Those in the know about great quality bedding will often turn to the term “thread count” when explaining the quality of the fabric. But what exactly is it and how does it relate to quality?
Thread count refers to the number of single ply threads both in the vertical and horizontal direction in a specified area (3.16cm2). Most cotton fabrics will start at 150 single ply.
Many people confuse the term “percale” with thread count, but percale is a method of weaving the fabric. Typically, a percale fabric has a thread count of 200 to 250. Percale therefore refers to a weave and is not a special kind of cotton. The same goes for sateen weave – this is a weave that helps to achieve a satin-like smoothness to the fabric.
While bedding fabrics are available with thread counts of up to 1000, anything in excess of 800 single ply threads can be too heavy and dense to be comfortable.
The thread count is also affected by the ply of the threads used. The ply refers to how many threads are wrapped together to form a single thread. Single ply fabrics use threads on their own and in cottons with short fibres, two threads are often twisted together to form a two-ply thread. While this doubles the thread count of the fabric it results in a heavier yet weaker fabric.
Egyptian Cotton is a longer, stronger single ply thread that when woven into a fabric, becomes lighter, yet more durable.
Here’s why you should choose Egyptian Cotton for your bedding.