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Does Thread Count Really Matter?

by Emma Rutherford |

Does thread count really matter?
A luxurious night in a hotel, equates to a high thread count sheet, so crisp and fresh and soft. Though what is being discovered is that a higher count doesn't automatically mean better quality. Here, we look to debunk the conventional wisdom of "higher-is-better" thread count myth.
When did a higher the thread count become a measure of the quality of the sheet? In fact what has been found is the complete reverse. It turns out other aspects of the sheet, such as the caliber of a thread and the manufacturing process is moreover what matters than the count.
Linen expert Julian Tomchin told The New York Times, “Once you get beyond 400 threads per square inch, be suspicious” (Tomchin. J, 2009). What is more often being found is that the higher the thread-count, the more inferior the cotton and overall fabric quality. 
How do we know this, let’s talk number’s …
The standard for counting threads is to add each warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal) thread per square inch. Giving a 220 thread-count sheet set 110 vertical threads and 110 horizontal threads.  The largest number of high quality thread that you can generally fit within a square inch is around 200 each way, creating 400 thread count sheeting, beyond this, the threads are thinner and weaker.
So where do these high numbers come from? The answer is simply, manufacturers have employed some creative counting to land those 1,000-plus numbers. Since the Federal Trade Commission (US) permited bedding manufacturers to count the threads of fabrics using two-ply yarn twice, or three- ply yarn, three times, we saw thread count then double, or triple, it’s realistic number. This two and three ply yarn is generally of a lesser quality as the cotton fiber is shorter, therefore requiring the additional ply.
The reality is that it’s not thread count, but the quality of yarn and type of weave that matter.
Fictional Objects makes premium quality 100% cotton sheets from combed cotton (the longest pieces of cotton fibre). We believe that high quality, ethical manufacturing and limited editions make Fictional Objects Bed Linen the best cotton sheets in the Australian market. (our thread count is approx. 400)

References:
ELAINE LOUIE. 2009. Pulling a Few Threads. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/08/garden/08shop.html?_r=3&ref=garden&. [Accessed 27 May 2016]
Allison Fox. 2016. The Myth About Thread Count. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.mensjournal.com/style/collection/the-myth-about-thread-count-20150828. [Accessed 29 May 2016].
SARAH BRAY. 2014. WHY THREAD COUNT DOESN'T MATTER. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/interior-designers/a6127/why-thread-count-doesnt-matter/. [Accessed 28 May 2016].
Christina. 2014. Debunking the Thread Count Myth. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.coyuchi.com/the-naturalista/thread_count/. [Accessed 27 May 2016].