The Art of the Fitted Sheet

I have three sets of bed sheets, but only one ever gets used.

Is it because they’re far superior than any other sheets? No.

Is it a result of extreme laziness? Not in this case.

Is my washing machine out of commission? Absolutely not.

It’s actually pretty simple. I can’t fold a fitted sheet to save my life. For years, it has been the same agonizing process. Any outsider that saw me attempt to fold a fitted sheet would most likely buckle over in laughter from the dramatic calisthenics that I endure to attempt to produce a square-ish-looking pile to neatly stack in my sheet drawer. It starts out pretty straightforward, right? Grab the corners and bring them together. Fold in half. Uh oh, it already looks like crap.

When I met Alex Cole, I got a tour of the vast and impressive Argentieri Brothers facility in Wellsville. Walking by stacks of perfectly-pressed, color-sorted sheets, I casually mentioned my hatred for the fitted sheet. Alex cheerfully stated, “Oh, I’ll show you! Watch…”

He grabbed a sheet, fluffed it out into a textile parachute, spreading the intoxicating aroma of fresh laundry into the air. He twirled it around like a slab of pizza dough, grabbing corners and tucking handfuls of fabric into corners, all the while narrating the process as if what he was doing was just as easy as alphabetizing Skittles. We’re standing there, watching this process (which, by the way, took him 10 seconds flat), and suddenly, BAM! Alex was standing there, holding a crisp and symmetric display case-grade fitted sheet that looked like it was just pulled from the linen closet in the White House guest bedroom.

Side note: sheets folded by me go in a drawer; sheets folded by magicians like Alex Cole go in a linen closet.

The takeaway? With the right care and expertise, something as simple as a bed sheet can be a beautiful work of art. Thank God there are experts out there to curate this mystery.

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