Percale Bedding

When shopping for sheets and bed linen you'll often come across the term percale, especially cotton percale. This is a high quality fabric often used for a variety of bedding including sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers.

It's important to note that as with sateen the term percale refers to the weaving - the way the fabric is produced - rather than its content - the yarn. Although cotton percale is most usually associated with bedding, other fabrics could also be described as percale.

What Is Percale?

Percale is a fabric weave in which the threads are very tightly packed into the cloth, resulting in a high thread count. The cloth has the same thread count horizontally and vertically and is sometimes described as "one over one" (as vs sateen which usually has a 4:1 ratio).

This even weave produces a tight, smooth fabric of medium weight that stands up well to wear and repeated washing. Percale fabric is thus often used for higher quality bed linen designed for durability. As with other weaves you can buy percale cotton bedding sets printed with a wide variety of colours and designs.


Since the term percale refers to the weave rather than the yarn, you can buy many different forms of percale. Pure cotton and cotton-polyester mix are probably the best known buying choices for bedding such as sheet sets. It's possible to have combinations such as Pima or Egyptian percale; these combine the best quality long staple cotton thread with the durable one-over-one weave.