Here’s a handy list of terms relating to bedding for you!
Anti-Allergy – Anti-allergy labels are given to products that provide a barrier to allergens often causing irritations during the night such as asthma, itchy eyes and skin, rhinitis, conjunctivitis and a blocked nose.
Applique – Refers to a needlework technique whereby pieces of fabric, embroidery, or other materials are sewn into another piece of fabric to create intricate designs.
Bamboo Textiles – A cloth made out of bamboo fibres which can either be 100% bamboo yarn or a blend of bamboo and cotton yarn. It is environmentally friendly and biodegradable, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and hypoallergenic, thermo-regulating and naturally UV protecting, breathable and de-odorising, anti-static with extraordinary absorbency and luxuriously soft.
Bed Sheet – Is a piece of cloth that is used to cover your mattress and it is this that you typically lie on. It can also cover a mattress topper or mattress protector that might go between the mattress and bed sheet for added comfort.
Bedding – Refers to all the linens that are laid above the mattress for warmth, comfort and decorative effect. This typically includes the bed sheet, pillows, duvet, duvet cover and bed spread.
Binding – Also called edging or piping. This is the decorative trim on the fold-down portion of a flat sheet or pillowcase.
Blend – A combination of two or more different types of fibers woven together to make cloth. A blended fabric can be made with different fiber yarns or with blended fiber yarns. An example of this would be Poly-Cotton.
Box Depth – The depth of the mattress from the top where a sheet would be fitted to the bottom that rests on the bed frame or divan.
Brushed Cotton – Brushed cotton is cotton fabric that is brushed to remove all excess lint and fibres from the fabric, leaving and ultra soft, smooth finish.
Box Construction – Rectangular stitched pockets to keep the filling in the natural duvet evenly spread when in use.
Cotton – Cotton is a soft fiber that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant (Gossypium sp.), a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including America, India and Africa. The fiber is most often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile, which is the most widely used natural-fiber cloth.
Damask – Glossy, jacquard patterned fabric. Intricate designs can be found in damask bedding. Damask is similar to brocade, but flatter and reversible. In general, any piece of dyed (single colour) cloth with a woven pattern is called damask.
Down – Is the lightest, most effective insulator. Soft, fluffy puffs of down grow under the breast feathers of geese and ducks keeping them warm and cozy in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
Dust Mite – Invisible insect like creature that lives on house dust and dead skin. They tend to live in mattresses or pillow’s, causing allergies. The use of mattress and pillow protectors to keep them away from your bedding is well recommended. Washing your bedding at 60°C kills dust mites and their eggs.
Duvet – A warm, soft bed covering that is filled with down or feathers and typically covers you as you sleep on the mattress and bed sheet.
Duvet Cover – Similar to a large pillowcase protecting your comforter/quilt/duvet and adding a decorative element.
Dye – A solution that when applied to a fabric colours the material. However, we always advise customers to wash their linens separately before use and always wash colours separately as dyes can run.
Easy Care – Describes fabrics with good crease recovery properties, therefore requiring minimal ironing. Polyester fibre has better crease recovery properties than cotton and in addition does not absorb water. Consequently fabrics of polyester/cotton blends have better drying and crease recovery properties than 100% cotton fabrics.
Easy Fit Valance Is a platform valance sheet for beds that tucks under the edges of your mattress and is held in place with slip resistant hook strips.
Egyptian Cotton – The term Egyptian cotton is usually applied to the extra long staple cotton produced in Egypt and favoured for its luxury. In fact, the cotton species which produces extra long staple “Egyptian” cotton was introduced by Mohammad Ali Pasha in the 19th century. It provides ultra softness, warmth in the winter and keeps you cool during the summer months.
Embroidery – The art of decorating fabric with needle and thread or yarn. It may also incorporate other materials such as pearls, beads, quills, and sequins.
Feather – Refers to the natural fillings of duvets and pillows. Duck and down feathers are heavier than goose down. Goose down duvets are lighter in weight than duck down, but offer the same level of warmth (or tog rating). Alternatively there are synthetic fillings for duvets.
Fitted Sheet – Sheet used to tightly cover one’s mattress, also called the “bottom sheet”. Fitted sheets usually have gusset corners with some type of elastic sewn around the bottom edge to provide a tight fit and holding attributes around the mattress.
Fitted Valance – Otherwise known as a bed skirt is a sheet that covers a bed. This style of valance sheet goes between the divan and the mattress and therefore requires the removal of the mattress in order to change this sheet (unless it is labelled as an “Easy Fit” valance).
Flat Sheet – Also called the “top sheet”, a flat sheet is placed on top of the fitted sheet and is typically tucked around the mattress at the sides and the bottom.
Flannelette – Is a light, napped cotton where the weft is coarser than the warp. This gives a flannel-like appearance. It makes for a thicker and warmer bed linen that is commonly used in the colder winter months.
Greige Fabric – In a raw or unfinished state (pronounced “gray”). Most cotton greige cloth is a cream or tan color.
GSM – Grams per square meter – It refers to the weight of the fabric, thus the higher the GSM the heavier and thicker the material.
Hem – Refers to the edge of a piece of cloth where it has been folded over and sewn down. It is usually done with a line of invisible hem-stitch or blind-stitch.
Housewife Pillowcase – A standard pillowcase which protects your pillow and adds a decorative element.
Hypoallergenic – A term to describe objects that have an unlikelihood of provoking an allergic reaction.
Jacquard – A type of weaving, and the cloth produced by such weaving. Jacquard weaving is not done with harnesses to lift the warp yarns, but rather a “jacquard head” on the loom, individually controlling each warp yarn. Jacquard weaving allows intricate designs to be woven.
Jersey Cotton – This is a knitted cotton fabric rather than a woven construction.
Machine Washable – Usually means that the linen can be washed in a machine, commonly on a synthetic cycle at 40, but always check the label. We advise customers to wash the products separately before use.
Mattress – The actual sleep surface of the bed; a bed’s support, firmness and comfort are supplied by the mattress.
Mattress Protector – A cover for your mattress to provide a barrier to allergens and protection against spills.
Memory Foam – A type of elastic, viscous synthetic foam with exceptional contouring abilities to enhance one’s comfort.
NOMITE – A certification for duvets which has been issued by the EDFA and means that the fabric is so tightly woven that house dust mites cannot penetrate the fabric, making them suitable for sufferers of house dust mite allergies.
Oeko-Tex 100 – A standard of testing that gives you the assurance that there are no harmful chemicals or substances in our duvets. Class 1 certification also means that they are suitable for babies and children.
Organic – Linens that are made from non genetically modified plants and certified to be grown without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides. The production of the linens also promotes and enhances biodiversity and biological cycles.
Orthopaedic Pillowcase – Is a V shaped pillowcase designed to give additional support. It is often used by people recovering from surgery, pregnant women or to support your back whilst sitting up in bed. It’s also ideal for relaxing in front of the TV or simply sitting up in bed reading. You can find our Orthopadeic pillowcases in our 150 Count Polycotton Range.
Oxford Pillowcase – A slightly larger than the standard housewife pillowcase. It has a 5cm wide, stitched border around all sides which gives the pillow a defined edge. It also protects your pillow and adds a decorative element.
Percale – Refers to any woven fabric (be it polycotton or 100% cotton) which has a Thread Count of 180 threads per square inch or higher. Therefore a 200 Count is a percale, as is a 400 Count, a 540 Count and a 1000 Count. Much of today’s marketing for bedding concentrates on this ‘percale’ factoring it towards a better quality, when in fact it is simply stating a minimum thread count.
Pilling – Otherwise known as bobbling, where the cotton yarns have become detached from the weave and due to wear have gathered tiny balls on the surface edge. There are many causes for this, but it is usually due to general were and tear over long periods of time. Belledorm’s 400 Count Egyptian Cotton is certified treated against pilling, however harsh washing detergents or washing with synthetic fabrics can erode the delicate nature of the Egyptian cotton fabric.
Pillow – Is a large cushion support for the head which is usually used while sleeping in bed. They are most commonly stuffed with similar materials to duvets and like duvets are protected with a pillowcase.
Pillowcase – Similar to a small duvet cover that protects your pillow and adds a decorative element.
Pima Cotton – Pima cotton in grown primarily in the southwest region of the United States. It is considered to be one of the superior blends of cotton and is extremely durable and absorbent. Pima cotton is a little shorter than Egyptian cotton but still yields a thread that can be woven multiple times into a piece of fabric to create a dense, soft one.
Plain Dye – Is linen that has been dyed with a single colour and has no pattern or embroidery.
Plain Weave – Is the simplest of all weaves, a simple over and under, alternating each thread. It is also the strongest of the basic weaves because the yarns are tightly interlaced. The advantage of this weave is that very light cloths can be achieved.
Platform Valance – Otherwise known as a bed skirt, is a sheet that covers a bed. This style of valance sheet goes between the divan and the mattress and therefore requires the removal of the mattress in order to change it (unless it is labelled as an “Easy Fit” valance).

Pleated – Is a type of fold formed by doubling fabric back upon itself and securing it in place. It is commonly used in valance bed linens.
Polycotton – A blend of polyester and cotton that gives breathability and is lightly brushed (Combed) for a soft handle. The softness and finish of cotton and the easy care qualities of polyester mean that polycotton bed linens are popular choices for regular home use.
Polyester – Is a is a strong but lightweight synthetic fibre that often fills duvets and pillows and is interwoven with Cotton threads to make polycotton bedding. Mattress protectors are often polyester filled to keep them light weight and breathable.
Ply – Thread count is affected by a number of factors, including ply and thickness of the threads used. The ply of the fabric refers to how many threads are wrapped together into a single thread. Single-ply fabrics use threads on their own, while two-ply fabrics twist two threads together into a stronger thread, as well as doubling the thread count of fabric.
Sateen – Sateen is a cotton fabric with a satin-like finish, often found in bed sheets to provide a smoother, softer and silkier finish. Sateen is usually made of cotton, or sometimes rayon. Better qualities are mercerised to give a higher sheen. Sateen produces the sheen and softer feel through the use of a different stitch in the weaving process making it extremely soft, though slightly less durable than other weaves.
Sheet – Bed linen consisting of a large rectangular piece of cotton or linen cloth. There are many types of sheets from flat sheets to fitted sheets.
Silk – Natural filling for pillows and duvet. Silk is a breathable and naturally hypoallergenic material. It is also resistant to dust mites.
Swift Swap – A Belledorm innovation which is designed to make life easy when putting on your duvet cover by having small openings in the corners for your hands to go through, enabling you to cover the duvet much more quickly than with conventional duvet covers. Duvet covers with this feature are marked on the packaging.
Thread Count – The quality of bed linen is often conveyed by the thread count – the number of threads per square inch of material. Refers to the number of threads, both lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) woven in one-inch square of fabric. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the thread counts the greater the handle, durability and quality.
Throw – Is another name for a blanket or bed spread that covers all the other bed linens and is often used for decoration.
Waffle Blankets – This is a versatile blanket that has a waffle style texture and pattern to the surface. It is warmer than the cellular blanket and is often used as a throw or bed spread.