Tuesday, January 22

High Thread Count

In the world of bed linens, the "high thread count" meme has been circulating for years now, spouted mindlessly despite the best attempts of a small minority to point out that the quality of the cotton matters as much, if not more so, than the thread count. (If the cotton is sub-quality, why would you want MORE of it?)

However, it turns out that, aside from being misleading, a sheet's thread count may actually be an outright lie:

"Thread count refers to the number of threads in a square inch of fabric. The calculation is customarily made by multiplying the vertical yarns ('ends') by the horizontal yarns ('picks'); this is the method endorsed by the Federal Trade Commission and enforced, traditionally, by gentleman's agreement. In recent years, manufacturers have been using multi-ply yarns—made from two or more strands of fibre twisted together—to juice their stats, so that a dust ruffle woven from two hundred two-ply yarns could technically be said to have a thread count of four hundred. TheFabricOfOurLives.com, Cotton Inc.'s Web site, notes, 'It's not a lie, but not exactly textbook accurate, either.'"

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