Behind the Thread Count

Behind the Thread Count

We all hear the term "thread count" thrown around a lot when it comes to bedding, but what does it all mean? And does a higher thread count actually mean a better quality product?

Thread count refers to the total number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch.

Many bedding companies market thread count as an important factor for consumers to consider when purchasing a set of sheets.

The age-old saying "the bigger the thread count, the more luxurious the sheets," became a way for companies to increase profits without increasing the quality of their product. But speak to any textile expert and they'll tell you it's a dishonest marketing tactic. As Pat Slaven, textile expert at Consumer Reports says, “Now you see 1,000 thread count sheets but you just can’t get that many threads on a loom.”

It is physically impossible to fit more than 600 threads in a square inch, so how is it that companies are selling 1000, 1500, or even 1800 thread count sheets?

In order to understand, we have to break down the process of how cotton becomes a fabric.

Cotton Fibers

The type of cotton and where it grows affects the length of the cotton fiber. For example, the Nile River Valley has some of the most fertile soil in the world. Cotton grown there will have longer, stronger, and more plush fibers. To read more about how climate and location affects cotton, visit our blog here.

Pure Parima uses Egyptian Cotton that has been certified by the Cotton Egypt Association, which ensures that it is grown in the Nile River Valley, has extra-long staple fibers, and is hand-picked to preserve the superior quality.

Behind the Thread Count

 

We all hear the term "thread count" thrown around a lot when it comes to bedding, but what does it all mean? And does a higher thread count actually mean a better quality product?

Thread count refers to the total number of horizontal and vertical threads in one square inch.

Many bedding companies market thread count as an important factor for consumers to consider when purchasing a set of sheets. The age-old saying "the bigger the thread count, the more luxurious the sheets," became a way for companies to increase profits without increasing the quality of their product. But speak to any textile expert and they'll tell you it's a dishonest marketing tactic. As Pat Slaven, textile expert at Consumer Reports says, “Now you see 1,000 thread count sheets but you just can’t get that many threads on a loom.”

It is physically impossible to fit more than 600 threads in a square inch, so how is it that companies are selling 1000, 1500, or even 1800 thread count sheets?

In order to understand, we have to break down the process of how cotton becomes a fabric.

Cotton Fibers

 

The type of cotton and where it grows affects the length of the cotton fiber. For example, the Nile River Valley has some of the most fertile soil in the world. Cotton grown there will have longer, stronger, and more plush fibers. To read more about how climate and location affects cotton, visit our blog here.

Pure Parima uses Egyptian Cotton that has been certified by the Cotton Egypt Association, which ensures that it is grown in the Nile River Valley, has extra-long staple fibers, and is hand-picked to preserve the superior quality.

From Cotton to Yarn

Cotton staple fibers are spun together to create yarn. As Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Shannon Maher, explains, "Longer fiber is ideal, because when you spin the yarn, it gives it strength, which means less pilling."

From Cotton to Yarn

Cotton staple fibers are spun together to create yarn. As Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Shannon Maher, explains, "Longer fiber is ideal, because when you spin the yarn, it gives it strength, which means less pilling."

Short Staple Fibers

Yarn made from short staple fibers, like those usually found in American cotton, is more likely to create fabrics that pill and fray.

Extra-Long Staple Fibers

Because Egyptian Cotton has extra-long staple fibers, there are fewer breaks in the cotton when spinning yarn. This leads to stronger, smoother yarn, meaning we don't have to compensate with multi-ply threads.

Short Staple Fibers

Yarn made from short staple fibers, like those usually found in American cotton, is more likely to create fabrics that pill and fray.

Extra-Long Staple Fibers

Because Egyptian Cotton has extra-long staple fibers, there are fewer breaks in the cotton when spinning yarn. This leads to stronger, smoother yarn, meaning we don't have to compensate with multi-ply threads.

How 400 Becomes 1200 Thread Count

Multi-Ply Yarn

Multi-ply yarn is made by twisting two or three strands of thread together. Manufacturers often do this for two reasons; to inflate the thread count or to use weaker threads made from cheaper cottons. Although the discounted price tag of some sheets might be appealing, they tend to yield heavier fabrics, coarser surfaces, and less breathability.

Single-Ply Yarn

Single-ply yarn, like that used in Pure Parima bedding, creates smoother, softer, and more durable fabrics. When it comes to choosing the best sheets, the quality of the yarn matters more than the number of threads advertised. Single-ply yarn made using Egyptian cotton is thinner and more durable than any other cotton, which makes for the softest, most breathable sheets.

Sateen vs. Percale

Percale Weave

Percale fabrics are made by following a one-over, one-under weaving pattern. Due to this tight-knit pattern, fabrics with this weave are matte, crisp, and have a noticeably tighter feel, which results in a coarser finish. So which weave pattern is the best? Either is great and has its benefits, it simply depends on if you prefer sleeping on softer or crisper sheets.

Sateen Weave

Sateen fabrics are made by following a three-over, one-under weaving pattern. If you look very closely at sateen fabrics, you will notice a diagonal pattern. Sateen is usually made with thicker yarn and creates a heavier – but silkier – fabric. The weaving pattern also makes sateen fabrics more resistant to wrinkles! If you're looking for silky sheets with a gorgeous shine, sateen is for you.

"The sweet spot is 400," says textile expert Slaven.

Why a Lower Thread Count Means Higher Breathability.

The higher the thread count, the more tightly woven and stiff your bedding becomes. Any thread count higher than 600 results in a thick fabric with little breathability, making it worse for the skin and sleeping conditions.

Through extensive testing, we've found 400 thread count to be perfect for bedding that is breathable, light, and ultra soft for the restful night of sleep you deserve.

Shop everyone's new favorite sheets and find out why Certified Egyptian Cotton from a transparent start-up company, Pure Parima, is selling out fast!

"The sweet spot is 400," says textile expert Slaven.

Why a Lower Thread Count Means Higher Breathability.

The higher the thread count, the more tightly woven and stiff your bedding becomes. Any thread count higher than 600 results in a thick fabric with little breathability, making it worse for the skin and sleeping conditions.

Through extensive testing, we've found 400 thread count to be perfect for bedding that is breathable, light, and ultra soft for the restful night of sleep you deserve.

Shop everyone's new favorite sheets and find out why Certified Egyptian Cotton from a transparent start-up company, Pure Parima, is selling out fast!

From Cotton to Yarn

Cotton staple fibers are spun together to create yarn. As Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Shannon Maher, explains, "Longer fiber is ideal, because when you spin the yarn, it gives it strength, which means less pilling."

Short Staple Fibers

Yarn made from short staple fibers, like those usually found in American cotton, is more likely to create fabrics that pill and fray.

Extra-Long Staple Fibers

Because Egyptian Cotton has extra-long staple fibers, there are fewer breaks in the cotton when spinning yarn. This leads to stronger, smoother yarn, meaning we don't have to compensate with multi-ply threads.

How 400 Becomes 1200 Thread Count

Multi-Ply Yarn

Multi-ply yarn is made by twisting two or three strands of thread together. Manufacturers often do this for two reasons; to inflate the thread count or to use weaker threads made from cheaper cottons. Although the discounted price tag of some sheets might be appealing, they tend to yield heavier fabrics, coarser surfaces, and less breathability.

Single-Ply Yarn

Single-ply yarn, like that used in Pure Parima bedding, creates smoother, softer, and more durable fabrics. When it comes to choosing the best sheets, the quality of the yarn matters more than the number of threads advertised. Single-ply yarn made using Egyptian cotton is thinner and more durable than any other cotton, which makes for the softest, most breathable sheets.

Sateen vs. Percale

Percale Weave

Percale fabrics are made by following a one-over, one-under weaving pattern. Due to this tight-knit pattern, fabrics with this weave are matte, crisp, and have a noticeably tighter feel, which results in a coarser finish. So which weave pattern is the best? Either is great and has its benefits, it simply depends on if you prefer sleeping on softer or crisper sheets.

Sateen Weave

Sateen fabrics are made by following a three-over, one-under weaving pattern. If you look very closely at sateen fabrics, you will notice a diagonal pattern. Sateen is usually made with thicker yarn and creates a heavier – but silkier – fabric. The weaving pattern also makes sateen fabrics more resistant to wrinkles! If you're looking for silky sheets with a gorgeous shine, sateen is for you.

"The sweet spot is 400," says textile expert Slaven.

Why a Lower Thread Count Means Higher Breathability.

The higher the thread count, the more tightly woven and stiff your bedding becomes. Any thread count higher than 600 results in a thick fabric with little breathability, making it worse for the skin and sleeping conditions.

Through extensive testing, we've found 400 thread count to be perfect for bedding that is breathable, light, and ultra soft for the restful night of sleep you deserve.

Shop everyone's new favorite sheets and find out why Certified Egyptian Cotton from a transparent start-up company, Pure Parima, is selling out fast!

We all hear the term "thread count" thrown around a lot when it comes to bedding, but what does it all mean? And are higher thread counts actually better?

Thread count refers to the total number of horizontal and verticle threads in a square inch.

You actually can't fit more than 500 threads in a square inch, so how is it that companies are selling sheets with 800-, 1000-, or 1500-thread counts? They're inflating their numbers by using multi-ply threads.

Interested in learning more about Behind the Purity?

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Meet the founder of Pure Parima and see why we're dedicated to offering 100% pure Egyptian Cotton.

Behind Pure Parima


Meet the founder of Pure Parima and see why we're dedicated to offering 100% pure Egyptian Cotton.

Behind the Certification


What does Certified Egyptian Cotton really mean? And who certifies it? Read on to learn why its important to shop only Certified products!

Behind Egyptian Cotton


Discover what makes Egyptian Cotton the standard of excellence among textile fibers.