What's in a weave?
Weave is something we talk about a lot here at Canningvale. It’s in our day to day vocabulary because: a) we know how much of an impact it has on the feel and function of our bedding; and b) our founders have been perfecting weaving techniques for the past 40-odd years and are proud as punch of what they’ve achieved.
Because we know not everyone’s into the science of bedding as much as we are, we thought we’d take the time to explain the term and its most common forms so you know exactly what you’re looking at next time you shop. As you’ll see, the kind of weave you choose will determine many things, including an item’s texture, its breathability, and even whether you’ll need to switch on the iron.
What is a weave?
Put simply, a weave is the style or manner in which a material’s fibres are brought together. The type of weave influences key aspects of the finished product, from appearance to durability, feel, quality and cost. There are some weaves you’ve likely heard of before, like sateen and flannelette, and others that are probably new to you, such as melange and percale. If you’re feeling confused, don’t worry - we're about to explain each in detail.
Sateen is instantly recognisable for its silky feel and sheen, which is a result of a high thread count (the number of threads - both horizontal and vertical - contained in one square inch of fabric) and a unique weaving pattern that results in a far greater proportion of vertical threads. People often confuse sateen with satin because of its silky smooth finish. However, satin is typically comprised of synthetic fibres whereas sateen is made of cotton, which boasts much better breathability and is therefore much better for sleeping in. If sateen sounds appealing, try a set of Palazzo Royale. Thanks to our obsession with creating the best possible products, the Caressa range hits the sweet spot of thread count in the sateen market, coming in at 375 to offer the best balance of softness and durability.
Flannelette is everyone’s favourite winter weave, thanks to its ability to keep you warm. It’s a medium to heavy weave, made from cotton and given a napped finish to provide its characteristic fuzzy feel. The nap, which is essentially longer than usual fibres kept brushed in a certain direction, also adds to the weave’s insulating properties by creating a greater surface area with which to trap air. It’s the wrong time of year for most of Australia, but if you’re in the market for a set of flannies, try our CoziCotton range. As the same suggests, they’re impeccably warm and cosy.
As any Francophile will know, melange is French for mixed, giving a good indication of what this particular weave is all about. A melange weave involves bringing together a range of cotton ring-spun yarns to create a fabric that boasts a rich colour, soft feel and light weight. Our Vintage Softwash range is an excellent example of melange, offering all the aforementioned qualities as well as the added benefit of being a no-iron fabric (something we can all agree is an excellent attribute). Another selling point is that the fabric used in the range has been pre-washed and pre-shrunk, meaning there won’t be any nasty surprises after purchase.
One of the most elaborate weaves on the market, matelassé (which is French for quilted or cushioned) has been designed to mimic the style of iconic hand-stitched quilts made in Marseille. It has a distinctive textured appearance, which can be styled into various patterns, and lends itself to more formal looks. Our beautiful Hawthorn Textured Quilt Covers are a great example of matelassé and are sure to add style and luxury to any room. For the best look, buy the cover a size up from your mattress to give yourself extra drape. As with our Vintage Softwash range, the Hawthorn collection doesn’t need ironing. It’s also surprisingly easy to care for, given its ornate appearance, and will wear beautifully as long as you simply wash it inside out.
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