How Important is Thread Count?

T180 Bed Sheets
Hospitality Sheets T-180

Shopping for bed linens is a very important but daunting task. After all, if you are a hotelier or innkeeper, luxurious sheets on the beds can make the largest impression in the mind of the guest and represent values your establishment holds dear. Selecting the perfect sheet is not always easy. There are so many options and varieties to choose from, each brand touting that it is the best. One common denominator in all bed sheet marketing is Thread Count. The resourceful consumer can get the facts on this part of the textile industry and ultimately make a good decision.

What does Thread Count mean?

Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into 1 square inch on a piece of fabric. This figure is based on the number of horizontal threads (weft) and vertical threads (warp). For example, 130 thread count muslin is produced by 65 threads woven horizontally and 65 thread woven vertically. This results in a slightly rough feel, but similar products are used successfully in the healthcare and institutional sectors.

Hotel Sheets T-200
Hotel Sheets T-200

Some textile companies boast that their products have 900 thread counts and more, but is it physically possible to have so many threads crammed into 1 square inch? It depends on who is counting. Some manufacturers count not only the thread, but also the fibers that make up the thread (called plies). A single thread might consist of 3 plies. Some manufacturers will count 3 threads, while others will count just 1 thread. Additionally, extra threads (called picks) can be woven into the fabric horizontally, further inflating the thread count.

What does that mean for the consumer? Thread count is a reliable guide for sheet quality up to a point but higher thread count does not always mean better quality. Good quality sheets can be found anywhere in the 180 to 600 thread count range. There may be very little difference in the feel of a well made 300 thread count sheet and a 600 thread count sheet.

Another factor that influences the quality of sheets is the material used. Longer cotton fibers, such as Egyptian Cotton, can be spun into higher quality threads and produce in finer quality fabric. Short fiber cotton tends to come free of the weave and result in pilling. A sheet with pilling fibers does not feel as smooth to the touch.

Here is a breakdown of bed linens you can find at Direct Textile Store.

Standard Hotel Sheets T-250
Standard Hotel Sheets T-250

Why not T-400+ Thread Count Bed Sheets?

Direct Textile Store is a wholesale textile supplier. We specialize in delivering products considered economy to luxury, and everything in between, to ensure that you have the choice of goods to fit your budget and life-cycle needs. Most hotels and inns aren’t willing to pay for 600 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets for every bed on property. They are able to get much more for their money from the 180 – 300 thread count range. Typically, the higher the thread count the less durability and shorter life cycle of the bed linens. This is especially true for garments that are industrial laundered, or commercially laundered. That is why T-130 to T-180 are used in healthcare and institutions, and T-180 to T-300 are used in the hospitality sector. Direct Textile Store’s specialty is to serve these sectors with our product offerings. We want you to be happy with the product you select and make sure it fits your needs and budget.

Why do hotel sheets feel so good?

One reason hotel sheets can feel exceptionally good is because of the percale weave used to make them. If you’ve ever slept in a hotel bed and loved the unmistakable feeling you got from the sheets, what you’re probably feeling is a good quality, low thread count percale sheet – typically 200 threads.

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