What Is Thread Count
Thread count is NOT a measure of quality, and we will help you to understand why.
Thread count contributes to only 1/10th of the finished fabric quality. There are many other contributing factors vital to the production of quality fabrics:
In recent years, thread count has become a familiar concept, but consumers have been misled to believe that the thread count is an indication of the quality of the fabric that they’re buying. Thread count is not an indicator of the quality of fabric, rather a description of what the fabric should feel like, and an indication of how tightly the fabric has been woven.
The concept behind thread count is simple; it is just a measure of how many threads are used in a particular area of the fabric. Threads run in two different directions; warp (length) and weft (width). If you add the number of threads in the warp to the number of threads in the weft, this will give you thread count.
There are two standard systems of thread count. Imperial, which originated from Europe and is used by the majority of the world and Metric, which is mainly used in Australia. Imperial thread count is calculated in a square inch, where the Metric version is based in 10sq.cm (3.16cm x 3.16cm). This is very important to remember.
Different fabrics require different thread counts to achieve their finishes. For example, linen is a very high quality fabric, but can have a thread count as low as 50. Its thread count is only low because of the way that the fabric is woven to provide its looser weave and finish. It’s best to think of thread count as a guide to the type of fabric and to be mindful that you cannot judge a fabric based purely upon this measure.