Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A closely woven cotton fabric used for sheets and clothing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fine, closely woven fabric, made from cotton, polyester or a mix of these, and used for sheets and clothing.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fine cotton fabric, having a linen finish, and often printed on one side, -- used for women's and children's wear, and for bedsheets.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A kind of French cambric, very closely and firmly woven, with a round thread, and containing more dressing than ordinary muslim, but without the glossy finish of dress or lining cambrics, made either white or printed. The soft-finished percale is an English manufacture, of less body than the French percale.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a fine closely woven cotton fabric

Etymologies

French, from Persian pargālah, rag.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French percale, of uncertain origin; probably compare percaulah. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term percale is actually used to describe the tightness of the weave with a thread count of two hundred being the minimum standard.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • Some folk confuse the term percale as being a blend of cotton and polyester.

    xml's Blinklist.com

  • When you say the word percale, many think it is a type of fabric.

    PRWeb - Daily News Feed

  • Mrs.X. and you occupy a very light bed, which has a tall canopy of red "percale;" the windows are smartly draped with cheap gaudy calicoes and muslins; there are little mean strips of carpet about the tiled floor of the room, and yet all seems as gay and as comfortable as may be -- the sun shines brighter than you have seen it for a year, the sky is a thousand times bluer, and what a cheery clatter of shrill quick French voices comes up from the court-yard under the windows!

    The Paris Sketch Book

  • Especially because if they had actually asked invited guests for two sets of 300-thread-count percale bedding or a dozen stemless wine glasses, for example, that would have been potentially awkward.

    Meredith C. Carroll: New Royal Wedding Details Unveiled

  • Their print Ikat, a soft percale saturated with primary colors, harkens back to the 1920s Constructivist period; the explosive, naïve floral Jar Ptitsa is from the era of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris.

    Designing Russia

  • It certainly can provoke the same frenzied preparations, the choice of a simple, white percale dress, a special hairdo.

    Patrizia Chen: Jane Austen and Tango

  • Among 100-percent-cotton percale sheets in our tests, some had a thread count of 400, but the highest-rated sheet had a thread count of 280.

    Q&A: When buying sheets, does thread count matter?

  • How did they get from percale duvet covers to this?

    Confetti Confidential

  • We all tied squares of five-hundred-count white percale over our mouths and noses.

    Vicious Grace

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Comments

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  • Persian parg�?lah. a firm smooth cotton cloth closely woven in plain weave and variously finished for clothing, sheeting, and industrial uses.

    August 31, 2009

  • I can see Mrs Albright, dressed in her best black skirt and percale blouse (she pronounced it 'percal'), bent over before the oval mirror of a cherrywood bureau, tying the velvet ribbons of an antique bonnet under her chin.
    —James Thurber, 1952, 'Daguerreotype of a Lady', in The Thurber Album

    July 10, 2008