Hands up, those of you like myself, who believed that the higher the thread count, well obviously, the better the quality of the bed sheet! I’m sorry to say, we have all been swept off our feet by some fancy marketing strategies.
The truth is, the quality and feel of bed linens really has more to do with the quality of the cotton used to spin the yarn, the quality of the equipment on which the fabric is woven, and the finishing process used to enhance the performance of the fabric.
It used to be that in order to weave high quality fabrics, it was necessary to use high grade fine yarns because inferior yarns would not hold up to the weaving process. With the advent of new equipment and new weave geometries it became possible to use low grade, short yarns in the weaving process, making it possible to crowd more threads into a square inch of fabric in order to meet the demand for higher and higher thread counts. This has resulted in fabrics that are underwhelming in feel, longevity and quality.
So where too from here? If we can’t trust the thread count, how do we know that what we are purchasing is a quality product?
Quality linens are woven from quality yarn, and quality yarn is spun from long cotton fibers known in the industry as Long Staple Cotton. Long Staple Cotton, when spun, creates a yarn that has greater integrity because there are less twist ends, which are the pieces of cotton fiber that stick out when the strands are twisted together to make the yarn, and are the weakest points of the yarn. Twist ends are where laundry chemicals begin to eat away at the fabric, breaking down the fabrics integrity and eating through the fibers. This is where holes will start to appear and pilling will occur.
In contrast, a quality Long Staple Cotton fabric will be softer by nature, have greater surface sheen, and be less likely to pill.
When deciding on the right brand for you, do your research, read your labels, read your product descriptions and the customer reviews carefully. There are some outstanding products available on the market that will deliver as promised. Also note that terms referring to regions such as Egyptian are terms that are used very loosely and only have true meaning if the cotton was grown and produced in that region and not from a plant named after that region.
Check out our bed linens and terry towels all made from high quality, proprietary 100% long staple cotton.