We hope the information below is helpful in your purchase and care of Casa Del Bianco custom luxury linens. If you need additional assistance, our experts are always ready to help you at 866.249.9224.
Selecting and Buying Linens
What's the most important thing to consider when buying sheets? There is no right fabric. There is only fabric that is right for you. Your own personal taste and your intended use should dictate your choice. Cotton - percale or sateen - sheets are smooth, strong and comfortable and relatively easy care. Linen is the strongest fiber, but the least uniform. Linen fabric has great airflow for coolness, but its irregular surface creates sheets that are less soft and wrinkle more than other fibers. Silk sheets are woven from extremely smooth, thin uniform yarns and tend to feel more luxurious, but they are substantially warmer than either cotton or linen and they require more care.
Why is Egyptian cotton considered the best? Egyptian cotton has the longest fibers that when spun produce the smoothest yarns for weaving. The result is the most comfortable cotton fabric. Linens made of Egyptian cotton also pill less (balling of loose fibers on the fabric surface) and offer greater durability so they last longer.
What's the difference between percale and sateen? Their constructions make each feel and perform differently. Percale is woven with the same number of threads in the warp and weft on the loom. They interlace evenly in a basket weave. This balanced weave produces a strong fabric with maximum airflow to keep you cool in summer. Sateen is woven with an uneven number of threads in the warp and weft. More threads float over the fabric surface producing its characteristic beautiful sheen, but also creating a fabric that is less porous with less airflow and is consequently warmer. Since sateen is an unbalanced weave, there is also more possibility of surface pilling from friction of the unbalanced threads rubbing together. On the plus side, sateen sheets require less ironing than percale.
What is the truth about thread count as a measure of quality? Thread count is very misunderstood. Higher thread counts do not assure comfort or quality. After a certain point, the denser the number of threads per square inch, the heavier and less supple the fabric becomes. A very high thread count (800 and above) sheet will be hot and heavy on the body and you'll feel like you're sleeping under a tablecloth. We recommend 400 to 600 for optimal comfort. With bed linens, it is the weight per square meter that counts. The optimal weight for sheets is 110 grams per square meter.
What is so special about Italian linens? Without a doubt, it's the three processes called the "finishing" - bleaching, burning and mercerization - which are done better in Italy than any other place in the world. Manufacturers may buy fine Egyptian cotton yarn, weave it anywhere in the world on the best German looms, but if they don't "finish" in Italy, the fabric will be inferior. The same holds true for wool, silk, cashmere and leather finished in Italy.
Preserving the Life of Fine Linens
How long should fine linens last? The life of linens is measured in "washings" not years. Care for them well and they will give you long service. The paradox is that as linens approach the end of their "life," they often feel their best - softer and softer. By following proper washing and drying instructions and by alternating your linens (allowing them to "rest" between uses), you can greatly extend the life of your linens.
What is the best way to wash linens? We recommend cold water and very low detergent and, if necessary, only non-chlorine bleach. Always wash like items together to minimize the abrasion. For instance, separate towels and sheets.
What is the best method for drying linens? Contrary to what our grandmothers taught us, it's not line drying. Cotton is sensitive to heat and sun and it's important not to over-dry or over expose cotton sheets. If using a dryer, dry at medium temperature and remove from the dryer while damp. Allowing sheets to air dry will preserve your fabric and also minimize wrinkling. If you do iron or touch up your linens, be sure to use moist heat.
Why have my expensive sheets lost their luster? There is a good probability that you have excess detergent remaining in the fabric, possibly soldered into it from too long in a hot dryer. Washing sheets in cold water a couple of times without detergent will often restore their original beauty and sheen.
How should I store my linens? Linens don't require special storage, but you should never seal them in plastic. Adding a lavender sachet to your linen closet is a lovely way to lend fragrance to your bed; plus it's a natural insect deterrent.
Creating Your Own Couture Linens
Why would I choose custom linens with such a wide variety available at retail? Variety at retail may seem broad, but it doesn't approach the options offered by custom. At best you will be offered a limited selection of fabrics, colors, sizes or patterns at retail. At Casa Del Bianco, you get to have exactly what you want - the ultimate in personalization - sheets, towels or table linens that are designed by you, manufactured in Italy of the finest fabric, painstakingly detailed and expertly fit to your home's specifications. Plus you'll never have to worry about going back to a store a year later to replace an item, only to find it discontinued. At Casa del Bianco, it will always be available.
Do I need to work with a design professional to purchase custom sheets? While the expertise and creative input of a professional always contributes to the process, our experienced staff at Casa del Bianco will work with you to guide you through the process and make it rewarding for you.
What it the dimensions of my bed are irregular? The beauty of custom is that every thing is made to order. Irregular is our regular and special orders don't upset us. They're our business.
Is there a minimum order? No. Perhaps you want just two shams to set off your bed? You can order two shams.
How long does delivery take? Much shorter than you'd think, but delivery varies. We have three general categories of embellishment that dictate delivery - (1) machine embroidery (2) hand-guided machine embroidery, and (3) hand-embroidered. The delivery ranges from 4 weeks for machine embroidery up to 3 months for the most detailed linens. Expedited deliveries are available upon request.
How to I begin the process? You can begin with a call to one of our specialists toll free at 866.249.9224. You do not have to visit our shop at 866 Lexington Avenue in New York City unless it is convenient for you. The process can be conducted via mail.