Pure Egyptian Cotton
Even before the days of the Pharaohs, cotton was growing in the rich lands of the Nile delta. The very word “cotton” is derived from the medieval work “Quttan” which means “a plant found in conquered lands” and this plant has been grown and used in Egypt as long ago as 3,000 BC.
The climate of the Nile delta is perfect for the growth of long staple cotton. And the longer the staple length of the cotton fibres, the finer the yarn and cloth it produces.
Even the English tradition of weaving and manufacturing cotton goes back for hundreds of years. It was introduced by Protestant refugees from Holland in the 16th Century. They in turn were using methods brought to Europe by Italian merchant princes during the middle Ages. Nowadays, although we use high precision looms and scientifically controlled production, the principles are broadly the same as in the days of the Ancient Egyptians.
This is why there is something very special about bedlinen made from pure 100% Egyptian Cotton. It is woven to a high thread count and is smooth and elegant, with all the admirable qualities of a completely natural fabric. In short, a classic and beautiful way of combining the traditions and expertise of two continents and many centuries.
Some facts about Cotton
- Cotton is stronger wet than dry – it an be washed regularly without damage.
- Cotton naturally contains between 7% and 9% water, and will readily absorb up to 40% of its own weight in moisture.
- Cotton is non-irritant and comfortable to handle.
- Cotton does not readily acquire static charges that cause soiling and clinging.
- Cotton is not softened by heat and can, if necessary, be boiled, but make sure washing instructions are followed.
- Cotton is healthy, fresh and amongst the most durable of natural textile fibres.
Linen is made from the fibres of the plant we know as flax. The procedure that turns this blue-flowered plant into beautiful linen fabric involves many laborious and complicated processes before the linen yarn can be woven into cloth. :The processes are now mechanised but in principle have hardly changed at all from those used by farmers since the 12th and 13th centuries.
The final process is bleaching, once the province of the farmers’ wives who bleached the linen in the open air with buttermilk and lye. When that is completed the linen cloth can be made into anything from tine lace-trimmed handkerchiefs to king-size duvet covers.
Linen sheets, pillowcases and tablecloths were often decorated with many rows of fine hemstitching or with beautiful hand-embroidered monograms. Linen has traditionally been handed down for generations from mother to daughter. There is no reason why the linen you purchase today should not be used and treasured in the same way, since linen is still made and finished in the traditional manner and its fine qualities of strength and durability remain unchanged.
Care of Your Linen
Pure linen is a high quality, all-natural material. Perhaps contrary to popular belief, you can treat linen like any ordinary fabric. It faces the rough and tumble of repeated laundering with equanimity and, if ironed when fairly damp, produces a naturally smooth, crisp finish without starching.