Thread count really is a technical term to show how the threads are counted. It means the number of threads woven together in a square inch. Both the lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) threads produce the thread count total. So 100 warp and 100 weft produce a thread count of 200.
These days, thread count has become a buzz word for marketing luxury sheets, shirts and other woven fabric goods. The idea is the finer threads you can weave together, the softer and finer the fabric. But is it always the case?
Good quality sheets come in at 180 and anything above 200 is considered better quality and 300 . Just to give you an idea, muslin fabric is mostly 150 count which feels a little rough and certainly not silken.
Consider this, when a manufacturer claim 1200 thread count, how would that be possible to fit that many threads into a single inch? Truth is you can’t. Some manufacturers use creative match to boost thread count. The more thread count they can claim, the better and more expensive pricing they can command. The truth is, they don’t count the thread, they count the fibres (also called plies) that make up each thread! So if a single thread might have four plies twisted together – one manufacturer will call that one thread, while another manufacturer will call this four threads.
Now, thread count really is only a part of the puzzle as to whether or not your sheet is nice or nicer. The quality of threads do matter too. And what’s the big deal with Egyptian Cotton anyway?
In the world of textile, the length of the fibre is an indication of quality. In Egyptian cotton, the fibres (also called staples) are longer than any other type of cotton. Longer staples equal a stronger thread and more durable fabric. At one time, Egyptian cotton was grown primarily in Egypt, but now it’s grown all over.
It is all simply a marketing ploy to make Egyptian cotton sheets and 1200 thread counts sound more luxurious.
Still Confused? How to Choose The Right Sheets for You?
Most people try to tell how nice the sheets are by touching them, unfortunately it’s not that simple. Sometimes polishes, waxes and other substances are applied to increase the luster soft feel. These artificial surface will wash off after a washing or two. Good quality sheets should feel even nicer after subsequent washes. They never pill and last for years. Check the seams and manufacturing quality, if the threads are hanging off or nonuniform stitches shown. These are likely giveaways that these sheets are not the best. Don’t choose the most expensive pricing as a true indicator of quality as you know now that is now always the case.
We need tp stop putting so much emphasis on thread count and put more emphasis on the quality, softness and durability of the cotton. To be safe, see the sign for OEKO TEX certification and recommends 100% organic cotton as it is durable, soft and breathable.