Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering how best to store your linens? Or how to set a table? We’ve answered that and more in the FAQ’s below. Need more help? Just email us at or give us a ring.

Danville - 925.837.6575

Lafayette - 925.284.6565




Q: Where are your sheets made?
A: The majority of our sheets are handmade by master tailors in Germany from the finest Italian, Austrian and Belgian fabrics. When it comes to translating design in to fabric, handcrafted traditional workmanship and state-of-the-art weaving techniques, no one comes close to the Italians. As advances are made in weaving, these skilled artisans and their families blend their commitment to staying on the cutting edge while incorporating the knowledge and skills honed for generations. This dedication and passion results in the production of the most beautiful, intricate, complex, and artful fabrics and patterns to be found anywhere.
    Q: What is thread count, really? And how important is it?
    A: Thread count is simply the number of vertical and horizontal yarns woven into a square inch of fabric. For instance, the fine, strong threads of a long-staple Egyptian cotton can be more closely woven together than lesser quality fibers, increasing thread count and making the fabric durable while still remaining soft. While a high thread count may seem an important factor in choosing sheets, the quality of the yarns themselves, as well as the weaving and finishing processes are equally, if not more, important. The higher the quality in these areas, the higher the quality will be the sheets.
      Q: What is the difference between percale and sateen sheets?
      A: Percale and sateen are two different types of weaves. The feel of a percale sheet is light and crisp, and rests very gently upon the skin. It retains less heat, but is actually a stronger weave. Sateen has a smooth, lustrous drape, retains more heat, and has a sheen on one side (due to light reflected by having more threads floated across the surface).
        Q: How can I be sure that the sheets will fully cover my mattress, and that the duvet will cover both sides, so that none of the mattress is exposed?
        A: Today’s mattresses are typically deeper, especially considering pillow-top mattresses, and our sheets are therefore cut generously to allow for shrinkage. Before investing in any bed linens, it is very important to first take physical measurements, as heights of mattresses and box springs vary widely.
          Q: Eastern King, Dual King, California King…what’s the difference?
          A: A regular King mattress, (also known as an Eastern King or Dual King), is 78” x 80” while a California King (also known as a Western King) is narrower and longer at 72” x 84.”
            Q: I have a “split king” Sleep-Number adjustable bed. Do I need special size sheets?
            A: To be absolutely sure you get the appropriate size linens, measure your bed and each adjustable mattress before purchasing sheets. It is also a good idea to consult with your mattress manufacturer for their recommendations
              Q: My daughter starts college this fall, and the mattresses in her dorm are “Twin Extra Long.” Do you have sheets for this size?
              A: Yes, we do. “Twin XL” is now the standard for most college dormitory beds, measuring 39x80, (five inches longer than a regular twin).
                Q: What is the best way to care for my bedding?
                A: Please see our section on Fabric Care
                  Q: Why do my cotton and linen sheets wrinkle?
                  A: Sheets made from all-natural fibers like cotton and linen will wrinkle after laundering because they do not have the artificial elasticity of synthetic fibers. Removing them promptly from the dryer will help over-wrinkling. We believe this lived-in look simply enhances the luxury of our all-natural products. What’s more, over time our linens get softer and more relaxed, making them even more comfortable and less wrinkled.
                    Q: My sateen sheets seem to have lost their sheen. Can I get it back?
                    A: Yes, by simply ironing them. Ironing will restore the fiber’s natural nap and smooth them down -- restoring the luster and silkiness.
                      Q: Do your decorative pillows include an insert?
                      A: Yes, all decorative pillows come with a feather and down filled insert.
                        Q: The flanges on my pillow shams won’t stand up straight. Is there anything I can do?
                        A: Simply turn the pillow upside down and shake it so that the insert rests firmly against the top of the sham (and therefore no pocket of space exists between the sham and insert). Then carefully turn it back over, set the pillow where you like on your bed, and pull up tautly on the flanges. Voila! We think the decorative flange of fabric looks gorgeous whether it’s straight up or gracefully draping over it’s pillow.
                          Q: How do I measure for a bedskirt?
                          A: Measure the length from the top of your box spring to the floor. Our bedskirts are sewn in individual panels so you can simply pin them with our custom pins to your box spring at exactly the length you like--whether it’s just skimming the floor or puddling at your bed's feet. Please note we recommend dry cleaning for all bedskirts as they are not sized for shrinkage.
                            Q: What are the different construction types of bedskirts?
                            A: The two types of bedskirt construction are deck and panel. Deck, or platform, bedskirts are the more traditional style, constructed as one piece of fabric that is laid atop a box spring, with the mattress sitting on top of it. Panel bedskirts come in three separate pieces, or “panels,” which are affixed to the mattress with special pins (one panel for each side of the bed, and one for the foot of the bed). This not only allows for greater flexibility in adjusting the drop of your bedskirt, but also eliminates the need to remove the entire mattress when installing it.
                              Q: I’m not sure I want a bedskirt…they all seem so frilly. Is there a more tailored option?
                              A: A bedskirt usually is offered in two styles: gathered or tailored. Gathered styles, with their soft ruffles, can lend to a more romantic, feminine look. Tailored styles on the other hand, make for a clean, straightforward aesthetic. For an even more modern look, we recommend a box spring cover, adding a layer of protection and a truly tailored finish to the bed.
                                Q: Do you have any bedding that caters to those with allergies?
                                A: The Purists by SDH is a collection of bedding that is perfect for those who suffer from allergies and skin sensitivities. Free from chemical ingredients of any kind, this line offers an exceptional way to combine an all-natural lifestyle with luxurious style and comfort. The Purists collection also offers a variety of bath linens and robes.
                                  Q: I keep hearing about Alpaca bedding. Do you carry it, and what is so special about it?
                                  A: We do indeed. Alpaca products by The Purists are one of the most luxurious, comfortable and healthy bedding choices you can make. Available in comforters and pillows, our organic, naturally hypoallergenic alpaca is mixed with sheep’s wool to keep the alpaca fleece evenly distributed. All of our alpaca products come with certified European organic 100% organic cotton covers.
                                    Q: I recently felt linen sheets in a store and they were so rough! Will they soften?
                                    A: Absolutely. Linen is a natural fiber derived from the flax plant. Pure linen bedding only gets softer and more beautiful over time. It has a more textured hand, and in initial washings emerges quite wrinkled out of the dryer, (but can be ironed for smoothness). The natural “rumpled” aesthetic can make for a gorgeous, casual sophisticated look. This fiber also relaxes with use and washings and will become less wrinkle-prone over time. Linen is extremely breathable and absorbent, keeping one especially cool in warm or humid climates. Also, being naturally hypoallergenic, linen sheets are a wonderful option for those with skin sensitivities.
                                      Q: I like a smooth, silky, wrinkle-free look in sheets. Is there anything other than real silk I can buy, that isn’t a synthetic fiber?
                                      A: Yes, Legna by SDH is an extraordinarily silky, smooth, and wrinkle-resistant fabric. Made from 100% Italian wood fiber, harvested in sustainably managed forests, Legna has the drape, feel, and look of silk, yet washes with the ease of cotton. The Legna collection is also available in bath towels.
                                        Q: What is a coverlet, exactly? Is it a bedspread? A blanket?
                                        A: A coverlet, also known as simply a cover, is a lightweight bed covering that adds an additional decorative layer of comfort, warmth and beauty. The length is designed to extend just below the mattress, although it is not long enough for a pillow tuck. Coverlets often have a thin layer of fill (perhaps Italian lambs wool or silk), and many have a matelassé (or raised/quilted) design. A great way to add both style and functionality to a bed, a coverlet can perfectly pull the entire look of a bed together.
                                          Q: Can I register for linens with Misto Lino for my wedding?
                                          A: Absolutely! Misto Lino has an in-store gift registry, and our sales associates are always delighted to help brides and grooms select the perfect bedding, table linens, as well as other home accessories and décor for their new life together. Currently, we do not have an online registry but we invite you to call for an appointment.
                                            Q: Can I buy fabric by the yard?
                                            A: Yes, many of our bedding fabrics are available for purchase by the yard. To inquire, please send us an email at, or call (925) 837-6575.
                                              Q: Can I request a fabric swatch online?
                                              A: While fabric swatches of our bed linens are available in both of our stores for loan, they are unfortunately not available to order online. Just give us a call or send us an email and we will happily make arrangements to get you what you need.

                                                TABLETOP FAQ’S

                                                Q: Do you have a bridal registry?
                                                A: Yes! We love assisting you in selecting the finest linens, dinnerware, tabletop and one of a kind home accessories to cherish a lifetime of happily ever afters. Misto Lino has distinctive and affordable bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts too. Please call ahead for an appointment so we can give you our undivided attention.

                                                  Q: How do I know what size tablecloth to buy?
                                                  A: There are so many different size tables and these easy steps should help you buy the right size tablecloth for your individual needs.
                                                  To start:
                                                  1) Decide whether the meal or occasion is a formal or informal one.
                                                  2) Measure your table – including the leaves if you’re using them.
                                                  3) Decide on your desired “drop,” or overhang of the cloth’s drape from the edge of the table.

                                                  The drop sets the tone for the occasion and this will help you decide on the drop.
                                                  For casual dining allow a 6”-10” drop on all sides.
                                                  For formal occasions the drop can range anywhere from 12” all the way to the floor, which is typically 30”.
                                                  For a dramatic effect, you may want a “puddle drop,” where the cloth drapes to the floor and softly puddles.

                                                  ROUND TABLES
                                                  To calculate the correct size for a round tablecloth, measure the diameter (side to side through the center point).
                                                  Informal dining: Add 12” to the diameter to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 20” to get the largest size.
                                                  Formal dining: Add 24” to the diameter to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 30” to get the largest size (full length drop).
                                                  Choose: a round tablecloth size no smaller than the smallest and no larger than the largest size you derived from your calculation.

                                                  SQUARE TABLES
                                                  To calculate the correct size for a square tablecloth, measure along one side of the table.
                                                  Informal dining: Add 12” to this side measurement to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 20” to get the largest size.
                                                  Formal dining: Add 24” to this side measurement to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 30” to get the largest size (full length drop).
                                                  Choose a square tablecloth size no smaller than the smallest and no larger than the largest size you derived from your calculation.

                                                  RECTANGULAR TABLES
                                                  To calculate the correct size for a rectangular tablecloth, measure one of the long sides and one of the short sides of the table.
                                                  Informal dining: Add 12” to each of the measurements to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 20” to get the largest size.
                                                  Formal dining: Add 24” to each of the measurements to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 30” to get the largest size (full length drop).
                                                  Choose: a rectangular tablecloth that is no smaller than the smallest and no larger than the largest size you derived from your calculation.
                                                  * Due to rectangular tables being what they are (not square), keep in mind that the drop will probably not be exact on all sides. This goes for oval/oblong tables as well.
                                                  OVAL TABLES
                                                  To calculate the correct size for an oval tablecloth, measure across the table through the center point to get the lengthwise dimension and the crosswise dimension.
                                                  Informal dining: Add 12” to each of the measurements to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 20” to get the largest size.
                                                  Formal dining - Add 24” to each of the measurements to get the smallest tablecloth size, and 30” to get the largest size (full length drop).
                                                  Choose: an oval (or rectangular, if you can’t find an oval) tablecloth size no smaller than the smallest and no larger than the largest size you derived from your calculation.
                                                    Q: What is a table “topper”…is it just a small tablecloth?
                                                    A: A topper is quite simply a square tablecloth, named as such from its common use of being laid over a larger tablecloth. In addition to serving as an overlay, it can also be used alone, and is beautiful when draped over a round table. Misto Lino has an array of fine European toppers to choose from.
                                                      Q: How should I store my table linens?
                                                      A: Hanging tablecloths is an effective way to store your tablecloths, runners, and other table linens. Just be sure to fold your tablecloth into at least thirds and use rounded hangers and not wire, to minimize wrinkles or hanger marks. And if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, (acid-free tissue paper, anyone?) we also love this video tip from Martha Stewart for storing table linens with cardboard tubes.
                                                        Q: How do I care for my pewter?
                                                        A: Pewter is an alloy that when properly cared for, becomes more beautiful over time, and can last for generations. Unlike silver, it does not tarnish, and rarely requires polishing. For best results, follow manufacturer’s care instructions. Although some pewter is considered dishwasher safe, it’s always safest to hand wash in warm water with mild, liquid, non-citrus dish soap, and dry completely. Do not pre-soak, as water allowed to rest on pewter may cause spots. If spotting does occur, buff gently in small circular motions with very fine “0000” steel wool. Pewter is generally not safe for the oven, microwave, and should not be placed near an open flame, as it is a soft metal with a very low melting point.
                                                        Q: I am hosting an informal dinner party, but want to make sure I set the flatware correctly. Do you have a quick guide?
                                                        A: It’s pretty easy if you think of an outside-in lineup. Simply place the utensils in the order you’re going to use them starting from the outside, in.
                                                        Forks: If serving a salad or appetizer, place your salad (smaller) fork to the far outside left of the plate. The entrée (meat) fork will be next, directly beside the plate.
                                                        Dinner knife: place directly to the right of the plate, with cutting edge facing the plate. (If the main course is a steak or other meat, a steak knife can replace the dinner knife).
                                                        Spoons: Place the spoon you’ll use first—perhaps the soup spoon —to the far right of your knife. The teaspoon or dessert spoon is used later, so it is placed to the left of the soup spoon (and to the immediate right of the dinner knife).
                                                          Q: I keep seeing plate chargers in magazines. What is their purpose?
                                                          A: A charger (also known as an underplate or service plate) is a larger, decorative plate placed beneath a dinner plate to enhance a table setting. Chargers come in a variety of colors and materials, and are often part of a dinnerware “collection.” They are perfect for adding a touch of elegance and ambiance at gatherings such as holiday meals, weddings, and dinner parties. Some people choose to remove chargers as soon as guests are seated, while others (especially if the charger is the same design as the dinnerware), leave the charger in place throughout the meal. A charger is always removed prior to dessert service. On a functional note, chargers are a great way to protect a tablecloth or placemat from getting dirty, and can help retain heat for food on the dinner plate.
                                                            Q: What’s the difference between crystal and glass?
                                                            A: Crystal has a lead content of at least 24%, whereas glass contains no lead. Although other fine glassware may contain lead, it is not considered crystal if below 24%. There are also other guidelines that must be met to be true crystal, with regard to density and reflective index. Although crystal is heavier, it can be worked to a remarkable thinness. Another way to distinguish real crystal (although not as accurate) is the lovely ringing sound. Tap it ever so gently and see if it sings! Also, when held just so, crystal creates a beautiful rainbow hue of color.