Textile Glossary

Shopping for your home shouldn’t be like traveling to a foreign country. We’re removing the guess work every step of the way by bringing you meaningful transparency. Let’s break it down to the basics, by learning the vernacular of bedding. We promise, you’ll be fluent in the language of sleep in no time!

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From the French word for “applied” (go figure), this decorative border consists of lace or tape fastened to a larger piece of contrasting—colored or —textured fabric. The Mercer has a 1” inset appliqué, while The Hudson has a combination of a 1” inset and 2.5” border appliqué.


A set of fabric panels that fall from the top of the box spring to the floor, cleverly hiding the bed frame, the box spring, and anything stored under your bed (hence we call ours “The Concealers”.) We’ve chosen to keep ours clean, simple and timeless with a Tailored finish and three separate panels that can be adjusted as needed. Other terms to know, in case you’re really interested…“Decking” means the bed skirt is a single piece that lays over your entire box spring, so you need to lift your mattress to put it in place. (It’s an alternative to Panels—and one that gives you a bit of a workout!) “Gathered” means your bed skirt has more of a ruffled look. (It’s a more traditional take than the modern-leaning “Tailored” look.)


A Box Spring is a wooden or metal frame, covered in fabric, that sits under the mattress. Box Springs were originally intended to raise the mattress’s height (making it easier to get in and out of bed), absorb shock and reduce wear, and to create a firm structure for the bed. However, these days, most of these features are built into your mattress, so unless you want a higher bed, you can just plop your mattress onto any hard flat surface!


A quilted bed covering made from Down, Cotton, Wool or Silk that is used for warmth and insulation. To protect your Comforter, we advise you to use a Duvet Cover, which can easily be removed for laundering. It also adds some color and texture to your bed.


This lays on top of the bed, concealing the mattress and protecting the sheeting underneath. These are also referred to as Blanket Covers, Bedspreads, Quilts, Matelassés and Piqués (or, by us, as the “Extra Layer”.) We particularly love our Quilted Coverlets as they’re not only soft—made from the same material as your sheets—and machine washable, but also have a vibrant color and keep your bed looking tidy.


Used interchangeably with Bed Skirt.


Used interchangeably with Comforter.


This piece embellishes and protects your Duvet or Comforter, hence why we call it the “Fluff Cover”. It is an envelope-like case with an opening at one end to insert the Comforter or Duvet and comes with a button or zipper (like ours!) closure. It can be folded at the bottom of the bed, making it readily accessible when needed. Your Duvet Cover can be easily removed for laundering, so the protected Duvet itself will rarely require cleaning.


In the world of luxury bedding, Egyptian Cotton reigns supreme. Why you may ask? Because it has the longest, finest and most durable fiber, allowing for yarns with fewer joins and thereby a fabric with a smooth finish. All these qualities lead to bedding that’s both heavenly to touch and really strong, so you can enjoy it year after year.


A Euro Sham is a decorative pillow covering that fits a 26” x 26” European (or Continental) Pillow. Euro Shams are usually placed in front of the headboard, providing some additional padding and often coordinate with either the Duvet Cover or the Coverlet, to tie the look of the bed together. Our Euro Shams coordinate with our Quilted Coverlet, allowing you to extend a pop of color and pattern to the head of your bed.


Embroidery, one of mankind’s oldest skills, is the ornamentation of fabric with needlework done by hand or machine. Embroidery requires a base fabric, into which the design is stitched, with colored threads. The Irving collection is an example of a simple, timeless and classic embroidery, called the satin stitch.


Finishing the look, performance or feel of the textile. While many add chemicals in their finishing process to reduce wrinkles or enhance softness, we keep everything Oeko-Tex (R) certified. We use only the highest quality cotton fibers and the most sophisticated weaving techniques, so the supremely soft hand of our fabric is all natural. Everything is Standard 100 Oeko-Tex (R) certified.


A Fitted Sheet is the bottom sheet meant to cover your mattress, which is why we refer to it as the “Base Layer”. Ours are designed with pocketed corners an all-around elastic edge which fits tightly and securely over the mattress, preventing any bunching while sleeping.


A Flat Sheet, also known as the top sheet or the “Thin Layer,” is the covering that lays between the Fitted Sheet and the Coverlet and / or Duvet Cover. A Flat Sheet serves as a decorative accent when folded over the top of the bed covering and has a practical purpose as it is easier to launder on a regular basis than those bulkier top of bed pieces.


A flange is the “wing” on a sham, ranging usually from 1-3”, that extends beyond the seam, giving a soft, fluttery effect. Flanges are common in luxury European linen collections; however, Knife-Edge finishes have also become more popular for those who want a sleek, tailored finish. The Madison, Irving, and Mercer Shams are finished with a 1.5” Flange to prevent them from flopping over or looking less than wonderful.


You might be surprised to learn that linen is made from the fibers of the flax plant. It’s popular in warmer climates due to its breathability and temperature regulation, but it doesn’t necessarily have the same smooth feel as bedding made from 100% cotton, because the fibers have a slight texture. For those of you wrinkle-obsessed, we recommend you stick to cotton.


Hemstitching refers to the decorative finishing stitch you can find on The Madison. It is achieved when one or more threads are drawn out of the fabric along the hem and stitches bundle the remaining threads, giving the appearance of small holes or eyelets.


First invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard in the 19th century, a jacquard fabric is one in which the pattern or design is woven directly into the fabric. This is in contrast to a solid that is a singular color or a print (which as the name suggests) has the design printed on the surface of a solid fabric. For those who prefer a timeless and flexible look, we recommend you stick to solids.


A Knife-Edge is a finishing option on Shams and Duvet Covers, with little ornamentation. It creates a simple, tailored look as the fabric tapers together into sharp corners. Traditionally, Flange finishes were more prevalent in luxury linens; today, Knife-Edge finishes have become more popular, particularly in Duvet Covers. The Hudson shams and Crosby quilted Euro shams have a knife edge finish.


See flax.


A French word meaning cushioned or padded. Matelassés, also known as Piqués, are used as an alternative to a Quilted Coverlet, such as The Crosby. The downside is, they’re usually not machine washable. We ask ourselves, who has time to take bedding to the dry cleaner?


An independent testing and certification system that guarantees that your textiles are free from a (long and scary) list of known or potentially harmful substances. All of our fabrics are Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Level 1, the highest, most stringent level there is. (And, yes, we’re proud of that!)


Commonly referred to as a plain weave, Percale fabric is a tightly woven cotton fabric where yarns have an over-and-under pattern. As opposed to a Sateen fabric that has a subtle sheen, Percale fabrics have a matte look and a crisp feel. Can’t get enough? Click here for more info


A manufactured or synthetic fiber that has easy-care properties. You may find this in lower end bedding lines, but beware: polyester tends to feel clingy and make you unpleasantly warm— something you definitely don’t want for your bedding!


Pillowcases are the covering used on the sleeping pillows, hence why we refer to them as “The Sleepers”. Pillowcases are usually sold in pairs and have an opening on one side. We’ve designed ours with a pocket to cover your pillow (and keep it in place for those of you who toss and turn). Also, to keep things extra clean, we’ve modified the few extra inches of fabric—called the cuff— that typically hang loosely off the opening.


In the most basic terms, this ancient (as in, more than 5,000 years old) craft involves sewing two layers of fabric together with batting (that is, fluffy filling) in between. Stitches can form simple grids or more complicated florals and other designs. The Crosby is our contemporary take—a timeless geometric design, stitched into our soft Egyptian cotton sateen and poly batting.


Rayon is a natural-based material made from the cellulose* of bamboo, wood pulp or cotton. While made from natural ingredients, the chemical manufacturing process classifies it as a semi-synthetic fiber. (*the main constituent of plant cell walls and of vegetable fibers!)


Sateen is characterized by its smooth hand and its subtle sheen. As opposed to the regular over-and-under Percale weave, a Sateen is woven with one yarn under and three (or more) yarns over, thereby creating the soft, supple surface. Can't get enough? Click here for more info


Satin Stitching refers to a decorative finishing that you can find on The Irving collection. It appears as an embroidered straight stitch, in either a tone-on-tone or contrasting color to the fabric itself.


Silk is a natural, organic fiber produced by the silkworm in their cocoons. Silk fabrics are known for their shiny, lustrous surface, and the fibers themselves are recognized for their strength and elasticity. (Silk is also a great filler for pillows and duvets!)


Shams are the covering used on your decorative pillows, hence why we refer to them as “The Decorators”. The Madison, Irving, and Mercer are finished with a 1.5” Flange on all four sides and have an envelope closure in the back for inserting the pillow. The Hudson and Crosby have a knife edge finish.


The set of yarn found in every fabric woven on a loom, which runs lengthwise and is interwoven with the weft.


The set of yarn found in every fabric woven on a loom, which runs horizontally and is interwoven with the warp.


Refers to the strands of fibers used to make textiles. The quality of the fibers and the yarn spun out of them serve as the foundation for the quality of fabrics. Our sheets are made from top-quality Egyptian cotton fibers, spun into yarn, which are woven into our Percale and Sateen fabrics.