In the late 90’s the thread count phenomena hit the bedding market and now is the topic of sheet conversation. Sheets come in all qualities, color, and size. However, there are four components that make or break the quality, which includes fiber quality, weave, finishing and thread count and it’s construction. Although it may seem like a simple topic, sometimes thread count talk is confusing and below is a guide to help you uncover the secret between luxury and cheap sheets.
Thread count is commonly seen on packages label ranging from 200 to 1200. What’s the difference? The higher the number the higher the quality, stitch and fiber of the sheet. Many designer brands and novelty print sheets are generally 200 to 300 thread count. Luxury sheets and high-quality hotel sheets range between 800 to 1200 thread count. These quality sheets often contain higher quality cotton. Lower thread count sheets become softer after several washes.
Egyptian cotton, Supima and Pima are known as the “king” of all fabric quality, which is commonly seen in the 800 to 1200 count sheets. The 100% cotton sheets are most popular because they are breathable and wick away sweat. Polyester sheets are easy maintenance and come out of the dryer wrinkle free. However, it is an annoyance for those who suffer from profuse sweating. Polyester does not wick away sweat, especially 100% Polyester sheets. The Polyester-cotton blend is a bit more breathable, but nothing beats 100% cotton. Silk is another fabric, which feels soft and luxurious but may not be the most breathable fabric.
The type of weave is important to alter the texture and result in a more durable fabric. Sateen weaves contain four-yarn-over and one-yarn-under weave. This makes the fabric appear glossy and satiny. Pinpoint weaves are a two over and one under yarn fabric stitch. These sheets are more durable as fewer yarns are exposed to the surface. Percale-woven sheets are produced that each yarn fiber is woven above and below each other to produce a resilient sheet.
After the yarns are woven together, the sheets need to be finished. Two processes include singeing and mercerizing. Singeing is very important; it’s the process where tiny fuzz is burnt off the sheet. Mercerizing is treatment that occurs under tension. This process increases the strength, luster, and use for the dye. Sheets that fuzz, tangle or lose stitches easily may be the product of an unfinished sheet.