Ship Shape Sheets

Hi Adairs,

Please help! The sheets I purchased a couple of years ago, which were amazing when I bought them, are in terrible shape now. My mum and grandma purchased their sheets 10+ years ago, and they are still as great as when they bought them. Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you! Pip

Hi Pip,

Once upon a time, the only sheets available were simple, 180 thread-count percale sheets in thick, durable cotton. They were often quite stiff when first used but would soften over time and feel better with age, lasting a lifetime in some cases. A rise in production of high thread-count textiles means we now have access to softer, more luxurious feeling sheets. The down side, however, is that they wear out more quickly due to the fine nature of the fibres.

When investing in high thread-count sheets, there are a few simple tips you can follow to keep them feeling fabulous for years to come:

  • Wash sheets and pillowcases once a week with a non-biological detergent that contains no bleaching agents or enzymes, as they may cause discoloration. Mercer + Reid Aroma wash is ideal. Don’t bleach your sheets; they may ‘yellow’ as a result.
  • Rotate your sheets. Having 3-4 different sets means you’ll use each set, on average, once a month and keep them from wearing out too quickly.
  • Machine-wash bed linen following the care guidelines, usually at 40 or 60 degrees, but no higher as high heat can damage the fibres. Using the delicate cycle is ideal as it’s not too harsh on the fabric.
  • Line-dry bed linen when possible – the sun is a natural disinfectant and will brighten whites. For deeper colours, avoid leaving in direct sunlight after the sheets are dry as they will fade over time.
  • Avoid tumble-drying your bed linen when possible as it can cause shrinkage and damage the fibres. Fine cotton fibres can overheat and become brittle, causing them to break when they come into contact with other fibres (such as pyjamas) or rough surfaces (such as beards or rough feet). Once cotton fibres are broken they will fuzz or pill and the once silky surface is lost.
  • If you do tumble dry your bed linen, use the low setting and if possible, take it out of the machine while still a little damp and line dry either inside or out depending on weather.
  • If you like to iron your sheets it’s easier to iron bed linen while it’s still slightly damp.

Follow these guidelines, Pip, and keep your sheets in fantastic form for years to come!

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