What are Percale Sheets?

When looking to buy new bed sheets, you will run into many different types of fabrics to choose from. Some of the most popular type of sheets include Percale Cotton, Egyptian Cotton, Bamboo Viscose and Polyester.

The most confusing type of bed sheets, from the ones I mentioned above, has to be Percale sheets.

This leaves many people asking questions like “What are Percale sheets?” and “Are Percale Sheets Better than Sateen?”

Our team of experts have researched and put together this guide to help you find all the answers to the most common questions about Percale sheets and bedding.

You can also check out our Ultimate Guide to the Best Percale Cotton Sheets when you’re ready to find the perfect set for your bed.

What are Percale Sheets?

Many people get confused with the meaning of the word “percale”. Some think it’s a type of fabric like Egyptian cotton or Sheex Microfiber Sheets. But that’s not correct!

What are Percale Sheets?

The term “Percale sheets” refers to the type of weave used when making the bedding. The fabric used to make these sheets is mainly cotton which can be combined with other types of fabrics too.

Percale sheets use a signature “Tight Weave” that gives them their distinct features. The tighter the weave, the more elegant and smooth the sheets will be.

History of Percale Sheets

how percale sheets are madePercale sheets first appeared in during the reign of the Persian Empire and comes from the Persian word pargalah”. The word originally meant “rag” but has evolved with modern advancements in fabric making techniques.

Early types of percale sheets were exported from Persian manufacturers to exotic countries like India and Egypt, which was already known for their high quality Egyptian cotton sheets.

The earliest weaving methods required a “Traditional Loom” to weave the cotton threads into a fabric. This method was adopted by a French textile company that used their own blend of threads and modernized the process.

Since then, percale sheets have been known to be some of the softest bed sheets and available in every part of the world.

How are Percales Sheets Made?

The process of making percale sheets uses Vertical and Horizontal threads woven together one at a time. Since the thread count is the same for the vertical and horizontal weaves, percale sheets feel the same on either side.

This also makes them very durable, as they won’t need to be washed as often. Instead, you can just flip them over if they develop any hard to remove stains before it’s time to wash them.

One of the down sides, in the construction of percale sheets, is the restriction in possible thread count.

The higher the thread count, the softer and smoother the sheets will be, up to a point!

100% Percale sheets get stiffer and heavier the more threads there are per square inch. For that reason companies will blend other types of fabrics along with cotton to make them more breathable and lighter.

Benefits of Percale Sheets

benefits of percale sheetsEvery type of bed sheet has its own features and benefits that sets it apart from the rest. Bamboo sheets are known for being cooler and soft, while Egyptian cotton sheets are known for being durable and have a high thread count.

Since percale sheets can have a mixture of different types of fabrics, their benefits can be customized depending on the blend of fabrics.

Below are the features you will enjoy with your percale sheets.

  1. Soft and Smooth on Both Sides: The signature tight weave allows for an even thread count for both the Horizontal and Vertical threads.
  2. Wrinkle and Pill Resistant: If blended with polyester, percale sheets will be more resistant to wrinkling and Anti-pilling as well.
  3. Gets Softer After Each Wash: Since the threads are woven very tightly, your percale sheets will be tough when you first use them. However, washing your sheets will loosen the threads and make them softer after each use.
  4. Affordable: With modern advancements in the production of bed sheets and fabrics, luxurious percale bedding can be purchased for less than $50.


As we discussed in the article above, Percale sheets have a combination of benefits that many other types of sheets have as well.

They make an excellent all-around bed sheet to own for their affordability and softness. You also have the option to splurge for a more luxurious feel with higher-end “Hand-woven Percale Sheets”.

To help you with your buying decision, our team of experts narrowed down the Best Percale Sheets on Amazon.