Thread count is literally the number of threads to be counted in a square inch of cotton fabric. The threads are counted across the square horizontally and down the square vertically. These measurements are counted on the warp (vertical) and the weft (horizontal) of the fabric. Therefore, a 200 count means there are 100 threads going across the square and 100 threads going down the square.
Counting the threads has become particularly important when assessing the quality of cotton sheets and fabrics.
The greater the number of threads counted the softer the cotton.
Larger thread counts also equal more expensive cotton.
The thread count has become a popular way of marketing expensive sheets, shirts and woven fabrics but be warned! It can be manipulated.
Thread Count Quality
In addition to looking at the thread count, it is important when purchasing sheets or fabric to take into account the type of fibers and the quality of those fibers. This can be a little harder to compare, however.
What is a Good Thread Count?
A count of 200 is considered of a good quality. A thread count of 150 would be a very loose weave associated with muslin. While a count of 400 plus would be excellent quality.
Generally speaking a low figure of thread counts will produce a loose weave and rougher fabric. A higher number of threads produces a tighter weave and a softer fabric. The discerning shopper, of bed linen in particular, will be looking for quality through a high thread count.
Marketing Tactics of Thread Count
Like many products, marketing is designed to increase sales by increasing numbers. A higher thread count must mean that the sheets are better quality right? On the surface this is correct, but numbers can be manipulated.
Reading of thread counts higher than 400 is difficult as a square inch is a very small space to fit that many threads.
Some manufactures have taken the thread count a step further by counting the fibers of the threads in order to inflate the count.
The fibers that make a single thread are called plies. There are four fibers of plies to a thread.
Generally, when you see a thread count of 750-1000, in reality, the manufacturers have multiplied the threads by four to inflate the thread count. It is also possible to double the layer of the raw cotton, producing twice as many threads through the double layering.
Thread Count - In Conclusion
Quality that lasts and is soft to the touch is the reason thread count is important. A sheet for example, covers the whole body for several hours at a time. Cotton that will wash and wear and always be comfortable can be judged by the thread count. Thread count is therefore an important factor when buying quality cotton.
- CHIFFON – Sewing Chiffon
- BATIK – What is Batik
- CANVAS – Sewing Canvas
- COTTON – Sewing Cotton
- DENIM – Sewing Denim
- FELT – Sewing Felt
- FUR – Sewing Fur
- KNITS – How to Sew Stretch Fabric
- INTERFACING – Types of Interfacing
- LACE – How to Sew Lace
- LEATHER – Sewing Leather
- RAYON – Sewing Rayon
- SHEER – Sewing Sheer Fabrics
- SILK – How to Sew Silk
- THICK – Sewing Thick Fabrics
- VELVET Sewing Velvet
- WOOL – Sewing Wool
- FLEECE – Sewing Fleece