Royal's Crispy Percale Bedding at Amazon.com
The Royal's Percale Cotton Sheet Set is 300 thread count 100% cotton. This set of crisp cotton percale sheets comes in sizes twinXL, full, queen, and king (both regular and California), and in many different color combinations, including ivory and tan. Here's a picture (it's clickable).
At Amazon.com, I also found this Tribeca 300-thread count all cotton percale sheets described by one reviewer as "crisp" and "cold" and another reviewer mentioned they wrinkled in the dryer (which to me is a positive, not a negative, because it means they have the texture I'm looking for!) I'm afraid I didn't include an image here, because it's a picture of white sheets on a white background, and hard to see.
Amazon.com also has a great sheet set by Pinzon that's real percale, 100% cotton. The twin and twinXL set include one pillowcase; the full, queen and king size sets includes two pillowcases. The price is definitely right at this writing.
Peru Pima Sets
These classy basics are my new discovery! At 415TC, the Peru Pima sheets have a higher thread count than we usually see in percale. They don't come in twin size, only full, queen, and king. They're also not the lowest in price range (but at least they're not the highest either). Reviews look promising, claiming they hold up under multiple washings. They also have separate pillowcase sets. Peru Pima also has sheets in a 285-thread count option. So now they're on my "to try" list. If you try them, please do report back here.
Thomas Lee PerfectCale
I mentioned on another page that Thomas Lee sent me a sample of their 100% cotton sheets and I found them too silky and thin. Well, since then, some readers have left comments or told me that they like them. Maybe the sample I received wasn't the percale I asked for; maybe, maybe...all I can say is, I'm withholding judgment. They're pricey, so you'll want to check out the reviews carefully to see if the sheets sound like they will match your expectations. The description currently claims the sheets are "true 500 thread count," but I'm skeptical as to what that really means after learning about the ambiguity of thread-count terminology. Anyway, here they are - PerfectCale - in ivory. White's also available, of course. The good thing is you can buy pieces individually.
A few readers recently suggested the new Threshold Percale Sheets, which fit mattresses 9" - 18" thick. I linked to them for a while, but they seem to have disappeared. Also, the most recent reviews I saw for Threshold sheets called them scratchy, which is an indication of low quality cotton fibers.
I also did research the "clothesline crisp sheets" at the Vermont Country Store after they were mentioned by a reader of this blog. Looking at the current reviews for these sheets, I found that although there were satisfied customers in the past, many reviewers have recently been disappointed in the sets. Apparently they changed manufacturers or suppliers of the linens. I'll check back periodically and when the reviews indicate these are once again worth their rather exorbitant pricing, maybe I'll link to them here.
Lastly, I found some crisp percale pillowcases on eBay that I bought in a lot of 6. I was pleased with about half of them which were wonderfully white, crinkly and crackly and disappointed with the other half (the half that didn't seem to be made of percale but felt more like soft combed cotton). However, despite that, I considered getting some more, because the prices were definitely right, but the seller no longer offers items for sale.
I'll be updating this as I find more available sheets that my grandma would have approved of.
Update September 2014: I've been hunting down sheets and pillowcases on eBay with great success because I have a new paradigm - going vintage! Check out my new obsession!
Update January 2017: Since a reader alerted me to some outdated links, I've just updated links to match what's currently available in quality percale, so if you checked out sheets here before, you may find some new ones you like. :)