By definition, a “pill” is a surface defect made up of a small ball of fibers. A pill starts to form when fibers rub against themselves or another surface. As agitation of the pill continues, a collection of fiber will appear as clinging balls. When sheets develop pills they can be unsightly and uncomfortable, causing your sheets to become scratchy. You can prevent pilling on organic cotton sheets or any type of cotton sheets by practicing proper care and by purchasing the right kind of sheets to begin with. Though nearly all fibers can experience pilling, cloths such as silk and linen are less likely to pill than others. 100 Cotton sheets and other types of delicate fabrics that go through long-term usage and repeated washings will experience frayed fiber endings that become tangled, leading to tiny knots or pilling that can pick up lint, dust, and other ripped and tangled fibers.
Any fabrics made from shorter fibers, such as cotton, will experience a higher likelihood of pilling. Cotton sheets that are made from a mixture of blended fabric, such as cotton-polyester, are more likely to pill than 100 cotton sheets. Shop for a 100% cotton sheet that is smooth to the touch. Try to avoid sheets that look thin or rough and those that contain polyester. A good investment would be Pima, Egyptian, or Supine Cotton. These fibers are high quality and won’t be easily knotted.
To prevent pilling, always wash your sheets in a short wash cycle and use gentle liquid detergent. A front load washer set horizontally is more gentle on the sheets than a top load washer with a spindle or agitator. Make sure to dilute the detergent and don’t overuse it as this can cause stiff and discolored fabric. Avoid hot temperatures when washing and drying as this can weaken the fibers. Stay away from using brighteners or bleach as this can also weaken the material. Add ½ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle as this will help prevent future pilling. Use the lowest heat setting when drying, although the best option would be to hang dry on a line. Store laundered sheets in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
If your sheets do start to pill, trim away the raised surface with a clothes shaver. A hardware store, online appliance distributor or a fabric store often stocks these hand-held shavers. A disposable razor has also been known to work and inexpensive to use. Just run the razor over the pills in short strokes while holding the fabric tight. You may find afterwards that your sheets look like new again with this simple technique! Also, you can look into purchasing bed sheet grippers to keep the sheets on the bed – though this is more of a secondary solution to pilling, and not as effective as using a clothes shaver.
By investing in high quality cotton sheets and following simple steps during the wash and dry process, you can prevent future pills and knots from ruining your sheets.
Choosing fabric for a quilt is very important and depends on multiple factors. You can’t go wrong with 100% cotton, especially if you are just beginning to sew quilts. Cotton is easier to sew, durable, and simple to clean. Synthetics and mixes are more difficult to use than cotton as they have a tendency to pucker along seams. Try to avoid knits and stretch fabrics as these can be complicated to sew. Flannel is also a popular fabric to use for quilts and provides soft and cozy warmth.
When picking a fabric, you want to make sure the color doesn’t run when you wash it. If you aren’t sure, you can wash the fabric on its own before using it. Depending on the purpose of the quilt, you want to choose a material that can withstand years of washing and use. Loosely woven fabrics can easily produce tears and rips so you want to look for a moderately dense fabric. Remember the color theory when choosing material to ensure proper balance and mood. If you are giving the quilt as a gift, what colors will best suit that person’s personality? Blue shades are calming and cool while red colors are warmer. You may also want to consider matching the color to the bedding the quilt will likely need to match.
Choose a fabric that consists of 100% cotton and your quilt will hold up to many years of love.
Winter is here and it’s getting colder at night. What blanket will keep you warm while you sleep? An electric blanket usually plugs into an outlet and runs off electricity to provide heat. It provides different levels that can offer personalized warmth. Using an electric blanket may allow you to turn down the heat at night to save energy and money. If you are looking for something that doesn’t use plug in while you sleep, the next best choice is a wool fabric. Wool material is remarkable in that it can still provide insulation even when wet. Wool is very durable and flexible and keeps heat close to the body by trapping still or dead air within the fibers.
Flannel is also a great type of blanket to stay warm. It’s soft against the skin and the thin material allows for layering. Flannel is a knitted fabric that is typically 100 percent cotton and often combined with a quilted backing for additional warmth. It’s usually inexpensive and easy to combine with home décor. Polar fleece is a man-made fiber of polyester and also makes for a warm blanket. They are very lightweight and can fold up when not in use. Polar fleece provides optimum warmth and softness and is easy to keep clean. If you are looking for a polyester blanket but want it extra thin, you may be looking for a Thinsulate blanket, made from polyester microfiber. A silk fleece blanket is also very warm and extremely comfortable.
As winter sets in and the air gets a little colder, it seems we are spending more time in our beds. There are simple ways you can create a more comfortable place to sleep. First of all, mattresses should be replaced every 7 to 10 years. If your mattress is older than 10 years, it will start to become uncomfortable as it wears out. If it is under 10 years, flip it over or turn it around so that you don’t continuously wear out one spot. A mattress pad that sits on top can be purchased to provide an extra layer of comfort.
You can purchase a satin duvet cover or any material cover that slides over top of your current comforter and closes by either zipper or buttons. Not only is it simple to take off and wash but the fabric of a duvet cover can provide a new level of comfort. High thread counts in luxurious cotton fabrics feel soft, warm and inviting. Down pillows are filled with feathers and feels like you are lying on a cloud; a perfect way to make your bed more comfortable and add accents to the bedroom. If you find that the bed sheet tangles when you sleep just remove it. A comforter in a duvet cover should provide enough warmth. You can also use a large flat sheet and tuck it under the mattress in place of a fitted sheet. This will prevent a fitted sheet from moving about while you sleep.
Lastly, adding a quilt blanket or soft fleece throw can provide pure coziness.
Silk Sheets Advantages
Silk sheets can add a touch of class and elegance to any bedroom. They not only look luxurious, but they feel smooth to the touch. Silk is an excellent choice of fabric for the warmer summer months too. This fabric does not retain moisture like cotton, so it won’t stick to the skin. This can be a big factor on a hot night. Of course, silk sheets will be more expensive than synthetic blends, but they are also higher quality. Silk is a strong and durable material that will last a long time if cared for properly.
One reason why many people are reluctant to buy silk sheets for their bed linen is that they think silk is too difficult to care for. While silk sheets certainly do require a higher level of care than regular cotton, polyester or nylon sheets, ‘difficult’ may not be the right word to describe the care instructions required. In fact, it is perfectly fine to machine wash silk sheets. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before doing so.
Washing Silk Sheets
For the first several washings of your silk sheets, it is recommended that you wash them by hand using a mild detergent. Anything too harsh and you do run the risk of damaging the fibers. Washing your silk sheets by hand initially will help the sheets maintain their sheen, which is a major selling point. It will also help keep the fibers soft and feeling silky. For optimal care, silk sheets should be washed by hand, but after the first few washings, it is fine to then wash them in a washing machine.
When washing silk sheets in a washing machine they should always be cleaned on the delicate cycle. Hot water should never be used. Lukewarm water is the best but cold is far better than hot. Avoid using the spin cycle. This cycle is hard on the silk fibers as it wrings the sheets out to get of the rinse water they’ve retained. As well, silk sheets should be washed individually. Never put any other article of clothing or bedding in the same washing machine as your sheets. Fabric softeners are fine to use when washing silk sheets in a machine. Bleach is never acceptable, even on stains.
How to Dry Silk Sheets
Your silk sheets will last much longer if you hang your sheets and air dry them. This may not be an option for many people, but if you are able to do it, this is highly recommended. Take care to keep colored sheets out of the direct sunlight to prevent them from fading due to overexposure. If you must use a dryer, use the lowest setting possible. Some dryers may even have an air dry setting which would be ideal for silk sheets that can not truly be air dried.
Take good care of your silk sheets and they will last a long time, even if you clean them in a washing machine.