The Importance Of Counting Threads When Buying Linens
As a rule of thumb, the higher the thread count, the higher the quality of your linens.
But first, a definition: Thread count is simply the “number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch of fabric.” The greater number of threads per square inch of fabric makes for a smoother and softer finished product.
Thread counts start from around as low as 80 and shoot up to about 700 or, in some cases, 1000. You’ll normally find the thread count listed on the packaging. Otherwise the sales assistant will be able to let you know. Any sheet that has a thread count higher than 100 is normally called ‘percale’, which simply means “a fine closely woven cotton fabric”.
A general rule is that the higher the thread count the softer the sheets will feel to the touch. Another general rule is that the higher the thread count the more expensive the item.
A lot of experts say that the only way to choose linens is to go by thread count, and while that is certainly useful for the inexperienced linens buyer, one thing a shopper must always trust is her own common sense.
Yes, you should always listen to your needs and your wallet, first. If you are choosing linens for a wedding gift or if you want something very extra special for yourself then a higher thread count may be suitable. But if you just want a budget pair of sheets for your young kids (who may still be bed-wetting) or teenage boys (who seem to wear and tear through anything they come into contact with) then buy a lower thread count. You won’t worry when you have to wash it over and over. Lower thread counts make for thicker sheets.
Don’t forget that some sheet fabrics such as linen flannel and jersey have low thread counts because that’s the way they are; they simply have thicker fibers. But who’d give up a flannel sheet in winter! So when buying linens keep three things in mind: your common sense, your budget and thread counts.