Thread Count and Quality Linens March 05, 2015 18:01
Who doesn't love the feeling of slipping into a bed with high quality sheets? It is the thing we remember most about that bed-and-breakfast getaway. Is there doubt then why consumers reach for those high thread count linens when they refresh their bedrooms? But why exactly do some linens feel softer against our skin than others, regardless of thread count? Or why do some sheets last years, while others seemingly fade away in one year?
To answer this question, we asked a few of our linen providers to reveal some of the secrets Turkish textile mercers have learned over centuries of manufacturing in the region. While some methods varied (and some secrets left unshared behind quiet smiles) all agreed on the following tips to selecting the best linens.
Start with high quality cottons. This is why we import linens exclusively from the Turkish and the Mediterranean coasts, where the climate is perfect for growing fibers with natural strength and sheen.
Use a yarn size appropriate for the final product. This point is often ignored, resulting in bed linens of lower quality despite favorable initial material properties.
Carefully finish the cotton yarn to remove imperfections. This step ensures each strand is strong and free of unruly fuzz.
And finally, Thread Count. Count (the number of threads per square inch) and construction do matter when creating quality bed linens, but only in the context of materials, yarn size, and finish. High thread count linens became increasingly popular in the US beginning in the early 1990's when manufactures discovered ways to make multiple stitches over the same area of fabric. Our sources explained how, with proper care, this process can take the most delicate threads and make beautiful (and expensive) linens. However, most high thread count manufactures make sacrifices to keep the cost down. This is usually done by choosing thin yarn and by not finishing the thread with care. Using yarn smaller than what is required for linens means one can more easily make multiple stitches over rough thread finishes. The result is a "high" thread count fabric that leaves you tossing and turning (and buying new sheets each year).
You can see how all of these factors lead to a huge variety in the quality and feel of 100% cotton linens. Higher thread count is not always better.
We personally select the fabrics sold at Sabun Home and use them in our homes. Most of our manufactures focus on quality materials, luscious thread sizes, wonderful finishing, and don't specifically produce their fabrics based on a thread count (they are typically in the 250 to 350 range). We encourage everyone to give all our products the thread count "touch-test" and judge the quality for yourself. Even bring in your own sheets to compare. We believe you will be pleasantly surprised with how we compare in comfort, durability, and price.