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Bed Linen: Threadcount, Cotton & Colours | Gilly Nicolson


Thread Count, Cotton and Colours: Everything You Need to Know About Our Bed Linen

At Gilly Nicolson, we love giving our customers choice. And we have the collections to prove it, too, with an unrivalled colour library, limitless customisation and countless bed linen options to help your personality shine in the only place that truly matters: your sanctuary.

But when it comes to choosing the perfect bed linen, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. If you’ve ever wondered what thread count means or dithered on the right one to choose, you’re not alone. If you’d like to understand more about the fabrics that make up our collections or how to keep your linens looking as pristine as the day they arrived, you’re in great company (and in the right place).

Join us as we tell you everything you need to know about our bed linen. 

Thread Count

Most commonly used as a quality rating, thread count describes the density of threads per square inch of material and is calculated by adding the lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) threads together. For example, a cotton sheet consisting of 200 warp threads and 200 weft threads equals 400TC (thread count). While sheets with a higher thread count contain more, finer yarns per square inch than sheets with a lower thread count, this doesn’t automatically suggest better quality. Instead, fibre condition, weave and the construction process are a more accurate indication of excellence.

It’s also a common misconception that the higher the thread count, the softer the bed linen. In fact, the opposite is true, as sheets with higher thread counts are, on average, thicker and feel more durable, requiring more washes to soften the fibres and achieve the satin-like touch of sheets with a lower thread count.

In a blind comparison test conducted by Good Housekeeping in 2022, a group of 33 consumers could not tell the difference between 500TC and 1000TC sheets when rating softness, feel and durability. 

With no difference in the quality of our bed linens, choosing your thread count should simply be a personal preference. Our 400TC sateen is our most popular, with some customers using our 200TC for their children’s rooms or rental properties. 

Lower thread count linens are perfect for summertime and balmy climates, being light, airy and softer on the skin. On the other hand, our heavier thread count sheets are durable, thick and crisp. The perfect choice for colder weather, they are a staple amongst our interior design clients worldwide. 

Our bed linen collections are available in 200TC, 400TC, 600TC, 800TC and 1000TC. For more guidance on choosing the best thread count or bedding for your home, contact us today. We’re more than happy to help.


Each of our bed linen collections is made with 100% pure cotton. Available in a range of beautiful neutral colours, customers can choose between our two distinct fabric weaves: sateen and percale.

Our sateen linen is a supple weave that’s blissfully soft without being overly silky. Sateen softens more easily over time and is the most popular choice among our customers, made with a satin-weave structure for a velvety, smooth and luxurious feel.

Our percale cotton is a simple, grid-like weave that feels crisp, thick and durable. A favourite amongst our luxury hotel clients, this traditional fabric is known for regulating body temperature, making it ideal for all seasons and climates.


Our bed linen collections are made to last, and we’re confident they’ll delight you for many years to come. Over time, however, white and neutral colours can lose their lustre, becoming dull from washing and lifestyle factors. To keep your bedding looking pristine, we recommend:

  • Washing once a week at 40˚C
  • Avoiding detergents containing bleaching ingredients or ‘optical brighteners’
  • Tumble drying on low heat or air drying to reduce wrinkles and mildew
  • Keeping your bed linens out of direct sunlight (which can ‘yellow’ cotton)
  • Ironing while damp on the ‘cotton’ setting (or using a medium-low heat)

You can find more in-depth information on caring for your sheets (including stain removal tips) in our How to Care for Your Bed Linen blog.


At the heart of Gilly Nicolson, offering a truly bespoke service has always been the core of our brand. Discovering the essence of the individual and creating timeless, luxury pieces you won’t find off the shelf is what sets us apart in a bustling design landscape.

Our unrivalled colour library contains over 400 colours in every tone imaginable, from sumptuous dark shades to soft pastel palettes. Customise your bed linen with our customer-favourite corded stitch design, or try our grosgrain ribbon for a sharp, contemporary feel with velvety trim.

Need a hand? Our Stylist Service can help you find the perfect designs to complement your home and let your uniqueness shine. Send us fabric and wallpaper samples, or shoot us over your inspirational photos, and we’ll work with you to discover gorgeous pieces and stand-out colours to suit your decor and personal tastes.

Explore Luxury Pieces, Premium Quality and Artisanal Craftsmanship with Gilly Nicolson

We’ve used the same artisanal mills in Portugal for over 12 years, ensuring unparalleled high quality, craftsmanship and, of course, choice for our customers since day one. 

A number of our mills have been family-owned for many years, with knowledge handed down through generations of talented women. Every piece in our collection, from our bespoke bed linen to hand-crafted tableware, is of exceptional quality, made by skilled artisans — we’re honoured to be a part of their community and support their incredible work. 

Explore our full range of whole-home luxury today. 

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