Understanding Thread Count


November 08, 2017

Thread count is often used as a way to measure the quality of sheets. The prevailing thought is, the higher the thread count, the higher the quality of the bedding. This is partly true; thread count most definitely impacts the quality and softness of sheets. The numbers can be misleading, however, as some manufacturers have taken creative ways to calculate thread count. Yet thread count is not the only factor when determining quality and softness. Understanding what to look for will help you find the right sheets.

 

Defining Thread Count

Fabric is made by weaving threads together. Thread count is a measure of the number of threads in a single square inch of fabric. More specifically, there are vertical threads, known as warp, and horizontal threads, known as weft. When all of the warp and weft threads in a square inch are tallied up, you get the thread count value. This number is an indication of softness and quality, as well as an indication of how the sheets will wear over time.

 

Using Thread Count to Gauge Quality

A thread count above 200 is considered to be good quality. When looking at the number of threads that can fit into a single square inch of bedding fabric, 400 is usually around where the number tops out. This means sheets with thread counts between 200 and 400 are quality products. There are sheets available that claim to have thread counts of 800 or even 1,000. Higher thread counts in excess of 400 can result in sheets that are stiff and heavy, and do not hold up over time as the implied quality would make one think. 

 

Calculating Thread Count

When the thread count seems too good to be true it is likely the result of multiple ply threads. Some vendors use very thin threads that are spun together to create multiple ply threads. In this instance, each ply is counted as an individual thread. For example, a two-ply thread would count as two; three-ply would count as three and so on. The higher the thread ply the coarser the resulting fabric, which can lead to an uncomfortable night of tossing and turning.

 

Maximum Comfort

Thread count is significant, but not as much as many brands will lead customers to believe. When quality thread is used and the count is calculated reasonably the sheets can be comfortably soft and luxurious. All of SOL’s sheets are made using 1-ply cotton and have a thread count of 300. Our sheets and bedding are soft to the touch and breathable for a good night's rest. A thread count of 300, featuring single-ply thread construction will wear evenly and it will soften over time, making the sheets more comfortable the more you use them.

 

More to Quality Than Thread Count

A number of factors contribute to the softness and quality of bed linens. Thread count matters, but the type of cotton and the way the threads are woven all impact the look, feel and durability of sheets.

 

Long-Staple Cotton

A staple is a unit of measure used to quantify the length of cotton fiber. Long-staple cotton measures 1-⅛ inch to 1-¼ inch in length. Long fibers have a silky texture that give woven fabric a smooth and luxurious feel. Long fibers create a durable thread that will be long lasting. By comparison, short-grain cotton fibers create coarse fabric that has a rough texture. SOL uses long-staple cotton for all of our bedding.

 

Sateen Weave

All of SOL’s sheets are constructed using a sateen weave. In order to understand a sateen weave it is necessary to understand how standard sheets are made. Typically, sheets feature a standard plain weave. This means that each thread alternates, so a horizontal, or weft, thread will alternate going over and under the vertical, or wrap, threads.

 

Benefits of the Weave

A sateen weave features one vertical tread over three horizontal threads. This construction creates a tightly woven fabric with more threads on the surface. The end result has a satin and lustrous feel, it is soft, silky and breathable for comfort all year round.

 

Big Picture

Focusing solely on the thread count or the weave only delivers part of the story. When used all together things like the type of cotton, the number of threads and the weave create comfortable bedding that is soft and luxurious. These materials and methods complement one another to create amazingly soft and comfortable bedding that will deliver you best night’s rest.

 

Ethically Made

Our sheets are made with a commitment to quality, but we also have an ethical commitment. At SOL we only use Fair Trade Certified cotton which is grown under conditions that are healthy and safe for the workers. The cotton is non-GMO and 100 percent organic, so it is safe for the planet, the farmers and our customers.



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