There’s a lot of confusion surrounding thread count in the bedding industry, and we’d like to use this blog post as an opportunity to clear up some of that misunderstanding.
First of all, it’s important to understand that bed sheets weren’t always judged by thread count alone. In fact, the high thread count story barely existed prior to the mid-1990s. And yet even today, it’s still the first question most customers ask about bed linens.
Don’t misunderstand: Thread count certainly is an important way to judge the quality — or lack thereof — of a bed sheet. But it’s only one of many factors you should consider when comparing linens. Other important sheeting quality indicators include fiber quality, yarn size, finishing, and the actual construction of the sheets.
Indeed, when evaluating any luxury fabric, you always want to begin with the quality of the cotton fibers. Next, take a close look at the craftsmanship involved in the remaining processes: the spinning, the weaving and the finishing.
It’s important to remember that thread counts don’t tell the whole story. That’s partially due to the fact that some less-than-scrupulous manufacturers are using 2 ply yarns to achieve a higher thread count. In fact, while the FTC has ruled that plied yards should only be counted as one thread, that rule has unfortunately not been seriously enforced.
There are literally thousands of different construction combinations that can lead to a wonderful bed sheet, which is why we suggest two general rules of thumb that the average consumer should always bear in mind when shopping for bed sheets:
- If you come across a sheet with a very high thread count and a very low retail price, you’re most likely being cheated.
- The most important factor where linens and bed sheets are concerned is a relatively simple one: It’s all about how the fabric feels to you, and everyone has a different preference. If you like the way a bed sheet feels, that’s really all that matters.
To understand the thread count issue from a slightly different perspective — or better yet, if you have customers you’d like to explain the issue to in a very simple, easy to understand manner — you won’t find a much better explanation than the one given in a recent Sferra e-newsletter.
Sferra is one of the most luxurious of the luxury linen producers; the company was also largely responsible for creating the high thread count trend. According to Sferra president Paul Hooker, it’s a trend the company is now trying its best to kill.
Click here to read the Sferra article, which is described as “a simple, although exaggerated, example [to] help [customers] visualize the point [of sheeting quality.]”
Please call us at 1-800-877-4667 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about sheeting, or with any other questions you may have about purchasing or the care of linens.