Let's learn about what is thread count! 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. This article will go further into what is thread count and how it can be manipulated, as well as how to choose the best thread count.
What is Thread Count Tutorial
"Thread count" refers to the number of horizontal threads (weft) and vertical threads (warp) in one square inch of fabric. It's commonly used to assess the quality and feel of bed sheets and fabric. Read more about warp threads and weft threads.
Therefore, a 200 count means there are 100 threads going across the square and 100 threads going down the square. Thread count is a separate measure from GSM which measures grams per meter.
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. Keep reading this article on what is thread count to find out how it can be manipulated and what is the best thread count.
Thread Count Quality
A higher thread count does not always mean better 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.
In conclusion, while thread count can be an indicator of quality, it's not the only one and sometimes not the best one. The type of cotton, the weave, and the ply can be just as important, if not more so. It's also worth noting that personal preference plays a big role: some people prefer the crisp feel of a 250-thread count percale sheet, while others might favor the silky touch of a 600-thread count sateen weave.
What is the Best Thread Count?
When considering what is the best 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.
- 200-300 Thread Count: Offers a balance between comfort and affordability. Sheets in this range can be very comfortable if they're from a good-quality cotton.
- 400-600 Thread Count: Usually feels soft and luxurious. For many, this is the sweet spot between comfort, durability, and price.
- 800+ Thread Count: While it may sound luxurious, sheets in this range can sometimes feel heavy, and as mentioned earlier, the numbers might be inflated due to the counting of multi-ply threads.
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 thread counts higher than 400 is difficult as a square inch is a very small space to fit that many threads.
Some manufacturers 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 and Buying Quality Sheets
When purchasing bedding and linens, you will commonly come across the term thread count as a mark of their quality. Thread count is associated with the comfort and luxury level of bed sheets.
Since thread count refers to the number of threads vertically and horizontally, at first glance, it would seem that the higher the thread count, the more luxurious the sheet. However, the truth is that the count can be manipulated and that it is not the only indicator of quality.
Take the example of a 1000-thread count sheet. You would think that this is the best quality, whereas if it was made of poor-quality fibers, it may feel scratchy and not necessarily last longer than a 300-thread count sheet made of high-quality single-ply cotton.
The material of the sheet plays an indispensable role. Egyptian cotton sheets, renowned for its long fibers, can produce soft and durable sheets even at a lower thread count. Meanwhile, synthetic materials like polyester or lesser-quality cotton might not feel as soft or last as long, regardless of a high thread count.
The fabric weave also plays an important role in the texture and breathability of the fabric. Percale sheets which are a plain weave, feel crisp and cool and are ideal for hot climates. Sateen sheets, on the other hand, are warmer and softer, so better for cool climates. Flannel sheets have a lower thread count but are warm and cozy for winter.
What is Thread Count FAQs
What is the best thread count for sheets?
When choosing bedding, a thread count range of 300 to 500 is a good balance between comfort, durability, and affordability. Above this, there can be negligible improvements.
Is a 400 or 1000-thread count better?
In theory, a 1000 thread count should be better than a 400 thread count, but there are other factors to consider when buying sheets or fabric. Take into account the fiber the fabric is made from, as well as the weave. The best thread count for sheets is bedding that feels soft to the touch and is comfortable.
What is 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