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It is undeniable that bedding and thread count are two notions that go hand in hand. When it comes to choosing the best quality bedding, one usually thinks the highest number of thread counts is what matters. But what exactly is a thread count? What does the number mean? And what does it tell you about the quality of your sheets?
Why should you know about thread count?
Thread count is one of the leading criteria used as a benchmark for a fabric’s quality. A greater density of threads increases a fabric’s durability and longevity, but it is the thread size which dictates the feel of the fabric. Compared to thicker threads, a greater number of thinner strands is required to occupy the same surface area of fabric and allows product labels to claim a higher thread count. Thinner threads moreover yield a smoother and more refined touch than thicker threads. However, thinner threads are more delicate as a trade-off and reduces the sturdiness of the fabric. It is therefore important to keep in mind when choosing your bedding that fabrics of exceptionally high thread counts are composed of extremely fine threads and this may not necessarily be the optimal material for you.
What is thread count?
Thread count is the total number of lengthwise (warp) and crosswise (weft) threads conventionally counted within 1 sq. inch (1” x 1” or 2.54 cm x 2.54 cm) of fabric. Conversion to the metric system is measured as the total number of threads within 10 sq.cm. (3.163 cm x 3.163 cm) of the fabric.
It should be brought to your attention that although a 10 sq. cm piece of fabric has 55% more surface area than one of 1 sq. inch, the number of threads has only increased by 24.5%. For example, fabrics woven at 300 threads/sq. inch is equivalent to 374 threads/10 sq. cm (an increase of 24.5%, following the number of threads), not 465 threads/10 sq. cm (an increase of 55%, following the surface area).
Some bedding brands may improperly claim thread counts by using 10 sq. cm as the unit of measurement and calculating their thread counts based on surface area rather than the actual number of threads. It is crucial that you as consumers are cautious of which unit of measurement is being used when comparing the thread count of various products. It is recommended that you compare the thread counts claimed per 1 sq. inch rather than per 10 sq. cm, as it more difficult to manipulate through conversion.
How could consumers check the validity of the thread count claimed on product labels?
The number of threads is counted by cutting a piece of fabric in to the size of 1 sq. inch, disassembling it, and counting each and every thread. In Thailand, fabrics can be delivered to the testing centre at the Thailand Textile Institute for counting and a test report will then be issued as proof.
What is “True Thread Count”?
At EXOTICA and FAIRmaid, we consistently send samples of our bedding products to the Thailand Textile Institute for testing and all our designs are verified. Our consumers can rest assured in the validity of the thread count we claim on our product labels, thus coining the term “True Thread Count”
The thread count test reports of our products can be seen in the “Certifications” page.
Here at EXOTICA and FAIRmaid, we take honesty and service seriously.