The craft of making Oriental and Persian rugs is only part of a world-wide industry featuring beautiful design, detailed workmanship and a rich, vibrant history.
Evidence suggests that thousands of years ago, nomadic tribesmen between Eurasia and Mongolia were the first to create pile carpets, weaving them to add warmth and comfort to their simple tent homes. Slowly their skills transformed into an art as more and more tribes mastered the techniques and incorporated their creativity into the designs. Rugs became common among these people, adding personality and beauty to their sparse surroundings.
Today's rug designs may be more sophisticated, but they serve much the same purpose, lending beauty, warmth and personality to enhance a home. That's why many interior designers recommend hand-made Oriental and Persian area rugs to their clients as a final touch of elegance to the decor.
When considering a rug for your home, there are a number of reasons why you might decide upon handmade Oriental or Persian rugs instead of machine-made ones. Quality is the most important consideration. Handmade rugs are much more durable than mass-produced machine made rugs. Handmade rugs are usually made with natural materials such as cotton, wool or silk. These natural fibers last longer and release no harmful gasses into the environment over time. And since each rug is hand-knotted, each strand has been tied individually for greater combined strength and consistency.
Choosing Between Regular, Pima and Egyptian Cotton Sheets & Towels
Without knowing exactly what to look for, consumers may end up buying inferior towels and sheets instead of getting linens that are soft to the touch and durable!
Not all cottons are created equally, and this certainly becomes apparent when shopping for towels and bedroom linens. By paying special attention to packaging and tagging, savvy consumers can quickly detect the exact quality of what they are about to purchase.
When towels and linens are made of 100% cotton, there are several noticeable advantages; the first and most important is easily seen in the softness of the fabric. By touch alone, shoppers can feel that pure cotton is much more supple and smooth to the touch than those made of a cotton blend.
The next advantage comes in the level of durability: 100% cotton sheets withstand years of washing, unlike their combo counterparts, which tend to break down over time. Cotton/poly sheets tend to ?pill?, when they are frequently washed and get those little balls of fabric that itch and irritate skin.
The third advantage comes in ?breathability?. 100% cotton allows for air to flow through the spaces between the stitches, which allows for natural body heat to regulate the temperature in the bed. On the contrary, the cotton/poly blends trap in body heat, which causes discomfort while sleeping. Although cotton/poly blends tend to be less wrinkled upon removal from the dryer, it is preferable to deal with a few wrinkles than to have to sleep on sheets that feel like stiff sandpaper and wear thin after a few washes.
For towels, these issues tend to be a bit more minimal than with sheets, but the main advantage to purchasing 100% cotton towels is that they are considerably more absorbent are softer to the touch, and they, as the sheets, have an increased level of durability.
For starters, as stated above, when purchasing towels and linens, always choose those that are made with 100% cotton as opposed to those created with a 60% cotton / 40% polyester blend; yes, it's cheaper, but it won't last nearly as long or feel nearly as luxurious when it touches your skin. The benefits will heavily outweigh any difference in price.
Once a shopper has determined that their towels or linens are, in fact, 100% cotton, it is time to differentiate between the types of cottons. Generally, there are three common types of cotton: regular, 100% cotton, pima cotton and Egyptian cotton.
The regular cotton, although it is the lowest grade of the cottons, still offers amazing quality. Regular cotton is easy to detect and is usually billed simply as ?100% cotton? on packaging or tags.
Pima cotton is grown in Arizona and other arid climates, and it is one step above the regular cotton; it offers additional softness and durability.
At the top of the cotton heap, so to speak, is Egyptian cotton. This cotton is by far the softest and the most durable, and the most sought after by those in search of a good night's rest or a soft towel with which to dry off.
In conclusion, shoppers should be sure to carefully read the packaging and/or tags to ensure that they are buying what they think they are buying! Not paying attention to this detail may mean that consumers end up with inferior quality products that are designed to be the closest to their skin. In addition, once shoppers can identify the differences in the quality of cotton, they can better understand the price differences and rest assured that a higher price tag does, indeed, mean higher quality.
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