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Percale, or percalcos, is a closely woven plain-weave fabric often used for bed covers. Percale has a thread count of about 200 or higher and is noticeably tighter than the standard type of weave used for bed-sheets. It has medium weight, is firm and smooth with no gloss, and warps and washes very well. It is made from both carded and combed yarns, and may be woven of various fibres, such as cotton, polyester, or various blends. Percale fabrics are made in both solid colours and printed patterns. The finish of the fabric is independent of its weave, so it can be either printed or unprinted.


Percale was originally imported from India in the 17th and 18th centuries, then manufactured in France. The word may originate from the Persian, pargālah meaning rag, although the Oxford English Dictionary (as of December 2005) has traced it only as far as 18th-century French. The dictionary of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans describes pexal and perxal as some kind of silk fabric in the year 1348 in Valencia. The etymological dictionary of Catalan explains perxal as derived from Perche in France. In the year 1322 in Dalmatia, which had trade connections also as the Republic of Venice, Peter de genere Percal was mentioned. This word Percal, which occurred the first time in a Supreme Court verdict on Latin in 1322 in Dalmatia, derived from the Hebrew word prklyt, which derived from the Ancient Greek word parákletos, which means lawyer. The relationship between bedding and law in ancient Persia can be guessed, because according to Phanias of Eresus, Artaxerxes I of Persia had given to Themistocles the city of Percote with bedding for his house. Taking into account the different spellings of this "generatio Percal" due to the variations Parkly and Perkly in Dalmatia, the name of a farm near Linlithgow Palace in Scotland, which had been built in the 14th century by a 1st cousin of the grandmother of this Peter de genere Percal, was mentioned in 1431 also as Parkly. This farm was also mentioned as Parkle (1431), Perkley (1432), Parcle (1438), Perkle (1439), Parklye (1440), Parklee (1489), Perklee (1490/91), Parklie (1528), Pairklie (1638), Pairkly (1647) and Parkly (1648) since then and it is mentioned as Parkley since 1671.

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