As we spend a third of our lives in bed, we believe that it’s worthwhile to invest in a great set of sheets. We want to share our journey and the story behind Westlake Home’s 600 thread count, 100% organic cotton heirloom quality sheets with you, to help you understand why the best days start when you #WakeUpWithWestlake.
The Beginning of Our Journey
“In order to understand any product, you need to research it. All brands mention thread count, so it must matter. But it wasn’t until I started to do research and travel to China that I really understood what that meant,” says Julien Roy, Westlake Home’s Chief Technology Officer. “We researched both old and newer techniques creating organic cotton products out of the natural organic cotton fiber. Most competitive sheet sets utilize modern manufacturing processes, but don’t attain the softness of our sheets. And these organic cotton sheets are being manufactured in Peru, China, Italy, Pakistan, the U.S., and other countries.”
“I started to visit different manufacturing plants and found that to create the quality 100% organic cotton sheets we wanted for Westlake Home, it really comes down to the best choices in how the cotton is grown and manufactured, such as the soil quality and precipitation.”
How Organic Farming Systems Work
Organic cotton is cotton that’s produced and certified to organic agricultural standards. Its production sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs, according to the website aboutorganiccotton.org. Importantly, organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Instead, it combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote a good quality of life for all involved.
“It took about a year to research everything. We looked at which country had the most precipitation and arid climate and determined that Pakistan was the best climate to source and manufacture our cotton,” says Julien. “Pakistan is an arid climate with a lot of precipitation - around 200 meters per year. With more rain, the more you can grow the cotton bowl, which needs to open up during growth. “There’s only 1% of companies using organic cotton worldwide for bedding products, so it’s very minimal.”
Determining the Fabric & the Blend
“We wanted the highest thread count, for long-lasting, heirloom quality bedding,” notes Julien. “When it comes to softness and quality the best cotton sheets are either Percale or Sateen. Both utilize high-quality long-staple cotton. The difference lies in the type of weave. Westlake Home sheets are made primarily of Percale - with some Sateen. A traditional one-yarn-over and one-yarn-under weave, Percale typically features a matte finish and a crisp, cool feel that improves with every wash. Its superior durability means it won’t pill over time. It’s soft, lightweight and breathable, which means it’s perfect for warmer sleepers. Our organic cotton is 80% rain-fed, which reduces pressure on local water sources, and we reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 94% compared to conventional cotton competitors.
The Thread Count
Thread count refers to the number of woven threads that make up one square inch of sheet fabric, combining horizontal threads (or “weft”) and vertical ones (“warp”). This number ranges from about 150 (often found in inexpensive children’s bedding) up to 1,000 or more in fabrics like satin and silk. With cotton -- most experts consider 400 to 600 threads per inch to be ideal. Westlake Home sheets are made from extra-long cotton fibers that are 50 percent longer than those of standard cotton and 600 thread count, resulting in a sheet that is softer, stronger and longer-lasting than standard cotton sheets.
Our Custom Weave & Innovative Difference
After two years of intensive research and work, we created a custom weave that is designed for ultimate softness, breathability and durability. Our luxurious organic cotton sheets feature a blend of Percale on one side and Sateen on the other, woven with an innovative weave technology that makes the sheets thinner, so that they sleep cooler. Why does a sheet sleep hotter? Because sweat lingers in the sheets and then you sweat more. Cotton absorbs water. Our bottom sheet features sateen, which is smooth and cool to the skin and the top percale sheet vaporizes water. Our innovative weave was designed to introduce the world to a better night’s sleep!
In Search of a Sustainable Manufacturing Plant
“It took a year to research everything and on my first visit to factories in China, I came back with nothing,” says Julien. “We discovered that there are not a lot of GOTS Certified cotton factories out there. (GOTS Certified means that your supply chain meets rigorous ecological and social criteria, and that the cotton is fair trade). There are two factories in China and every machine to produce the cotton it different. When cotton comes into a factory, there are 30 steps to make it viable for organic cotton production /end product. We finally settled on a manufacturing factory in Italy, where the weave is hand crafted of heirloom quality. They still honor traditional techniques while using modern technology. The result is a crisp finish that only improves over time.”
In terms of looks, Percale sheets work best for more modern and luxurious tastes. Percale features a matte finish and a crisp, cool feel that improves with every wash. Westlake Home sheets are made from 100 percent premium, long-staple organic cotton, and are lightweight and durable with a crisp finish.
Sustainability is our Passion
Once our 100% organic cotton bedding products were finished, we needed to think about the type of packaging we wanted to utilize, and which was also environmentally conscious. We came up with a luxurious box that removes plastic from our supply chain, and which is designed to allow our customers to reuse, to reduce packaging waste. The beautiful, deep blue velvet box is made from recycled cotton and utilizes corn syrup glue and recycled wood.
Our mission is to push the boundaries of sustainability while creating heirloom products that excel in quality and luxury for the good of our homes and planet. And, we feel that Westlake Home’s attention to detail in the entire supply chain process of our products - from production and manufacturing of our 100% organic cotton bedding to its luxurious, reusable packaging - has succeeded in achieving these goals.
Thank you for sharing the story of our journey. We wish you a better night’s sleep with our products and hope that you #WakeUpWithWestlake for a brighter future - for us and for our planet.
~The Westlake Home Team
Image Source: aboutorganiccotton.org