Definition of percale in US English:



  • A closely woven fine cotton or polyester fabric used especially for sheets.

    as modifier ‘six fine percale sheets’
    • ‘Flannel is a cotton fabric that is brushed on one side for warmth and extra softness; percale is a finely woven, smooth fabric (all cotton or a blend) with a minimum thread count of 180.’
    • ‘The sheets and pillow cases are 220 thread count 100% cotton percale in bright white with a black twist cord detail.’
    • ‘For curtains, go with something like percale or chintz.’
    • ‘He weeps on his 400-count percale sheets and cradles a gold coin his invisible pop passed along in lieu of fatherly love and support.’
    • ‘Interested in knowing how much I move about while sleeping, in order to make an informed decision on easy-care or Egyptian percale bed linen, I thought I'd employ the full technical capability of my camera to find out.’


Early 17th century: from French, of unknown origin.