From Applique to Zero-twist, our glossary of bedding-related terms




These products protect against a number of common allergens. They can help prevent asthma, itchy eyes and skin, rhinitis, conjunctivitis – even a blocked nose during the night.


Needlework technique involving sewing or embroidering pieces of fabric together to create an intricate design.

Bamboo Textiles

Cloth made using either 100% bamboo fibres or a mix of bamboo and cotton. Bamboo is biodegradable, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, hypoallergenic, thermo-regulating, naturally UV protecting, breathable, de-odorising, anti-static, extra-absorbent and soft.

Bed Sheet

The sheet that covers your mattress and comes in a variety of sizes and styles, like fitted or flat.


General term referring to any sheets, covers or duvets on your bed – usually laid above the mattress. 


The decorative trim running along the fold-down section of a flat sheet or pillow case – sometimes referred to as edging or piping.


A combination of two types of fibres in one fabric, or the blending of fibre yarns.


Tiny balls that gather on the surface of materials when the yarn becomes detached from the weave.

Box Depth

The measurement of the mattress from the top, where you lie on it, to the bottom, which touches the bed frame or divan. Used when measuring bed sheets.

Brushed Cotton

Style of cotton in which all excess lint has been brushed off to leave a soft, smooth material.

Box Construction 

Small pockets within a duvet that help keep natural fillings evenly spread out.


Natural fibre taken from the cotton plant. The fibre is spun to create a soft, lightweight, durable and breathable fabric. The most-widely used natural fibre.


Fabric with patterns woven into it. Usually thick and reversible, the patterns are often intricate and glossy.


The lightest feather used for stuffing high quality duvets. Usually comes from geese or ducks, and grows under the outer layer of feathers. A very good insulator.

Dust Mites

Small mites that live off dust and dead skin. While not visible to the human eye, they can cause allergies. To protect against them wash the bedding at 60°C or use a mattress or pillow protector.


The filled cover over your bed. Can be filled with either natural materials (feather, down), or synthetic.

Duvet Cover

Decorative cover for your duvet that stops it getting dirty.


The solution used to colour a fabric. Wash all bedding separately before use as dyes may run, especially on the first wash.

Easy Care

Bedding that needs only minimal washing and ironing thanks to crease recovery properties and the fact it doesn’t absorb as much water. Often made with a synthetic material like polyester or a blend of polyester and cotton.

Easy-Fit Valance

A valance held in place with slip resistant hooks.

See also Valance.


See Binding

Egyptian Cotton

Special cotton grown in Egypt that has long fibres making it soft and hardwearing. 


Stitching that adds decoration to a fabric. Also sewing in pearls, beads, quills, sequins and other decorative items.


Common natural filling for cushions and duvets. Usually come from ducks, or for lighter weight, geese.

Fitted Sheet

Elasticated sheet that fits snuggly around your mattress.

Fitted Valance

Sheet with a skirt to cover the bed base; sits between the mattress and the base.

Flat Sheet

A sheet covering your mattress. Needs to be tucked under the mattress to be held in place. Also known as a top sheet.


Form of cotton in which the weft is coarser than the warp giving it a flannel-like appearance. While light, it’s warmer than regular cotton.

Greige Fabric

Pronounced ‘grey’, this is a fabric in its raw state, usually cream or tan in colour.


Stands for ‘grams per square metre’ and refers to the weight of a fabric.


The edging of a cloth that has been folded over and sewn.

Housewife Pillowcase

Standard pillowcase with little additional decorative features.

Hygro Technology

Hollow core fibres in towels that are super-absorbent. These towels tend to get thicker and fluffier the more times they are washed and tumble dried.


Materials and fabrics highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.


Weaving technique that allows intricate designs to be woven. It involves using a ‘jacquard head’ on the loom to control each yarn individually.

Jersey Cotton

Soft and sturdy cotton that’s knitted rather than woven.

Machine Washable 

Any material that can be washed on a common cycle at 40 degrees without damaging or altering the fabric.


The padded layer of comfort on which you sleep.

Mattress Protector 

Protective cover for your mattress to shield it from dirt and allergens like dust mites.

Memory Foam 

Specialist material that responds to the body’s movement. Usually made of elastic, viscous synthetic foam.


The European Down and Feather Association certification for duvets that have such tightly woven fabric, dust mites can’t get through.

Oeko-Tex 100

Test that proves duvets have no harmful chemicals or substances. Class 1 certification means they’re suitable for babies and children.


Natural fabrics grown without genetically modified plants or synthetic agricultural chemicals. 

Orthopaedic Pillow

Usually V-shaped and designed to provide additional support for those recovering from surgery, pregnant women or anyone sitting up in bed.

Oxford Pillowcase 

Similar to a housewife pillowcase but slightly larger and with a stitched border.

See also Housewife Pillowcase.


Closely-woven fabric that usually comes as 50/50 blend of cotton and polyester, or 100% cotton.


See Bobbling.


Cushioned support for the head while sleeping.


Cover for the pillow - comes in a variety of designs and shapes.

Pima Cotton 

A durable and absorbent form of cotton typically grown in the US. While shorter than Egyptian cotton, it can still be woven into a dense and soft fabric.


See Binding.

Plain Dye

Linen of a single colour without pattern or embroidery.

Plain Weave

A simple but strong weave in an ‘over and under’ pattern of tightly-interlaced yarns.

Platform Valance 

A sheet that covers the bed base. See also Valance.


Fabric that is folded back upon itself.


A blend of polyester and cotton - combines cotton’s softness and polyester’s easy-care qualities. 


Synthetic fabric popular for bedding due to easy care qualities. Can also be used as a filing for duvets and pillows.


Amount of threads wrapped together in a single thread. For example, a single-ply fabric uses single threads while a two-ply has two threads intertwined.


Fabric usually made from cotton or rayon that has been mercerised to give it a high sheen finish, similar to satin.


Bed linens usually made from cotton or linen cloth - covers the mattress or used as lighter alternative to duvet.


Light, soft, breathable and hypoallergenic natural material. Used for sheets, covers or as filings for pillows and duvets.

Swift Swap

Duvet cover designed to be easily removable. Small openings at the corners allow hands to reach through and grab the duvet.

Thread Count

Measures the number of threads per square inch. The higher the thread count, the better the material as they tend to be softer and of higher quality.


Blanket or sheet that sits on top of the bed.

Top Sheet

See Flat Sheet


Absorbent material often used to dry oneself, but also used in dressing gowns.


A type of sheet with a skirt that covers the bed base. 

Waffle Blankets

A blanket with a waffle-style texture and pattern - warmer than a standard blanket.

Zero Twist

Manufacturing process for towels to create high quality two-fold micro yarn cotton.