the most renowned and of value.
Its production is accurate and laborious, obtained through processes that engage the textile industry to use it in the production of some special clothes and for medium-high level outfits.
The percale cotton is the mixture of the factors that every superior fabric should bear, that is softness combined with resistance.
But what is percale and why is it so coveted for some textile creations?
Table of Contents
– Distinction between natural and artificial fibers
Before talking about cotton, and in particular percale cotton, we should make a small premise that will help us understand why this yarn is considered very valuable and therefore of higher costs.
Textile fiber is the raw material which is made up of fibrous elements that differ in structure, length, strength and elasticity.
These elements are transformed by spinning into thin, tenacious and flexible yarns that will become yarns, which when properly processed will become fabrics.
Natural textile fiber is already present in nature, unlike the chemical fibers produced exclusively by man, through the various processes of transformation of heterogeneous elements.
In this way there will be technofibres, which on the basis of the polymer of primary use, whether natural or synthetic, mineral or inorganic, will be artificial, synthetic or inorganic.
Often the textile industry originates hybrid fabrics, which are a mix of fibers of different genres, assembled to obtain technological results that are specific to the field of use of the wefts, in sectors such as the production of coatings in construction, use in the nautical sector, military, etc.
The natural textile fibers in turn are divided by taxonomy, or if of vegetable origin, such as cotton, linen, hemp, animal such as wool, silk, or mineral for example asbestos and glass fibers.
This a priori distinction determines the degree of use and therefore manufacturing of different garments in terms of quality, wearability and above all human tolerance in the different fields of use of the various fibers.
– Cotton is the most used natural fiber
Cotton is a fiber of vegetable origin derived from cotton wool, which is that fluffy wad enclosing the seed of Gossypium plants, mainly geolocated in the USA and China.
Its quality depends on several factors such as purity, brilliance, and color, but particularly on the thickness and length of the fiber, factors that will affect the strength and regularity of spinning.
The fabric you get from it it has the characteristic of being soft to the touch, with peculiarities of freshness and breathable power, moreover the organoleptic qualities allow prolonged and continuous washing and ironing, without it being particularly affected in terms of duration.
Signed by the CO label, it lends itself to the production of the vast variety of garments and in particular for the production of household linen.
– Cotton processing
Cotton is the natural textile fiber that is best suited for use in different weaving applications.
The work processes that lead to final result include different steps, from the collection of the cotton pad to the final product, which is the fabric used in the textile industry.
First and foremost, the carding, through which the wad is opened and untangled and the fibers are arranged in parallel, while eliminating all impurities.
The next stage is preparation for combing, where the carded cotton is gathered and assembled to form a canvas of small size and very light weight, which will be introduced into the combing machine.
During the combing phase a sort of further carded tape is obtained, in which the fibers are homogeneous in length and parallel correspondence.
The ironing will follow, necessary to regularize and uniform the entire ribbon of combed cotton, and the twisting, in which the wound fibers will feed the actual spinning process.
Before weaving and depending on the final result that you want to draw, different washing and dyeing processes can alternate based on to the characteristics of use of the fabric itself.
The waste from cotton processing will be composed of yarns of lesser value, or it will be used in the production of wadding for various uses, the most famous of which is the cotton wool we use at home.
– Percale cotton
The meaning of percale refers to the French percale, permuted by the ancient Persian pargālè, which, despite its admirable appreciation, means a piece of fabric.
Cotton percale is a fabric of particular quality and value, obtained from the processing of natural cotton yarn with cloth reinforcement, that is a weaving of the threads that are perfectly perpendicular between weft and warp.
The peculiarity of percale cotton is to be manufactured with fine yarns with a tight structure, with very dense workmanship, both with carded and combed cotton, consequently the greater the thinness of the yarn used in weaving, the softer and lighter the fabric will be.
This quality of percale cotton is determined by the amount of threads per square centimeter of the fabric, with a percentage that varies from 40 to 200, in goodness of the final result to be obtained and which will determine the quality and cost
– Main uses of percale cotton
Although cotton can by nature be ductility and flexibility, as well as preserving the durability of the weave and of the yarn-dyeing attachment, used in most tissue processing, for the quality of percale the subject changes radically.
First of all, percale cotton it has a very particular processing, laborious, qualitative and consequently also more expensive, compared to the common cotton, used for example for denim, fustian or sponge.
Its peculiarity of extreme softness, which make it velvety to the touch, and very light, concomitant with all the prerogatives of resistance to the action of washing and use, make it the ideal fabric for the realization of underwear, in particular women, and for the production of nightwear, as slips, etc.
But above all it is used for making linen outfits, placing it in a preferential ranking in first place compared to other types of cotton for sheets. especially those that normally work in the summer season.
The choice to use percale cotton or cotton satin, also known as sateen, in these specific textile productions, it is only a construction issue, since the first is already prepared for a velvety and glossy appearance, while the second to reach such finishing needs further processing, since plain and satin weave they are completely different.
– What are the types of cotton for sheets
There are three main types of cotton for sheets that catalog the quality and qualities:
– 100% superior cotton, having a weft composed of 57 threads per square centimeter, which thanks to the processing in the painting phase is made resistant to washing temperatures up to 90 °;
– 100% combed percale cotton, with a weave of 80 threads per centimeter, with the qualities of resistance to the highest high temperature washes;
–100% combed satin cotton, with a highly resistant 180-thread weave and special bright colors.
– Why prefer percale cotton to other yarns
The right question to ask yourself should be even more generic, or why prefer a natural fiber instead of an artificial one.
The answer should be as obvious as it is taken for granted, but unfortunately in the consumerist logic that often dazzles our purchases, we are led more than to reason for quality, to prefer for fashion and trend, often neglecting how much a tissue can affect the consequences for our health.
Suffice it to say that almost 70% of garments, for obvious reasons of mass textile production, especially in large-scale retail distribution, are made by obviating or better knowingly omitting the use of the right percentages of natural and artificial fibers.
The result is that textiles, although highly attractive due to the spinning technical evolutions that allow fabric geometries and dyes so brilliant that they appear virtual, often cause epidermal allergies and last for a season, which justifies their price.
A cotton fabric with a good percentage of natural fiber and a minimal synthetic, more perhaps for reasons of elasticity, like elastane in fact, as well as lasting over time, it will not be able to cause those who use them except a feeling of comfort and well-being.
If we restrict our conceptual diaphragm to percale cotton, in the uses we have seen, the choice to have opted for a fabric that over the years will preserve its qualities of color brilliance, softness and integrity intact, despite repeated washing, will support the motivations of the its location in a clearly qualitative and valuable segment.
– Small tips on buying cotton items
Thanks to its vast range of action in the field of fabrics, cotton can be found almost everywhere, in clothing as in home or underwear linen.
However, we must pay attention to the wordings that are printed on the labels, and which distinguish both the quality and the actual percentage of yarn present in it.
Particularly in the purchase of items made of percale cotton, the indication of the percentage quantity of fibers and their qualitative homogeneity, makes the difference between a quality product and a normal, if not counterfeit, commercial product.
In particular in purchases via online platforms, where it is actually impossible to judge the goodness of the article although declared as a product entirely in percale cotton, its typology of weaving could make us orientate towards the right choice, also thanks to the amount of its price, which if excessively convenient, should make us reflect on the appropriateness of the purchase.