What is Percale?

Percale refers to a closely woven, plain-weave fabric known for its crisp, smooth texture.


Percale is a term often associated with bed linens, though it can be used to describe any textile featuring a tight plain weave. This particular weaving technique involves the criss-crossing of warp and weft threads in a one-over-one pattern, leading to a fabric that is lightweight, breathable, and boasts a matte finish. This makes percale an ideal choice for bedding as it offers a cool and crisp feel against the skin, which is particularly appreciated in warmer climates or during hot summer months.

The thread count of percale fabrics usually starts at around 200 and can go much higher, contributing to its durability and fine texture. Despite its simplicity, percale is considered a high-quality fabric, loved for its softness that increases with each wash, without losing its integrity or appearance of crispness.

Embodying both comfort and elegance, percale represents a timeless choice for those seeking to enhance the aesthetic and tactile experience of their bedroom or any space where textiles play a key role. Its versatility extends beyond bedding; percale can also be found in apparel and curtaining, showcasing its adaptability to various interior design needs.


Percale sheets are a popular choice for bedrooms, offering a luxurious sleeping experience. Designers might recommend percale for guest rooms to impress visitors with the high-quality feel of the bed linens. Beyond the bedroom, percale is also used in making lightweight summer clothing and curtains, contributing to a fresh and airy interior atmosphere.


  • Is percale the same as cotton?

    No, percale refers to the weave of the fabric, not the material itself. While percale is often made from cotton, it can also be woven from other materials such as polyester or blended fibers.

  • How does percale feel compared to other fabrics?

    Percale is known for its crisp and cool feel, making it exceptional for bedding. It is smoother and crisper compared to sateen and more breathable compared to tightly woven fabrics like twill.

  • Can percale sheets be used year-round?

    Yes, while percale sheets are particularly appreciated in warmer climates for their coolness and breathability, they can also be used year-round. Layering them with warmer blankets during colder months can provide year-round comfort.

  • Are percale sheets durable?

    Yes, percale sheets are very durable due to the tight, one-over-one weave. They tend to become softer with each wash, without significant wear, making them a great long-term investment for bedding.

Practical Application

When selecting percale for bedding or other interior design elements, consider not only the thread count but also the quality of the threads used. For best care, wash percale sheets in cold water and dry on a low setting to maintain their crispness and prolong their lifespan. Ironing is often unnecessary, as the fabric's inherent crispness will smooth out any wrinkles after a night’s sleep or a gentle stretch when wet.