Frequently Asked Questions
These are our most misconceived questions about thread counts, if you have a question ask us below.
Unfortunately, this is not a question that can be answered simply. In a technical sense, you can only weave a certain amount of fibres into an area of fabric and so one would assume that there should be a standardised maximum level of thread count. However, since there are currently no regulating standards, manufacturers have different methods of grading their thread counts. A fabric with a true, high thread count should incorporate fine, long staple, quality yarns to produce a finished fabric that is light and fine. Let price be your guide. If it’s too good to be true, then it most probably is.
The best thread count is the one that feels best to you. Different fabrics require different thread counts to achieve their finishes. Rather than question the “best thread count”, question the fabric’s yarn quality, where the fabric has been woven and the way that it feels. An expertly woven 200 thread count sheet from Italy will feel substantially better than a 1000 thread count that has been cheaply woven in Asia (India, China, or Pakistan). A true, high quality, Egyptian cotton fabric with a high thread count, will have an extremely fine and silky finish because it is the culmination of the finest long staple yarns and expert weaving processes. A percale Egyptian cotton fabric with a thread count of over 225, will be incorporate less, thicker yarns, to produce a fabric that is denser. As a general rule, the finer the yarn and the higher the thread count, the more natural lustre you will see in the fabric and the smoother and finer that it will become.
In recent years, manufacturers have pushed thread count as part of their sell, and customers have been misled to gauge the quality of their products by the thread count number applied to them. While the weaving processes used may be similar, manufacturers have different methods of achieving their thread counts. Some use cheaper yarn types and exaggerate the thread count by using threads consisting of multiple, inferior, yarns plied together and then counting all the “threads” in the square inch area. This is way a 500 thread count quality fabric woven in Italy can feel completely different to a cheaper, mass produced product from Asia. A high thread count does not guarantee you a high quality product; it’s the fabric’s handle, yarn quality, country of origin, pricepoint, and weaving and finishing processes that will reveal its truth.
A true, high thread count product, should feel thin, smooth and fine. To produce a true, 1000 thread count bed linen, the longest staple yarns and best weaving processes should be employed. This superior yarn is carefully combed to remove the smaller fibres and only the best, long cotton staples remain. Be wary of 1000 thread count sheeting that feels thick and does not have a smooth handle, as this suggests that inferior, plied yarns have been used to exaggerate the thread count.
Although Egyptian cotton originally came from Egypt, today “Egyptian” cotton is grown worldwide. To be classified as such it must comply with the original Egyptian standards of fibre length, and be within the range of 31.5mm - 48mm.
This is a matter of personal choice. Linens woven of natural fibres do have a tendency to crease, but they also iron beautifully and last much longer. How you wash and launder your bed linen can impact the level of creasing. Line drying, rather than tumble drying, will cause far less wrinkles. Smoothing and shaking out your bed linen before hanging it on the washing line or clothes horse will allow it to dry with far less wrinkles. If you choose to iron your bed linen, it is advisable to do so when it is damp, using a steam iron on a warm setting.
Yes, most sheeting can be tumble dried. Always refer to the care label for drying instructions first.
If you seek a sheet that is durable, will stand up to frequent laundering and last a long time, then opt for either a 100% Italian linen or Egyptian cotton sheet, with a lower thread count. If you really want an assurance of durability and quality, look for a product that is thick and smooth to the touch, and has been produced in Italy. The Italians are reputedly the world’s best weavers and are selective about using the best quality yarn.