What do the words “Thread Count” mean anymore?

We see a set of 1000 thread count sheets at big box shops for $125 and then at a linen shop see what we think are the same sheets for far more! Thread count is defined as how many threads there are in a square inch of fabric.  So how do they do it?  How do they offer 1000 thread count sheet sets for $125?

Remember threads can be pulled apart many times over and  many of these manufacturers put a finish on the sheets so they feel great in the package but after washing they lose that soft touch.  Fine linens should get better and better with each washing and last for many, many years! Unfortunately you cannot just look at thread count anymore because this has become a major marketing ploy in the linen industry.  Most major luxury linen brands don’t even put thread count on their sheets anymore.  My advice to my clients is to judge your sheets on the following qualities:

1.  Weight – Many people will complain about the weight of their duvets but not think about the weight of the sheets.  Do you prefer a light, almost not their feeling or do you prefer to be draped in softness?
2.  Fiber – The finer the fiber, the finer the sheet.  The world’s finest cotton is grown on the banks of the Nile River in Egypt.  Egyptian cotton is renowned because it yields one of the longest staple cottons in the world, the long-staple cotton being the individual cotton fiber.  The longer the fiber, the more it can be spun into smoother, stronger, finer yarn.
3.  Finishing – After a sheet is woven it goes through a complicated process of fabric “finishing”.  This is an important step that determines the final texture, color, and softness.  Many Italian mills consider fine finishing an art form, and guard the exact process as a secret
4.  Feel – This is by far the most important factor in selecting sheets.  Everyone’s taste in sheeting is different, so think about what really matters to you and how you sleep.  Do you like to slip into a crisp bed or be surrounded by beautiful sateen?

Grand Hotel from SferraOne of my favorite sheets is by Sferra.  I have had my Celeste sheets for over 8 years and they are still going strong! This is by far one of our best sellers in the shop.  For a crisper feeling try the Grande Hotel Collection by Sferra, they have outdone themselves by adding fresh and modern prints to this collection done on the same Italian sheet.

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