What does thread count mean?

What does thread count mean?

Thread count (TC) is a measure of the coarseness or fineness of a fabric. Let’s see the technical side of thread count, which means the number of threads woven together in a horizontal and vertical orientation per square inch. You count both lengthwise (warp) and width-wise (weft) threads. So, 100 length-wise threads woven with 100 width-wise threads produce a TC of 200. While 150 lengthwise threads woven with 150 width-wise threads make a 300TC.

Thread count is a highly used phrase for describing luxury bed linen. The idea is the finer you can weave the threads together, the softer and finer the fabric will be, and the more likely it will wear well, evenly, and will soften and become more comfortable with each wash.

When considering bed linen, there is a common misconception that quality increases linearly with thread count. However, weaving experts report that beyond a 400TC, there is no appreciable difference in quality. The amount of thread that can fit into a square inch of fabric is limited. It is also has been seen that bedding beyond 400TC is likely to be just a marketing strategy.
So, how to choose bed linen on the basis of tread count?  The rule of thumb is that anything above 200TC is very good quality, and anything above 400TC is not necessary and just brings a bigger price tag.
The same rule applies to organic cotton bedding too - 300 TC is considered in the luxurious, premium range. You will find 300TC organic cotton bedding is softer and more comfortable compared to conventional (non-organic) cotton with high thread count. This is due to the superior quality of organic cotton fibres, and the fact that no harsh chemicals were used in its manufacture.

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