Does Thread Count?
Thread Count: An Accurate Measure of Bedsheet Quality?
For a good night’s rest, you need soft sheets of the best quality.
Most people think that high-quality bed sheets have the maximum thread count. People believe that thread count also determines the durability of the bedsheet. But can it be said that a bed sheet is of superior quality only because of its high thread? Is there a need to take other factors like the weave of the fabric and the manufacturer into account before deciding if the bedsheet is of the best quality? Read to know the true test of quality in bedsheets.
Let us begin by understanding what a thread count is.
What does Thread Count mean?
For better understanding, we must first know what is a thread count. Take a piece of fabric and examine it. You will make a horizontal and vertical weave of thread or yarn. Well! The number of threads or yarn in a square inch of cloth is its thread count. Many people believe that the fabric’s softness depends on its thread count. The general idea here is a high thread count means a softer bed sheet while a fabric with a lower thread count is coarser. But then again is that a myth or a fact? What about the fabric weave and quality? Do they affect the bed’s softness?
Let’s analyse that also.
Is a Higher Thread Count Good?
Ideally, sheets with thread counts ranging between 300 to 500 are of good quality depending on their fiber content and construction. If the thread count of the fabric is over 300 and less than 500 you cannot always say that it is of the best quality if it is of an inferior weave.
These weaves are softer, thicker, and durable. You may wash and use them multiple times and they may still be good to use. But does that mean they are of the best quality? No, it does not because the manufacturers achieve a higher thread count by weaving multiple yarns together which ruins the fabric and brings down its quality. Keeping this in mind we can then say a higher thread count implies higher durability but cannot always guarantee quality. So here it is not only the thread count that matters.
What if the Thread Count is below 180?
Let us understand this better with an example.
Hold the sheet against light, and you’ll know exactly what I am trying to get at.
You will see light rays coming through the weaves of the fabric, and they do not wear well for regular use. In addition, bed linen with a thread count of less than 150 will not stand the test of time or multiple machine washes.
But when it comes to fabric you cannot generalize and say that it is of better quality or lesser quality by judging only by the thread count. Continue reading the article to understand why.
Yes, a piece of fabric with a 180-thread count is indeed lower in thread count. But it is unfair to say that such fabrics are of inferior quality depending only on the thread count. Do you know why?
If a manufacturer perfects the weave of fabric with thread counts ranging from 180 to 200 threads count it will not remain coarse to touch. It will be even softer than fabric having a thread count of 500 or more. Here the finishing makes all the difference in proving its superiority.
Another crucial point here is that manufacturers use a more mechanical finish and reduce the number of chemicals in making bed linen out of fabrics whose thread count is lower than 200. The fabric is much stronger and does not wear off easily. For this reason, you should invest in a bed sheet that has a thread count of 200 or lesser. Many well-known brands manufacture and market bed sheets of this kind. Customers are comfortable with these sheets because they are available at reasonable rates.
If the bed sheet’s durability, softness, brand name, and price determine its quality you can say that these sheets are of the best quality available at a reasonable price.
Does thread count make a difference?
A piece of fabric with a 180 threads count is indeed the most “quality” bed sheet that have a thread count of 180 or above – some others could even have up to 1000.
Like thread count, the weaving technique also matters. The fabric may be sateen, percale, or linen—it all depends on the weave. And they differ in texture — Sateen is smooth and shiny while percale is soft and crisp.
Also, satin and sateen differ from each other– satin is made of fibers like silk, polyester, or nylon (or a blend of all three), whereas the raw material for sateen is cotton. The weaving technique gives it a smooth texture and a shiny, lustrous look.
A “ply” is sometimes a better measure for quality than thread count. It indicates how the manufacturers achieve the desired thread count. A ‘single-ply’ denotes a thread made with only one strand, but for a ‘two-ply,’ two strands of yarn will have to be twisted together to make one thread. But higher the better is not always the correct parameter to decide to buy bedsheets. A thread counts of 800 and above, though it sounds fantastic, needs to be double-checked for authenticity. Sometimes, use the ‘multi-ply’ technique to weave the threads together. Unfortunately, that makes the fabric thick and coarse. Such a blend can be more harmful than beneficial— it damages the cloth.
Weavers may weave a cloth of 600 thread count by using 300 two-ply threads. So, when it comes to a multi-ply fabric, many strands are twisted together to make a single thread – which is not preferable.
You can consider Bed sheets with a thread count ranging between 180-300 to be of excellent quality, and a thread count between 300-500 make up the luxurious lot.